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FounderWay Overview Framework

Updated: Aug 10, 2023

Our frameworks can be a lot to digest without guidance. In the next couple of posts, we will be taking a deep dive into each framework, starting with the Overview Framework.

The Overview Framework

The Overview Framework is meant to help you answer the question of “What’s your idea?” For most, the idea that sparks the want to start something new needs to be workshopped. The Overview Framework is designed to help flesh out your idea and find its product-market fit. Product-market fit describes how well your product satisfies the demand of the market, and the lack of product-market fit is the most common reason that businesses fail.

Ideas usually die from founder burnout or decreased motivation. To fight burnout, the Home Run Scenario section is where you can write down what you imagine your business will become if everything goes right. The Exit Scenarios section includes the alternative outcomes of starting your business if you hit obstacles. By starting with the end scenarios, FounderWay hopes that this framework will fuel your motivation and keep you focused on the big picture.

If exploring the end scenarios does not energize you, then FounderWay will have saved you from wasting time and resources on an idea that you weren’t really energized about. If that is the case, then it’s time to find a new idea to pursue!

We hope the Overview Framework helps you choose an exciting idea to focus on, let’s look at how the framework helps with finding product-market fit. The Overview Framework gives you a place to lay out all the info you have on both the product and the market, with the goal of discovering how to bridge the two sides. The sections on each side of the framework are meant to ensure you do not overlook any area of your product or market. Sections that are empty or not filled out to your liking should be your first areas of focus. If you don’t understand your market, then you don’t know who you are selling to. If you don’t know your product, then you will aimlessly burn resources trying to “figure it out.”

Once you have a good idea of your market and product, it’s time to think about how to bridge the market. Brainstorm how your product will provide the value your market wants, and with the mechanism or differentiator to make it stick.

A mechanism or differentiator is a feature, design, or some part of your product or service that makes it stand out. By combining these mechanisms with some form of defensibility, you can take market share and hold on to it. Defensibility is the aspect of your product or service that makes it hard to replicate or steal. With a defined mechanism, value and defensibility, your product or service will have a better chance of survival and success. As an illustration, the value that Facebook brings is an easy way to stay connected, and the mechanism for growth is their endless scrolling news feed. The feed keeps users on the app and provides a place for ad revenue. Facebook’s defensibility is their large, existing user base or network.

Aggressively market research these ideas and let the data you collect help with confirming or denying your bridge ideas. Your efforts in market research will save you valuable time and resources in later stages, and give you a baseline of data that will guide your future decisions.

Once you figure out how to bridge your product and market, it’s time to evaluate any key advantages or disadvantages you might have. Key advantages will make things easier and further motivate you, while key disadvantages will help you see how difficult the path ahead really is. By weighing these advantages and disadvantages, it will allow you to round out your opinion on if the idea is worth chasing, or waiting for the next exciting idea to come along.

Next week, we will take a look at the Monetization Framework to answer the question of “How will I spend and make money?”

“New products are inherently hard to launch because both the problem and solution are unknown.” - Eric Ries, The Lean Startup Author

Additional Resources

Your Goal is 10 Unaffiliated Customers

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