in Startups

Mental Models to think

In this post I try to list out the different business concepts, mental models or frameworks that I believe are important for founders to understand and to use as a rough guide when working on their startup and to help them think thru the decisions they need to make.

1). Technology diffusion curve – tells you that not all customer are the same, know which group you are targeting and how to communicate with them ; more importantly how you would need to evolve from one group to the other as you scale. Some interesting variants or application here.

2). Crossing the chasm – tells you that you need to be aware on how you grow from serving early customers (ie. innovators to early adopters, to early majorities) to building a scalable company. Example of this curve here.

3). Gartner hype curve – try to map out the development stages and sentiments of your market (technologies) as it goes thru a maturation process (in other words, goes mainstream). This is interesting for you understand the market momentum if you are into new market and technologies. An interesting application or mix here.

4). Maslow law – tells you the type of problem that your startup is solving and how that would impact your customer or user. Important to know where your startup fits in the Maslow pyramid. Example here.

5) Lean startup method by Eric Ries. Helps you to work your ideas into a startup.

6). Running lean method by Ash Maurya. Practical hands-on on running lean.

7). Customer development method by Steve Blank (Book: Four steps to epiphany). Take you thru a wider picture of customer development from early to mid stage of a startup.

8). Business model canvas by Alexander Osterwalder. Make business model simple to help you map out you idea.

9). Price elasticity of demand. To help you think thru your pricing strategy but you still need to figure out how you want to price it – either base on cost+profit, delivered or perceived value, market price or others.

10). S-Curve of technology life cycle and how it typically evolve with time. An example here. This helps you to better understand the market you are in and competition.

11). GET the BASIC right for your startup (De-risk the top 3 risk) :

1). This are product-to-market fit (startup phase). Validate your assumptions.
2). Can you monetise your idea?. Understand the economic unit of your business model.
3). Do you have (find) the right story and channel to reach your customer.


12). A/B testing.

13). SaaS metrics.

14). Customer acquisition cost.

15). …

I will continue to update and flesh out this list as I go along.

Write a Comment