Basic Lean Canvas Exercises at July 2018 Bootstrapper Breakfasts in Silicon Valley

This is the handout from our “3×5 card workshop” on the Lean Canvas at the July 2018 Bootstrapper Breakfasts in Silicon Valley. Attendees did one of the basic exercises on a 3×5.

Basic Exercises for Lean Canvas at Bootstrapper Breakfasts July 2018

Lean Canvas image courtesy 3 Day Startup

Pick one of Customer, Problem, or Solution Focus:

Customer Focus

  • We Want to Help [Customers]
  • Who are Currently relying on [Existing Alternatives]
  • To solve [Problem]
  • Refinement: identify 3-6 objective selection criteria to determine Target customer

Problem Focus

  • We want to Solve [Problem]
  • For [Customers]
  • Currently relying on [Existing Alternatives]
  • Refinement: identify 3-6 diagnostic criteria to help narrow problem definition

Solution Focus:

  • Our [Solution]
  • Replaces [Existing Alternatives]
  • For This [Problem]
  • Refinement: Identify potential types or categories of customer who have this problem and are using one of the existing alternatives

Intermediate Questions

Customer Focus

  • For [Customer Segment]
  • With [Problem]
  • Our [Solution]
  • Offers [Unique Value Proposition]
  • Compared to [Existing Alternatives]
  • Fueled by [Our [Unfair Advantage]

Obsolete Status Quo

  • Unlike [Existing Alternatives]
  • Our [Solution]
  • For [Customer Segment]
  • With [Problem]
  • Offers [Unique Value Proposition]
  • Fueled by [Our Unfair Advantage]

Key Elements of the Full Canvas

  • Customers: focus on Early Adopters (Narrow / Sort / Identification Criteria)
    Given 100 prospects: who is in the most pain or who is most likely to decide quickly
  • Problem
  • Solution
  • Unique Value Proposition
  • Existing Alternatives (status quo baseline for value proposition)
  • Unfair Advantage (e.g expertise, technology, relationships, track record, reputation/brand)

Background / Articles on Lean Canvas

Here are three ways you can fill out a Full Lean Canvas

  1. Free App: Use the free version of Leanstack available at
  2. GDoc: File menu “Make a Copy”) This can also be saved as a Word File.
  3. PDF:
    For some background on the Lean Canvas see Ash Maurya’s “Why the Lean Canvas vs. Business Model Canvas”

Worksheet © SKMurphy, Inc for use at Bootstrapper Breakfasts
(contact Sean Murphy / 408-252-9676)

Image Credit: Lean Canvas Image Courtesy 3 Day Startup Please note that image was not included in original handout, credit is for use in this blog post.

1 thought on “Basic Lean Canvas Exercises at July 2018 Bootstrapper Breakfasts in Silicon Valley”

  1. Pingback: Newsletter August 2018: Making Adjustments at the Half Whle Navigating 2018

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top