How to Build a Web Startup: Lean LaunchPad Edition

9/22/11Follow @sgblank

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Step 4: Build a Low-Fidelity Web Site

For non-coders:

For coders: build the User Interface

Step 5: Customer Engagement (drive traffic to your preliminary website)

  • Start showing the site to potential customers, testing customer segment and value proposition
  • Use Ads, textlinks or Google AdWords, Facebook ads and natural search to drive people to your Minimally Viable web site
  • Use Mailchimp, Postmark or Google Groups to send out emails and create groups
  • Create online surveys with Wufoo or Zoomerang
  • Get feedback on your MVP features and U/I

Step 6: Build a more complete solution (Connect the U/I to code)

Step 7: Track your progress in driving traffic – Test the “Customer Problem” by collecting Customer Data

Step 8: Test the “Customer Solution” by building a full featured High Fidelity version of your website

  • Update the Website with information learned in Step 5-7
For all Steps: Monitor and record changes week by week using the Lean LaunchLab

For Class: Use the Lean LaunchLab to produce a 7-minute weekly progress presentation

  • Start by putting up your business model canvas
  • Changes from the prior week should be highlighted in red
  • Lessons Learned. This informs the group of what you learned and changed week by week – Slides should describe:
  1. Here’s what we thought (going into the week)
  2. Here’s what we found (Customer Discovery during the week)
  3. Here’s what we’re going to do (for next week)
  4. Emphasis should be on the discovery done for that weeks assigned canvas component (channel, customer, revenue model) but include other things you learned about the business model.

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If you’re Building a Company Rather Than a Class Project

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Comments, suggestions, corrections, additions and brickbats welcomed.

Steve Blank is the co-author of The Startup Owner's Manual and author of the Four Steps to the Epiphany, which details his Customer Development process for minimizing risk and optimizing chances for startup success. A retired serial entrepreneur, Steve teaches at Stanford University Engineering School and at U.C. Berkeley's Haas Business School. He blogs at www.steveblank.com. Follow @sgblank

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