The next few posts will focus on what we refer to as the the “Venture for Discovery” Process”. This step-by-step process has been designed to help entrepreneurs conduct proper due diligence as they develop the various aspects of their business model. At Columbia Business School, many of us have adopted Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur’s Business Model Canvas (BMC) as a template to guide students through the business model development process. Over the past couple of years as we teach and discuss how to best apply the BMC to numerous new venture ideas, we have developed tools and approaches to support the testing and refinement of your business model.
As you develop a business model for a new venture concept, you naturally make several assumptions about customer problems, solutions, expected value, and the like. Testing the validity of these assumptions takes effort in the form of extensive customer engagement and market research. However, if one follows a organized plan to test business model assumptions, the time spent will be worth it. We call this step-by-step planning Venture Discovery.
Venture for Discovery is a holistic approach to investigating the business model assumptions that are critical to the success of your enterprise. Venture discovery explores each element of your business model through extensive personal reflection, customer engagement coupled with active engagement with market and industry resources and stakeholders (see Table). In our next post, we will start with personal discovery and how to best evaluate critical knowledge and access points required to successfully develop your venture.