Pre-workshop in Copenhagen

Saturday 03 December, 2011 at 4:36 am, by Søren Therkelsen in Blog, Step 3

The sad truth is that most entrepreneurs are unsuccessful in building new businesses. For every Skype there are tens of thousands of companies you have never heard of and never will.
Turning a startup into a real business is a really hard thing to do. The numbers bear this out.
There is a proven management method for developing a business in the early stages. It’s just not the management discipline you learn in business school or at big companies.
It is called Lean Startup. The Lean Startup Movement is changing the way Silicon Valley entrepreneurs build startups. It is focused on reducing risk, saving time and capital, and cutting away the “fat” and waste from the early stage process. This workshop is built around the Lean Startup Method and uses the associated SaaS platform LeanLaunchLab. It will permanently change the way you run your company and work with your board and investors. Most importantly it will dramatically improve your odds of success.
Two or more founders/key executives from each company should attend this workshop. You may also want to bring advisors or mentors: people who you rely and trust in building your startup. People who will be co-players with you from Denmark - when you are in Silicon Valley.
Before the workshop you will have done some reading, and you will prepare some assignments. Here are the things we will be doing at the workshop:

1. Learn About Lean Concepts and the Management Disciplines of Entrepreneurship
Lean Startup concepts will change the way you think about building your business. You will learn how to develop and refine your business model in a rapid iterative loop of build, test, and learn.

2. Articulate Your Business Model in the Business Model Canvas
Startups are different from big companies. The customer problem is unknown, and the solution is unknown. Finding the right business model is key. You will use the Osterwalder business model canvas to describe your - current - best guess at a business model for your company.

3. Identify the Most Important Business Model Assumptions and Risks
Your business model - until proven - is just a business “guess”; a set of assumptions or “leaps of faith”. Working from your business model canvas, you will identify the biggest risks in your plan, prioritize them and lay out a plan and timeline for de-risking them.

4. Form Hypotheses, Define Metrics, and Plan How to Test with Customers
If your core assumptions are wrong, your company fails. In this session you will map your highest risk assumptions to hypotheses and assign metrics for success or failure.

5. Test your Business model
A business model can’t be proven on paper. You will need to get out of the office find proof. Each team will work on the best practical tests for proving their core assumptions. This includes discussions with prospective customers, web interaction with landing pages, surveys, and more.

6. Learn How to Iterate Fast
Capital is a scarce resource for almost all startups. You only have so much capital, which translates to a brief window of opportunity, to find the right business model. We will look at how you can become more effective through lean methods and achieve greater efficiencies in carrying them out. The faster you eliminate things that don’t work, the faster you get to something that does work. How does Lean translate to being more effective AND more efficient.