Lean Startup Template

A few months ago I read The Lean Startup and found its core messages resonating deeply with my own experience. What better a way to do so than to apply the book’s ideas to VVM itself? :). So I gave it a try. Turns out the book was a great read for me, but when I re-read it I saw how hard it is to use as a GUIDE BOOK :(. Neither the book nor inquiries to the Great Google led to a template. So I put my own together that I hope is helpful to others… I am sure it can be better and I welcome any suggestions for improvement. The template assumes you’ve read the book and know the terms… if you are rusty, you can get a quick refresher on the book here.

  1. Target Market – Who is your target customer (and possibly end-user if different) in as much detail as you can.
  2. Leap Of Faith Assumptions– When filling in the below, be sure to detail the core assumptions that underlie your venture. You’ll want to test them later to avoid the problems IMVU had!
    1. Value Hypothesis – What benefit(s) do you deliver that address a real pain/opportunity possessed by your target market?
    2. Growth Hypothesis – Which one of the growth engines (Viral, Sticky, or Paid) resonates most?
    3. Any other core assumptions?
  3. Key Metrics – Given your growth & value hypotheses, what are your key non-vanity metrics and how will you measure them? Are they actionable?
  4. Experiments– Detail a simple set of scientific (or as close as you can get) experiments that will let you test your leap-of-faith assumptions. Be sure to show what metrics you will use, how you will collect them, how you will know if you are right, etc. What is your timeframe? How can you use cohort analysis? How can you use control groups? Specifically detail how you will…
    1. Establish a Baseline
    2. Tune the Engine
    3. Pivot or Persevere
  5. Accountability – How will you make yourself accountable?  Usually people do this through board meetings.  How often should you hold yours?  How do you give your board the tools to aggressively challenge you (in a lovingly critical way)?
  6. Small Batches – How will you incorporate the idea of small batches?
  7. Five Whys – How will you institutionalize the concept of Five whys?
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2 thoughts on “Lean Startup Template

    • The post is the template, or at least it is intended to be. It summarizes the key points of the book and asks you to fill in answers to the key questions. If you have suggestions for improvement, I am sincerely interested. -Paul

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