Whenever an entrepreneur or innovator has an idea, they typically ask themselves “what can I build to test my idea?”. Rather, they should be asking, “I have a big idea, how can I break it down into smaller chunks of risk and identify the most important risks relevant to my idea.”
Indian businesswoman Rashmi Sinha, and CEO of SlideShare says “A founding vision for a startup is similar to a scientific hypothesis”.
At the start of any new business idea, your risk and uncertainty is at its highest, you really have no idea if it will have any traction in the market or if anyone is willing to buy your product or service. It’s your job as an entrepreneur to make the risk explicit by breaking your big business idea down into smaller, testable hypotheses. Quite often, what we see in the real world is that people don’t spend time figuring out their most important hypotheses first. I.e, The most important hypothesis is the one that makes all other hypotheses irrelevant if it’s not true. For example, if customers don’t care it doesn’t matter if you can build it or not.
This visual shows an easy and straightforward approach to help you identify your most important hypotheses. Extract the hypotheses from your Value Proposition Canvas and Business Model Canvas and map them out on the Assumptions Map based on which ones you think poses the most risk to your idea.
One of the primary features of a scientific hypothesis is testability. We extract and prioritize our business hypotheses in order to determine which ones to test in the real world. Before you even think about building anything, always ask yourself, how do I find a way to test my most important hypotheses as cheaply and quickly as possible.
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