For everyone who has bearing with me on this till now, I have only one message.
Continue to bear with me.
You may feel like this is turning into a weekly soap opera, but I promise at the end of this, you will have your cheat sheet or checklist at each stages of your journey into entrepreneurship and will be armed a trifle better.
Major portions of the customer discovery stage is validating our hypothesis
What exactly is a hypothesis ?
A hypothesis is an assumption or a set of assumptions we make about our product or in other words, the set of reasons behind “Why am I building this product ?”
In the context of Amuz, these were our some of our major hypotheses.
- The transporter will be willing to host the entire system and would like to have a skin in the game.
- The content providers will be willing to provide the content on a revenue share basis
- The customer will be willing to pay a nominal amount for viewing the hosted content
- The advertisers will be willing to host their advertisements in this medium
- There could be curated content creation ecosystem that shall allow users to participate in what they wanted to share
How did we fare on our hypotheses ?
I shall let you ponder on this for a week. I shall dissect each of the above hypotheses and present our case in the next week.
At this stage, there is one more important artifact that has become common place and that is the business model canvas. You could download the business model canvas from here.
I am placing a snapshot of the Amuz Business model canvas below so that you could co-relate to the business model template
An express run down of the nine pillars of the business model canvas follows
|Customer Segments||Why you exist ? Where do you target ?|
|Value Proposition||How are your different ?|
|Revenue Streams||How do you make money ?|
|Customer Relationships||Who are your top customers ?|
|Channels||Who will help you scale over time ?|
|Cost Structure||Where do you burn cash ?|
|Key Resources||Who are the people absolutely needed ?|
|Key Partners||Who are the partners who rely upon ?|
|Key Activities||What is needed to get ‘Rubber on Road’ ?|
There are entire books written on the business model canvas and if you want to go deep , I encourage you to take a look at those and also the original book by the creators of the business model canvas . I have felt that it gives an extremely useful framework to map a product to the overall running of a startup business and for someone who has spent most of their life in the shadows of engineering like me, it is an wonderful tool to understand and appreciate that there is more to products apart from churning code!
You might wonder that if I followed a text book approach for my start up journey.
My process has been something like this
You all would agree there is no magic red pill or one size fits all. At the same time, not everything we do need to be done from the scratch. We need to find the sweet spot between the best practices and application of our own uncommon common sense to those practices.
Do not underestimate the importance of two things in any process that you come across . Your own context and common sense. They are useful filters to use with any best practices.
List down your hypothesis and fill up your own business model canvas for the dream you are pursuing or intending to purse.
Do note that this entire model is applicable for product realization within the context of your own enterprises as well and not limited to startups.
There is a cliche which states that “No Business Plan Survives First Contact With A Customer” .
I have not still answered how we fared on our hypothesis and that is something I shall delve into detail next week.
Enjoy Maadi (Have Fun).