Build shit that matters with this startup canvas

Build shit that matters with this startup canvas

We’re told 9 out of 10 startups fail. Here’s how to avoid being just another statistic.

Even though most budding entrepreneurs have heard this figure banded about, they still think they’ll be the successful ones. They’re in the clued-up 10%.

Or so they think.

You see most startup ideas aren’t going to change the world, or even be a viable business.

And that’s because they are just that — ideas.

Which begs the question – are ideas alone worth anything?

Over to serial entrepreneur and TED speaker Derek Sivers…

“It’s so funny when I hear people being so protective of ideas (people who want me to sign an NDA to tell me the simplest idea). To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.”

Here’s his simple formula for the likelihood of startup success:

Image credit: Crew

Image credit: Crew

To make a business, you need to multiply the two.

The most brilliant idea, with no execution, is worth $20.

The most brilliant idea takes great execution to be worth $20,000,000.

It’s not about the killer idea, it’s about how you execute… AND your desire to bring it to life

So it’s clear that need an idea. Ideally a good one.

You also need get off your arse and do something about it.

But you also need the passion and determination to see it through. Just because there’s a business opportunity, it doesn’t mean you’ll spend the next few years burning the midnight oil to see it become a success.

It’s about doing something that gets you genuinely excited and energised. And if it has that affect on you, chances are that will rub off on other people too.

Your mission becomes a magnet, attracting collaborators that can help you bring your vision to life.

“What are you so passionate about that you’d be happy doing it for 10 years without making money?” Tony Hsieh, Zappos

Take your passion and make it happen

But as convincing as your ideas might sound to you, and as excited as you might be, it’s important to recognise that they need to be unleashed into the real world to learn what’s going to work and what’s not.

“Everybody has a plan until they’re punched in the face” Mike Tyson

It’s about doing.

Not waiting for the perfect time to get started. But starting now, before you’re ready.

But where to start? Spend weeks creating a 30-page business plan or take the sensible option and start to design your business on 1 page?

[Spoiler alert: Choose the latter. It will save you time, a lot of wasted effort and a plan that will most likely turn out to be fiction]

The Happy Startup Canvas – a simple framework for creating a company thatmatters

Before setting up The Happy Startup School, we ran a startup studio, helping dozens of tech entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life. Those few years were our apprenticeship – learning from others mistakes, as well as our own. We worked with various tools and techniques but felt that too many of these, and the startup world in general, focused on the mechanics of starting a business.

We felt that it was time we made our businesses more human and in the process gave them a better chance of survival. We could see that the world was changing, the Purpose Economy was a comin’. And the existing tools weren’t fit for purpose.

The lean canvas or business model canvas work just fine if you want to build a product, but if you want to build a community – a tribe of customers and supporters that feel part of your mission – it falls down. This is where our canvas comes in – it helps you to tap into the growing trends that will ultimately affect how your business operates and start to bake happiness into your DNA:

Customers care more about who they’re buying from – they‘re becoming more interested in the story than the price tag

Employees care more about who they’re working for – they want to feel like they’re contributing to something worthwhile

Founders care more about the impact they’re making – there’s a growing breed of entrepreneur that wants to make money and do good. And if you’ve got this far, we’re guessing you’re one of them.

The canvas is meant to be a starting point for creating the DNA of your organisation. It will get you on the road to becoming a happy startup and allow you live a more purposeful life and build a more impactful business.

We developed it almost 3 years ago and since then it’s been used in workshops and accelerators all over the world, translated into multiple languages and helped thousands bring their startup ideas to life. And it’s been one of the key factors in us building our global community of founders and movement makers.

But while it’s a simple tool, it takes a bit of work to know how to use it. Luckily help is at hand…

***We’re giving away our Happy Startup Canvas e-course for the whole of March***

As it’s the International Day of Happiness on March 20th we’re keen to spread happiness the world over by offering our $99 course in purposeful entrepreneurship for free. We’re looking to help 10,000 people to bring their ideas to life.

Learn how to use the canvas for maximum impact and get confidence in what you’re doing (and why) and be clearer on what to focus on right now.

You’ll get the first of the emails on Monday 21st March. Or if you prefer you can just download the canvas and do it yourself.

Best of luck.