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The 1 Page Canvas

business model canvasA one page business model canvas is a simple, convenient tool you use to capture the key assumptions or hypotheses that underlie your business model.  There are multiple kinds of 1 page canvas. The original one is described in the book Business Model Generation.  (Download a PDF of the canvas here.) There’s even an iPad app that makes it easy and fun to work through.

Another option is the Lean Canvas, developed by Ash Maurya and described him his book Running Lean.  (Download a PowerPoint of the lean canvas here.)

The two canvases are a bit different, but both are very helpful tools for writing down a concise (one page) summary of your key assumptions.  A quick overview of each is below.  The following sections of the road map provide some ideas on documenting your assumptions in each of these categories – and on testing them.

The Original Business Model Canvas

  • Customer Segments (and the segment you’ll choose for the first “early adopter” segment)
  • Value Proposition (the “job” the customer wants done, why this has value (avoid a pain or receive a gain), your proposed solution, and how you believe your solution is differentiated from the alternatives)
  • Customer Relationship (what level of relationship and support will customers expect)
  • Channels (how will you market and sell)
  • Revenue Streams (how will you charge for the product or service – and how much will customers pay)
  • Strategic Partnerships you’ll need to develop
  • Key Activities the company will need to pursue
  • Key Resources the company will need to have available
  • Cost Structure of the business

The Lean Canvas

  • Customer Segments
  • Unfair Advantage (your sustainable competitive advantage)
  • Channels
  • Revenue Streams
  • Compelling Problem or Unmet Need (and alternatives)
  • Your Solution
  • Key Metrics (how you will measure success in your sales process)
  • Cost Structure

There is an excellent online courses about testing your business model using a 1 page Business Model Canvas:
Udacity-How to Build a Startup (by Steve Blank, uses the original canvas)

Remember – what you capture in the 1 page canvas are your beliefs.  Assumptions.  They all need to be tested – before you create your product or service!  You’ll save yourself a lot of time and pain if you test first, code later!