Briefly, in the last 30 years the method of taking an idea to market has been inverted. Instead of making product, marketing and selling it, the internet (and huge customer choice) has moved us to one where we research, market, sell and then make the product. The business world has responded by creating a huge set of tools to help companies and entrepreneurs understand the new world. This plethora of tools makes it challenging for entrants into the innovation space to understand the jargon and how to apply the new thinking to move forward.

There are too many tools & too much jargon.

The book I am proposing aims to solve this problem.

It is a reference book with the following sections:

  • A short overview of the most common startup tools along with references for further information and worked examples.
  • Limitations of the tool are listed (I’ve yet to see this in any written form).
  • Details of which tools to use before and after the current tool are listed and why they should be chosen.
  • A flow diagram to help entrepreneurs understand how all the tools work together and how to select the next one to apply to increase their knowledge.
  • A glossary to cover the most common terms in use (and note when there is more than one term for the same concept).


When you are working with entrepreneurs (either individually or as a group) which of these tools do you use? I may have missed some, explained them poorly or you may feel that one is a particular “stand out” – if so, please let me know in the text box at the end.

All comments gratefully received.

Tool name How you feel about it Overview
4Ps IrrelevantDon't careImportant The Four P's of Marketing: Price, Product, Promotion and Place.
7 Business Models IrrelevantDon't careImportant A summary of the Seven basic business models: Product/Service Sales, Brokerage Fee, Lending/Renting/Leasing, Subscription, Usage, Advertising, Licensing/Franchising.
Ansoff Matrix IrrelevantDon't careImportant Four quadrants: MArket penetration, Market development, Product development and Diversification.
Business Model Canvas IrrelevantDon't careImportant Classic Business Model Canvas from Strategyzer with 9 boxes to complete created by Alex Osterwalder.
Competitor Analysis IrrelevantDon't careImportant Understanding who are competitors and how to compare their solutions to your own.
Customer Archetype IrrelevantDon't careImportant The process of defining a set of avatars or personas to describe particular customers. Could use the Customer Archteype Worksheet as an example.
Customer Interview Planner IrrelevantDon't careImportant A process to create questions to ask during the research phase of problem understanding.
Customer Value Optimisation IrrelevantDon't careImportant The process of creating a sales funnel with minimal losses and feedback loops.
Differentiation IrrelevantDon't careImportant Take the 11 models of differentiation and apply them to your own to see which option will mark you as different from the competition.
Distribution Channel Map IrrelevantDon't careImportant Developing a drawing or visual diagram to portray the movement of goods through a company's distribution channels to the ultimate customers.
Double Diamond IrrelevantDon't careImportant The Design Process of taking a problem and working through four stages to solution: Discover, Define, Develop and Deliver.
Experiment Board IrrelevantDon't careImportant An idea generation tool created by Javelin with threee parts: Disover Customer Needs, Test potential solutions & measure product/market fit.
Gamification IrrelevantDon't careImportant The application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service.
Investor Finder IrrelevantDon't careImportant A framework to analyse types of investors to understand their alignment and needs.
Job to be Done IrrelevantDon't careImportant Application of the Job to be Done theory.
Lean Canvas IrrelevantDon't careImportant Ash Maurya's update to BMC targeted understanding the product to be built.
Market Segmentation IrrelevantDon't careImportant Market segmentation is the process of dividing a market of potential customers into groups, or segments, based on different characteristics. The segments created are composed of consumers who will respond similarly to marketing strategies and who share traits such as similar interests, needs, or locations.
Mission Model Canvas IrrelevantDon't careImportant BMC adapted by Steve Blank for filling a mission rather than making a profit.
Networking on Steroids IrrelevantDon't careImportant Key methods to improve networking.
Partner Canvas IrrelevantDon't careImportant Created to help identify the four elements of an excellent partnership - more info at Value Chain Generation.
PEST IrrelevantDon't careImportant Consider four factors:
Political, Economic, Social and Technological that impact the business. Could add Legal & Environmental to make PESTLE.
Pitch Delivery IrrelevantDon't careImportant The heirachy of pitch development: Research, Ordering/Framing, Presentation Content and Cognition.
Pixar Canvas IrrelevantDon't careImportant Use a simple story line to convert massive into outcome. Formerly Pollenizer.
Porter's Five Forces IrrelevantDon't careImportant Framework is a tool for analyzing competition within an industry. It draws from industrial organization (IO) economics to derive five forces that determine the competitive intensity and, therefore, the attractiveness (or lack of it) of an industry in terms of its profitability.
Product Builder IrrelevantDon't careImportant Canvas designed by Petr Adamek and Craig Davis: Take customers through Workflow,
stages & insights.
Purpose/Mission/Vision IrrelevantDon't careImportant Writing down the Big Impact, Massive or BHAG.
Reverse Income Statement IrrelevantDon't careImportant Starting with a company that is breaking even, work back to understand the income required to make it happen.
Sales Tracker IrrelevantDon't careImportant Canvas designed by Petr Adamek and Craig Davis: Covering research (targets & prospects), Qualify (learning, insights), Close (sales)
& measurement.
SCOTSMAN IrrelevantDon't careImportant Cover 8 elements creitical for a successful sale: Size, Competition, Opportunities,
Timing, Solution, Money, Authority and Needs.
SWOT IrrelevantDon't careImportant Classic Strength, Weakness, Opportunity Threat model.
Team Alignment IrrelevantDon't careImportant Measures the degree to which team members are in alignment on their Purpose, Values, Vision, Goals, Procedures and Roles.
Team Strength IrrelevantDon't careImportant Identify strengths and weaknesses in a start up team and how to resolve them.
TRL, IRL and ERL IrrelevantDon't careImportant Three metrics to measure start up progress: Trechnology, Investor and Executive readiness levels.
Unqiue Selling Proposition IrrelevantDon't careImportant Applying the three key elements of the Unique Selling Proposition to the proposed solution.
Universal Pitch Deck IrrelevantDon't careImportant The ten slides required in every pitch deck to answer Investors' questions.
Value Exchange Ecosystem Map IrrelevantDon't careImportant Identify the flow of value exchange between all the partners required for a company to succeed.
Value Finder IrrelevantDon't careImportant Canvas designed by Petr Adamek and Craig Davis: Stages Explore (problem), Pitch (value), Concierge (solution).
Value Proposition IrrelevantDon't careImportant A simple way to understand your customers needs, and design products and services they want.
Any other comments? Any areas you think are missing? Are duplicates? The explanation doesn't make sense?
Your name (required)
Your Email (required)