When in the process to evolve an idea into a business, many topics must be taken in consideration and the time consuming can me undetermined. Nevertheless, ideas can tangle and be forgotten as even not analysed properly and ending up destroying a business.
Recalling a few weeks when my start-up group and I were together trying to decide our perfect idea makes me laugh. We spent 5 hours around a table and were absolutely lost. Every idea had a problem that couldn’t be solved at that very moment, which was furthermore ignored and forgotten.
On a wonderful Design Thinking class conducted by Janja, we were given a big lean canvas template after a lecture about the subject. We were expected to use it to solve our problems. At first instance, I truly felt like crying. Nothing was done with the group that day and we went home a bit frustrated about the situation.
But thankfully the next day came, and after looking more into the lean canvas strategy, the clouds went away and it was now clear blue inside our heads.
The Lean Canvas is an adaptation of Business Model Canvas and it is especially designed for entrepreneurs. The canvas focuses on problems, solutions, key metrics and competitive advantages (Ash Maurya, 2010).
There is definitely no solution without a problem, and being able to identify the problem is the most important guidance to a business development. Lean Canvas induces you to right down 3 problems you may have regarding any subject. As a group, we had two problems in different sectors that were carefully examined and fairly discussed.
With the problems written down, things started to get easier. Looking at the problem at all times won’t support forgetting where the ideas came from and why you would like to solve it. Alongside the problem, we focused on the persona related to it, viewing them as customers whom would be interested in purchasing the product we would like to develop. Combining problem and customer, the next step was to identify an effective solution to fit the specific needs.
The business model does not only allow a wider perspective of your business development but guides you to question about details not thought about before. For example, our group started to analyse what materials we would like to use for our product and how much it would cost to be manufactured. Moreover we should have an idea of quantity of the material needed and the turnover expected by the company.
Ash encourages you to try as many iterations of the first canvas as possible and to test each one after which a winning business model will emerge (Mullen, 2016).
Once the Lean Canvas was concluded, we were more confident and couldn’t be happier. With two ideas placed and together with the class on our next session, we could easily decide which solution would be more beneficial for our strategyand finally be able to start working on our product.
There was no need to despair after all, we just needed the right tool and guidance.
Lean Canvas is designed specifically for start-ups; it pivots on addressing wider customer problems and solutions and through a unique value proposition, it delivers them to customer segments (Sydeek, 2017).