This is the end of our 2nd mooc dedicated to developing your venture. It is organized as a flexible questioning process to guide you in the journey from the opportunity to the venture.
We covered 4 main topics:
Characterizing your market
Prototyping and designing your ideas
The Business Model Canvas as an execution framework
The Business Model Canvas as a system for strategic thinking
The first topic, “Characterizing your market” is based on the idea that it is a very slippery issue where it is very easy to miss the point. Therefore, it should be organized as an on-going exploration process that never stops organized around the following principles:
Markets carry several levels of definition. Entrepreneurs often focus on the potential market because it drives big numbers. But the only relevant level is the “addressable market” that comprises the sub segment of the potential market that has a need, high enough to consider buying from you, and that you can physically reach
The process to assess the addressable market, from the big picture, goes from secondary research to refine the picture and direct customer interview to confirm some use case scenario (cross between a customer segment and a value proposition hypothesis)
This primary work must be refined through analysis of customer decision process and competition to eliminate segment where it might be difficult to get some quick traction.
Another important outcome of this process is the choice of a beachhead (a target) on which the venture will initially focus its (limited) resources to show it works and learn how.
Once the market picture starts clarifying, but mostly in parallel, a 2nd process should start: prototyping, which is about turning your idea into a real life representation that will allow customers to react. It can be very far from the final product, it has to be cheap and should allow quick iteration and interaction with customers. This is the meaning of the word: MVP (Minimum Viable Product).
A lot can be learned in that phase from Design and Design thinking, particularly in the emphasis put on experience design (representing the use experience, feelings, more than product features).
And last that prototyping process leads in the majority of the cases to pivoting. It happens when the venture is trapped in a dead end, and some significant change must be considered. It is always a very tough judgment call made by the founders as the signs never come loud and clear.
From there (market and prototyping) the next step is to start the remaining operational questions. This is the 1st role of the business model canvas, to propose a simple structure to guide the execution process. This representation is comprised of 9 building blocs:
The value proposition
The target market
The sales channel or distribution strategy
The customer relationship
The revenue model
The Key activities
The Key resources
The resulting cost structure
And last, the Business Model canvas is also a systemic representation that can prove very helpful in trying to assess the impact of operational decision to the growth path of the business.
This system is comprised of 3 subsystems: the value, the organization and the economics and they impact directly 3 core strategic dimensions:
We hope you found this mooc interesting, and that it clarifies the questioning process of developing your venture.
We would very much welcome any feedback, suggestion, and hope to see you again there, for our next program on “launching your venture”.