Paul Spence is a co-founder of global domain registrar iwantmyname, a business blogger and is part of the Wellington Startup Weekend organising team. He discusses using Lean Canvas to wire-frame your business model. Paul tweets @GeniusNet
Formal business plans are a great tool for long term strategic focus within established businesses. But brand new start-up ventures need a different kind of plan that acknowledges the unique nature of the beast. This is especially so in the case of technology start-ups that operate in highly competitive, rapidly evolving business environments. Lean Canvas is a methodology that adapts and makes sense of traditional Business Canvas theory within this dynamic context.
A start-up is essentially an ongoing experiment in which entrepreneurs face a multiplicity of decisions on a daily basis and have numerous levers to push and pull that will govern the direction of the journey. The singular, overriding role of the start-up entrepreneur is therefore (through this experimentation) to find a repeatable and scalable revenue generating model that can sustain and grow the business. The Lean Canvas provides a handy framework for a start-up entrepreneur to assemble the pieces of this puzzle in a structured way.
At Wellington Startup Weekend we highly recommend making use of the Lean Canvas toolkit as you test the hypotheses around your business idea. Associated with Lean Canvas is the Spark59 blog that has many great articles on Lean Startup theories and practice. Also, here’s a brilliant overview of Lean Canvas provided by Michael Ellwood-Smith, advisor at business incubator Creative HQ. We’ve also assembled a list of ten start-up articles which we think you will find useful. Finally, don’t forget that our wonderful Startup Weekend mentors are on hand throughout the weekend to guide you along the process of finding a business model that will work.