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Thots on High-Performance Startups

I’m spending a lot of time lately exploring how to take the Lean Startup and Business Model Canvas methodologies from the tech startup world and into the wider arena of what I call “high-performance startups” – entrepreneurial projects that offer a significant value-added solution to an important problem. The developing matrix of ideas is based on a  mashup of concepts from Eric Ries, Steve Blank, Ash Mauriya, Alexander Osterwalder, Renée Mauborgne, Clayton Christensen et al, with some “davenderisms” thrown in.

Recently I led a workshop on Coaching High-Performance Startups, the fifth one I’ve delivered so far this year. Each time I give this workshop the concepts get clearer. However, these workshops have all been in French and I want to test them now in English. By the way, the workshop notes (in French) are here. To get your opinion, here is a rough translation/adaptation of my core ideas on High-Performance Startups.

What do you think?


The High-Performance Startup

A High-Performance Startup is an idea searching for a duplicatable and scalable business model.

A business model describes how you create, deliver and receive value.
(In French I use the word “harvest” instead of “receive” to put more emphasis on the added value.)

A High-Performance Startup tackles an important problem by offering a solution which generates a significant added value for all stakeholders, with the goal of becoming the “go-to” solution for its target market.

A High-Performance Startup uses business innovation as a lever for exponential growth:

Offer Innovation (the “what”) – a new product or service that has not existed until now
Process Innovation (the “how”) – making an existing product or service cheaper, faster, higher quality
Market Innovation (the “who”) – taking an existing product or service and applying it to a heretofore underserved or ignored market
Value Innovation (the “why”) – finding a value proposition that is underserved by competitors in the market and making that the core proposition, thereby shifting the competitive landscape.

The primary strategy of the High-Performance Startup is to provoke a “disrupt” : to boldly interrupt the status-quo of the market by offering a solution that is distinctly more valuable for the user/client than what currently exists, based on the user’s/client’s perspective.

A High-Performance Startup executes a strategy of identifying hypothesis about its business model, and iterating through continuous validation until reaching a decision to either continue, iterate or pivot. A pivot is a major change of the business model, the offer or a perspective of the problem, to create a greater value-added that is recognized and appreciated by the user/client.

A High-Performance Startup aims to satisfy the 1% of its target market that recognizes the value of the solution and who is ready to commit.

Only when a High-Performance Startup has defined, tested, and validated a demonstratable way to create, deliver, and harvest value, can it evolve into a High-Performance Business.


For more information

Image Credit: Patrick Cardinal (patcard) on Flickr
Direct link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/patcard/8015592244/in/photostream/
Used under Creative Commons licence

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