Using the Lean Canvas to Track the Product Hypothesis

I recently came across a presentation from Stanford University that suggested students of E145 use the Lean Canvas tool when beginning their startup business model journey. Of course we all have worked with the business canvas model (if not have a look here), but as a product person I had never thought to use the canvas model in the prototyping and pilot phase of a product. I thought I’d share my adaptation of the lean canvas so you may better validate key findings which later become the drivers for your value proposition.

Product Hypothesis Lean Canvas

Create better product hypothesis using a Product Hypothesis Lean Canvas

Note to color coding: Green/Validated, Yellow/Assumption, Red/Invalidated


The canvas below uses the principles of the business model canvas. One area that I have changed is the middle block from Value Proposition to Key Finding. I did this because as we worked with customers with prototypes I realized we were collecting valid hypothesis on their needs and pain. Instead of calling these value propositions at this stage in the game I found it better to document the key findings and attempt to validate or invalidate as we tested with customers.

When findings are validated across multiple groups we can them form a hypothesis around these that drive the value proposition in the business canvas. At this point we can save all validated field and begin testing this these final assumptions and key value propositions by repeating the process.  

If you are looking for some more canvas tools here are a few that may help:

Lean Canvas – from Lean Stack – Lean Canvas is the top choice for entrepreneurs, universities, accelerators, and groups inside big organizations.

Steve Blank – startup tools – Steve wrote the book that launched the Lean Startup movement.

Wikipedia – Business Model Canvas – and while you are on Wiki its a perfect time to make a donation!