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We help startups and business innovators

The best tools and methods made simpler, easier and more fun to use.

Entrepreneurial Success – 3 Biggest Mistakes You Can Make

The Lean Startup and customer discovery methods are radical and different. If entrepreneurial students ‘get it’, the concepts and methods will save them tons of time and money for the rest of their life! But, sometimes a budding entrepreneur knows ‘just enough’ to be dangerous and they will end up worse off than when they started! ... Continue reading

Business Innovation – 2 Types

What type of business innovator are you? Are planning for disruptive innovation or incremental innovation? Incremental innovation defined An incremental or sustaining innovation is typically an improvement to an existing product. The business model  doesn’t change and the business runs pretty much the same except it enjoys the benefits the ... Continue reading

Business Startup Advice – Consider the Source

If a small business startup wants to eventually grow up to be a big business, shouldn’t it seek the advice of big business for the secrets to success? Maybe not! A big or established business has certainty with respect to its business model and its biggest challenge is usually execution of the strategy. Too often big business assumes the sam... Continue reading

Disruptive Technology Example and Insights

Clayton Christensen’s, The Innovators Dilemma, details a great story about a surprising disruptive innovation. Although the book was written in 1997, it was way ahead of its time in understanding the uncertainty and requirements for learning and discovery when faced with potential disruptive innovation in your industry. Chistensen’s story... Continue reading

The Customer Development Process

Customer development is the process of ‘getting out of the building’ to talk to potential customers. Steve Blank is credited as the original thought leader on this topic. In our ‘Test a Business Idea program’, we ask participants to get out of the building to test their business idea with potential customers.  This determines if their b... Continue reading

Smart Goals for Business Startups

Team clarity and focus is important for existing businesses and startups. If you feel your business is lacking direction, it’s time to assess, clarify and communicate the vision and future of your business. A few months ago, I felt our team was struggling. We had two new team members, and although there was lots of activity, we weren’t ve... Continue reading

Business Plan vs Business Model Canvas – An Interesting Trend:

The creation of The Business Model Canvas tool was completed in 2010. If you are not familiar with it, you should be! Many benefits There are many benefits to using a Business Model Canvas: it’s visual, it’s easy to change your business assumptions and it provides a common language for team members from diverse backgrounds to communicate w... Continue reading

A Tip for Advertising Effectiveness

One recommendation we always make to business owners is to test and measure marketing efforts. As example, we've been relentless in how the marketing materials are designed and distributed for a workshop we held. Do you see any of your business's marketing in the points below? What is the best headline? How much do we match the email copy... Continue reading

The Coolest Cooler – Innovation at its Best

Borrowing innovation is easier than inventing from scratch! Think you have to start your invention from scratch? Why not combine existing innovations? Here’s two examples of incredible innovations over 100 years apart: Henry Ford (1908) and the Coolest Cooler (2013) Henry Ford actually borrowed three existing innovations for his assembl... Continue reading

Working Smarter: When to ‘Rent Some Brains’

Business owners, in particular startup business owners, must wear many hats for business success. At times it can feel very much like we’re a ‘jack of all trades, master of none’! It might be time to ‘rent some brains’. First you must determine which of your business activities make your company the most money. (Related Article - O... Continue reading