Founder’s journey overview

Identifying the 5 essential risks that your startup MUST OVERCOME

to build a thriving and SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS


guide Topics


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+ Founder's Journey Framework Defined

Essential question: Which methods do successful entrepreneurs use to understand their customers’ needs BEFORE building products?

Objectives: Understand the riskiest assumption in order faced by every startup and why entrepreneurs should validate each assumption before building a scalable version of their solution.

  • Define what the Founder's Journey is focused on.

  • Determine how to avoid the Highway to Startup HELL.

  • Explore how to apply the Validation Methodology.

  • Discuss the timeline that successful entrepreneurs follow to validate their startup’s riskiest assumptions.

By applying the Founder's Journey Framework to Lean Startup, you’ll be able to understand the riskiest assumptions that your startup faces in order and why you should validate each assumption prior to building a scalable solution.

If you’ve spent the past 6 months attending startup workshops or pursuing an advisor for your startup, this lesson will teach you what the 5 RISKIEST ASSUMPTIONS are that every startup must overcome, why validating those assumption matter to the success of your startup, what actions you should be taking to avoid these critical dead-ends and when you should take them.

+ Problem Assumption

Essential question: Why do entrepreneurs need to identify compelling problems worth solving?

Objectives: Understand the necessity of starting with a problem and identify which customer is suffering the most from a given problem.

  • Understand why solving the same problem for many people helps you create a business.

  • Learn why finding a compelling problem to solve is an essential first step.

  • Discuss why understanding market segments is essential to finding Early Adopters that are looking to solve their problem now.

  • Explore techniques entrepreneurs use to identify the compelling problems worth solving.

  • Examine how to know if you’ve found a compelling problem and an accessible customer.

By first focusing on problems instead of products and identifying customers who want a given problem solved, you’ll be able to understand the problems that your customers want to pay you to solve and know how to deliver value to your customers while solving that problem.

If you’ve spent 1 year launching a product with no success, this lesson will teach you why it’s essential to discover everyday problems that your customers are actively trying solve and determine which customers are your Early Adopters who will tolerate your imperfect solution as you refine it.

+ Channel Assumption

Essential question: Why are marketing channels essential to entrepreneurs finding new customers efficiently?

Objectives: Explore how founders validate marketing offers through customer channels and determine which channel is best to consistently attract new customers.

  • Learn why finding new customers consistently is essential for your startup to be successful.

  • Understand why startups identify channels to reach new customers before building a product.

  • Explore why using self-evident language is essential to describe the problem that helps you reach new customer.

  • Learn why you should measure the effectiveness of your message across various channels.

  • Examine how to know if your channel has been validated.

By exploring different methods of messaging to reaching new customers who have the same problem, you’ll understand why channel discovery is essential to create awareness of your product efficiently.

If you’re attracting less than 10 sales leads per quarter for your product or service, this lesson will teach you why developing a channel and simplifying your marketing message will increase your qualified sales leads by 300% within 90 days.

+ Pricing Assumption

Essential question: Why do successful entrepreneurs try to pre-sell their products before building them?

Objectives: Understand the buyer’s journey and how entrepreneurs optimize pricing for different buyer needs.

  • Learn why the price your customer is willing to pay to solve their problem correlates to value rather than cost.

  • Discuss why it’s essential to determine value pricing and the effect on building the right product.

  • Explore why understanding the Buyer’s Journey is key to designing a sales funnel.

  • Understand why testing different price points is essential to accelerating sales.

By knowing how much your customers are willing to pay, you’ll understand your product’s price constraints so you build the right product at the right price that delivers value to your customer while delivering profits to your startup.

If customers consistently indicate your price is too high, this lesson will teach you why you should validate pricing prior to product build and how to delight your customers by understanding customer value.

+ Product Assumption

Essential question: Why do entrepreneurs need to deliver customer solutions that are 10x better than any existing alternative?

Objectives: Learn how to determine the features and functionality that deliver customer value prior to product development.

  • Understand why only the features that solve your customers problem should be implemented.

  • Learn why your product needs to provide 10x value over existing alternatives.

  • Explore the 5 methods for creating a competitive advantage and how that prevents competitors from copying your solution.

  • Discuss why customers make purchase decisions based on emotions.

  • Identify 3 reasons why customers share products that they love with others.

  • Examine how to know if you’re delivering value to your customer.

By understanding the value drivers that map to your product’s features, you’ll be able build product or service capabilities that your customers regularly use and tell others about while decreasing your cost of customer acquisition.

If you’ve struggled to determine the scope for your product or service, this lesson will teach you why you should prioritize those features that maximize value delivery for your customers while solving their problem 10X better than their current solutions.

+ Scale Assumption

Essential question: Why is growth planning a critical activity for entrepreneurs prior to product launch?

Objectives: Discover the steps successful entrepreneurs use to identify their unique key business activities and metrics that help them drive growth.

  • Understand why it’s essential to plan for growth before scaling your startup.

  • Learn which the key activities should be the focus of the executive team when planning for growth.

  • Learn the 3 key checkpoints that help founders validate they are ready to scale their business while avoiding premature scaling.

  • Understand why measuring key activities using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is essential for scaling.

  • Discover the value of goal setting using KPIs to focus and align the organization towards delivering growth.

  • Examine the value of optimizing and innovating on each key activity to create new business opportunities.

By developing a scaling strategy prior to product launch, you’ll understand why it’s essential to identity the key activities to focus your growth plans on and how to serve your customers efficiently.

If you’ve lost customers due to unmanaged growth, this lesson will teach you why you should begin to build a sustainable business with clear metrics before you scale.



Mastery Skills Gained

Business assumption understanding
Validation process identification
Product development planning



Early stage startup team members (pre-funding through seed stage), inexperienced entrepreneurs, curious enterprise executives and employees, university students interested in learning lean methods






Web-based instruction with interactive exercises

On-demand with live feedback



16 videos

5 activities

7 hours to complete