RATIONALE FOR THE MINIMUM VIABLE CANVAS©
If you aren't currently a Founder, put yourself in the position of wanting to start a company.
You may have been reading about LEAN Startup methodology, watching the many instructional videos, playing around with Experiment Board, Value Proposition Canvas, Business Model Canvas and numerous other tools.
You might be joining Webinars, attending LEAN MeetUps & conferences, spending time with a mentor and generally receiving plenty of advice. You're probably trying to absorb the wisdom of gurus like Steve Blank, Ash Maurya & Eric Ries and you may have discovered Clay Christensen, Anita Newton, Justin Wilcox and Grace Ng.
And there is a fair chance that you are spending so much time studying all this content that you find yourself going slightly crazy and not making the kind of progress with your venture that you want to.
Being involved as I am in the Startup scene in Sydney, San Francisco and Wellington I get a wonderful opportunity to observe Founder behavior and attitudes in all three countries and by and large there's not much difference - the common theme is that the ever growing body of LEAN Startup science has evolved to become very confusing and often a serious distraction to the primary task of getting your Startup started.
My sense is that there is a real need to take this vast body of LEAN knowledge, methodologies & science and provide a simplified pathway that is more readily understood and followed. It's why I have devised the LEAN Hacking™ canvas and training workshop.
If you go back about ten years when Steve Blank started pitching the tech world on LEAN, it was really based on a very simple and clear proposition that startups had to validate assumptions about customer needs and the ONLY way to do that was 'to get out of the building'. A quite perfect distillation of everything he'd learned as an entrepreneur and investor. Steve basically said, "if you don't get out of the building there's a 90% probability your startup will fail".
Over the past ten years Steve's simple premise has evolved, extended and expanded until today where the LEAN Startup movement is a complex science that has launched many consulting careers. Each of the three key stages of LEAN as espoused by Ash Maurya - Problem/Solution Fit, Product/Market Fit and Scale have become complex multi-faceted parts of LEAN Startup science.
The point I make is illustrated perfectly by the Innovator's Roadmap created by Ash. You can print this on an A3 sheet and struggle to read the font. Fully comprehending and being trained using the map is a labor of love that could totally absorb a Founder for months of dedicated work. Meanwhile how is the Founder's Startup progressing ?
What I have become aware of is that LEAN Startup has ironically evolved to become an overly complex process that is quite overwhelming. So, I'd like to offer an alternative model that I believe is more grounded in the realities of Startup life. Founders are already under enormous pressure and have a myriad of concurrent tasks and challenges. Adopting my LEAN Hacking™ canvas is the best chance to either fail-fast or succeed but the pathway has to be easily grasped and followed.
The Minimum Viable Canvas© is a simpler way to start until there is repeatable traction, i.e. the Founder can prove that the value proposition cycle is repeatable and acceptable to customers who are prepared to pay to have their job done.