Early stage companies often fail because they invest time and money trying to solve the wrong problems for customers. Industry wisdom says that most business models don’t survive the first contact with customers, but startups are notorious for constructing plans that delay this contact in favor of developing features for products that nobody actually wants.
Lean Startup methodology is a best practice approach for allowing startups (and other entrepreneurially minded organizations) to empirically test their innovative business models by shipping smaller increments of software (known as minimum viable products, or MVPs) to customers, sooner. Courage worked with the CEOs of these three startups to help them refactor their business and product roadmaps to deliver MVPs that effectively measured their business models, iteratively. By implementing an empirical system of “innovation accounting” these startup CEOs were able to rapidly hone in on the real value that their products deliver to their customers and focus on the software development that produced meaningful results instead of vanity metrics.
GoodWorld is a social-giving platform that allows you donate money to charity through hash-tags on Facebook and Twitter. Once GoodWorld started measuring their actual conversion rates, they realized that their software was actually more complete than they knew and was already converting customers at better than average industry rates. GoodWorld used the Courage engagement to prove to their employees and investors that the platform worked and was ready to scale, raising $1.6 Million in seed funding and garnering national media attention.
Senior 65+, a supplemental Medicare exchange site, realized that their first licensed product didn’t measure their business hypothesis. As a result, they quickly stood up a Software-as-a-Service MVP which allowed them to measure and create real demand for supplemental Medicaid coverage while generating revenue.
Start Monday, a mobile video HR platform that supports hiring staff quickly and effectively, used the Courage engagement to pivot their business model and marketing to line up with the way that customers were actually using their software.