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Startup? Where Do We Actually Start?

Startup where do we start Lean REV21

A few weeks ago I wrote about why I “decided to quit my job to start a tech company..” and after the encouraging messages and notes received, we, the REV21 team, decided to continue documenting our entrepreneur journey.

We want to share with you our ideas, thoughts, success and also the problems we may face throughout this journey.

Even more, we want to encourage and maybe even inspire a few of you to take the leap of faith to start the venture you have been talking about for several months/years already. Maybe not quit your job and do this full time yet, but at least start working on your side project afterwork (instead of watching Netflix for example..). Life is far too short to have regrets and not to take any risk. So as Sir Richard Branson is saying: “Screw it, let’s do it!”.

The Lean Startup Model

I must admit before actually quitting my “secure” corporate job, I read a lot of books and did lots of research online to understand what full-time entrepreneurship could look like.

Following several friends’ recommendations, I started reading the book “The Lean Startup” written by Eric Ries. I highly recommend this book to any entrepreneur wannabe – this book is gold. It explains the reverse process of building a startup.

Basically instead of spending a lot of time creating a detailed business plan, a Go-To market plan with milestones and financial statements/forecasts so precise that the NASA will be jealous, the Lean Startup model recommends to focus on learning: Get a MVP (Minimum Viable Product) as simple as possible out to the market as fast as possible and apply the Build -> Measure > Feedback loop as core of the startup model.

The worst thing that can happen to a startup is to spend a lot (a lot!) of time and money building (or programming) the perfect product and business plan, to realize at the product launch that nobody wants it… in that case, it doesn’t matter if we launched on time, on budget or if we have followed carefully the initial plan…

“We must learn what customers really want, not what they say they want or what we think they should want” – Eric Ries

A startup is created under “extreme uncertainty” and making sure we at REV21 develop the product step by step as we reach learning milestones will help us reduce (unfortunately not avoid) our risk of spending time developing something that nobody wants. We want to keep everyone involved in the development process and gather as much feedback as possible.

Business Model Canvas and Customer Development Process

Another great resource I’ve found very valuable was the free online course of Steve Blank which provides insights on how to build a startup, focusing on the Business Model Canvas and validating ideas with real-life customers.–ep245

In his course, Steve Blank is describing the Customer Development Process in details and separates the four steps into two major areas: Search and Execution.

Customer Discovery -> Customer Validation -> Customer Creation -> Company Building

At REV21, we are just getting started, we are now focusing on the Customer Discovery phases:

Phase 1: 

  • State hypothesis
  • Draw Business Model Canvas

Phase 2:

  • Get out of the building
  • Build a wireframe/prototype
  • Test the understanding of the customer problem or need

Phase 3:

  • Build a high fidelity application or prototype
  • Test the understanding of customer’s agreement that we have a solution to their problem/need (Product / Market fit)

Phase 4:

  • Verify or Pivot
  • Are we actually solving a high value problem or need for people in the industry?

A vital framework that we are going to follow closely.

Help us better understand your needs and challenges in the F&B industry

After stating hypothesis and drawing the Business Model Canvas, we are now continuously collecting feedback to validate (or not) our assumptions 🙂

Our mission at REV21 is: to help F&B businesses sustain their operations and achieve their full revenue potential

Your insights are very valuable to us, therefore, if you want to help us, get in touch directly to schedule a call/meeting, or if you are a bit more shy but you still want to contribute and help us, fill out the survey below (for anyone involved with Food&Beverage at any level):

We will share with you the aggregated results in our next article. Let’s see if our preliminary assumptions were justified or not.

Thank you so much!


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