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October 25, 2013 / cbkingston

Lean Tribe Canvas

So far we’ve learned about:

User Empathy: feeling your customer/user’s pain, by observing the situation from a different perspective to gain insight (toilet trip).

Systems: map how people are connected by the visible and invisible forces around them, through observing the path a customer takes through an activity (business spy).

Establishing needs: finding the underlying cause of your user’s emotional, cognitive and physical needs (creating a persona for your shoes).

Realising solutions: “thinking with our hands” through creating physical prototypes to test ideas quickly and collaboratively (making your shoes).

I hope you have been/will be using these methods with your teams as you look for a problem your business can solve. Today we’re going to learn how to build a business model to support your solution for your first customers.

Two weeks ago, I introduced the business model canvas as a way of getting you to think about the different parts of your business you will need to build. Today we’re going to try the Lean Startup Canvas version of that canvas.


Begin with your customer and their problems. Some of you may have identified a segment of people you want to serve with your business and are/will look for problems they have and then build a business solution around that. Others might discover a problem and then identify what segment(s) have that problem. Depending on which comes first for you, the problem or the customer, will determine where you begin.

When you are thinking about your customer, make sure you separate the people giving you money (customers) from the people using the product/service (end-users). In some cases, the people using your product/service might not be the people paying for it. As you decide who your customers are, determine how many of them exist and ask yourself these questions:

Are there enough people in your segment who will buy your product to make it worthwhile?

Are there too many people in your segment, spreading your marketing strategy across too many channels or expensive ones?

Think “tribe” not “market”.

You will probably think of a few tribes you can sell to, each of these tribes should have their own canvas.

Looking at the different tribes, decide which one is the priority (Who is easier to sell to? profitable, accessible, influential) and work on the boxes in the canvas.

Here is my version of the canvas called the Lean Tribe Canvas:

lean tribe canvas by @corrijo based on Lean Canvas and Tribe Marketing @catherinemorel5


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