The key to success in life is effective communication. We constantly communicate: with each other, with our communities, with companies and brands. Many of the environments we spend a lot of time in are essentially just vehicles for different types of communication, especially online. Perhaps the most essential type of communication to do well though is with yourself.
When that first small sparkle of a product or startup idea starts developing in your mind, your first order of business is to translate it into a physical format. There, an abstract starting point can gain clarity and definition, so that your own understanding of your idea is crystallized, making it much easier to explain to others.
In “times gone by”, company leaders created elaborate business plans to achieve this clarity. These were thoroughly researched documents which took months to prepare. Obviously, startups at the ideation stage do not have the time or resources to waste on a similar approach to business plan creation.
That’s why, for the sake of startups, Ash Maurya transformed the “Business Model Canvas” by Alexander Osterwalder into the Lean Canvas.
Lean Canvas presents the hypothesis of a business model in the form of a one-page document. Additionally, Lean Canvas is a testing and validation tool for this hypothesis. A Lean Canvas consists of 9 blocks/boxes, which you have to fill in to brainstorm your possible business models, key activities, appropriate strategies, starting priorities, and ongoing learning goals. The Lean Canvas squeezes all of this info into a highly portable and easily readable format.
Lean Canvas is a problem-solution approach. It helps eliminate everything unnecessary from the very beginning. It saves time and resources and can be updated constantly. The chief purpose of Lean Canvas is to increase the success rate of the venture, as well as reduce the risk of failure.
Lean Canvas helps answer the questions of most lean startups who want to become real businesses:
What is our product?
Who are our customers?
How can we make money?