About 20 people attended the December 2011 Indianapolis Lean Startup Circle held at Giggil.
First, Anthony Panozzo presented on the business model canvas. He drew from his experience in reading Business Model Generation and creating canvases for a few projects. He talked about the business model canvas as well as Ash Maurya’s Lean Canvas, which targets Lean Startups in the software-as-a-service space.
Importantly, the business model canvas can be thought of as a set of documented hypotheses that the entrepreneur needs to validate before having a viable business model. Each change to the canvas represents a shift in strategy, and can be regarded as a pivot. The lean startup canvas focuses on product/market fit and unique value propositions, and gives a different flavor than the standard business model canvas. Anthony appears to like to talk in the third-person.
Here are the presentation slides:
(Having trouble seeing it? Click here.)
Real-life case study
Max Yoder talked about his new startup, Quipol. Max talked about the overall idea and the development process that he went through in bootstrapping his idea. He talked about his focus on design and philosophy on getting the project out there. As many others have pointed out, the online poll market is fairly crowded. Max discussed his competitive advantage, which boils down to three major factors:
- Simple (only yes/no polls)
- Crisp design
- Connection to the blogging community via customer development
He also mentioned that he sometimes has trouble disciplining himself to do customer interviews, even when he knows he should. I’m sure that’s a challenge any lean practitioner has faced, especially starting out. Finally, he talked about some metrics and considerations that might be useful going forward, like the challenges of testing when you have a tightly designed product. Thanks Max!
Finally, three groups each formed to create a canvas for an existing or well-known business. Two took the traditional business model canvas, while one group chose to experiment with the lean canvas.
The teams fairly easily came up with a business model canvas for Netflix, and we had some interesting discussion around the business model canvas for iTunes. iTunes the application is actually given away to allow the app store to function smoothly. We found it somewhat difficult to use the lean canvas for a well-established business, Craigslist. This was because its unique value proposition might have been strong at one point (classifieds on the internet) but is no longer the case. Generally, Craigslist has already been disintermediated in several areas.
Anyone who attended have any other thoughts? What did I miss? Thanks!