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A Lean Alternative to a Business Plan: Documenting Your Product/Market Fit Hypotheses

Sachin Rekhi
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A more iterative approach to launching a start up that allows us to learn from our failures and refine along the way.

Startup's product/market fit hypotheses

  1. Target Audience
    1. Be as specific as possible
    2. B2B Products - divide target audience into:
      1. End users of the product
      2. Business decision makers
    3. Target an "MVP" audience in the early stages of business
  2. Problem You're Solving
    1. Have a clear understanding of the specific problem space
    2. Understand previous solutions that have been tried
    3. Understand how much of a priority this solution would be for the target audience
      1. "Vitamin" vs "pain-killer"
  3. Value Propositions
    1. "The promise of value" you are giving a customer
    2. Too many value propositions can be a distraction
  4. Strategic Differentiation
    1. Company focused
    2. Unique assets or capabilities your solution offers
  5. Competition
    1. Document who the competition are and how they're doing
    2. Clearly differentiate from them
  6. Acquisition Strategy
    1. Primary ways to drive awareness, interest, desire and adoption of your solution
  7. Monetization Strategy
    1. How you generate revenue
    2. Subscriptions vs. selling derived data
  8. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
    1. Define KPIs to gauge how well the business is doing
    2. Ideally have: acquisition, engagement, monetization and customer satisfaction metrics
    3. Develop benchmarks for those metrics
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