Micro-Business Quick Tips #5 - Using Product Canvas to create and define new Products

This is the second article out of a series how to bootstrap your company to sell a first product.
  1. First article introduces “Visualizing your Business Model with Canvas
  2. Second article will cover “Using Product Canvas to create and define new Products
  3. Third article introduces “The Business Model Canvas Playground for Free

Ok, I assume as a brand-new startup-founder, you followed the steps, as outlined in Quick Tip #4 and worked out - potentially iteratively with multiple business model prototype sessions - your target business model by using the Canvas Visualizing Approach. You should have a basic understanding about your target business model be it from a value proposition-, a customer segment, a sales channel point of view or any other of the 9 building blocks topics.

It’s time now to focus on your first product or service you will offer and starting shaping out the details. Also here - as with Alexander Osterwalder and his Business Model Canvas - a Swiss guy called Roman Pichler, worked out a visualized Canvas based approach, simply called „ Product Canvas“. It’s a more Product-/Design focused approach which complements quite well with the Business Model Canvas.

Simply said, it help product owners (you) and his team to create new products and brings together the key pieces of information necessary for a new product creation and describes
  • the users and customer with their needs
  • the products functionality and design as well as
  • the user interaction.

Again a collaborative tool, which helps teams to capture more easily ideas, identify problems and helping in the design and shaping out the product.

The following Canvas Samples (as published on Roman Pichler’s blog, all the credits goes to him) is an excellent sample, how a Canvas (for a Dance App) could look like

The Product Canvas Template can be downloaded from Roman Pichler’s Web page.

If you are new to the approach I propose that you walk through the tutorial

That’s it for today, in the next quick tip I will introduce a tool which allows you to sketch out Business Model- as well as Product Canvas electronically. Not always the best approach (a flip-board with a A0 paper and people assembled around may be more efficient) but it can be used in a day2day manner in case you are working on some new product definitions.

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