I’m often asked to give people a checklist of assumptions that they can use to get started developing a discovery driven plan. Here are some of the most critical:
What is my profit model?
- Have I really thought through my unit of business (what I sell)?
- Have I thought through how my business is going to run – cost, asset, and revenue architectures?
- What assumptions am I making about major obstacles and the likelihood of breaking through them
Who are my customers?
- Who will be buying and why? Can you name them (your ‘first five’ sales)?
- What will produce or reduce resistance to buying?
- How do customers from different market segments behave differently?
- Market growth rate?
- How will the customer be accessed (distribution?)
- How many potential customers must I contact before one agrees to buy?
What about my offer will make a compelling difference in the marketplace?
- Functional characteristics relative to market’s need
- Cost and quality
- Entire ecosystem in place – or can be put together
- Service requirements and costs
Who is my competition?
- Different categories – traditional, potential, oblique
- Likely reaction to my move
- Visibility of my move them
- Likely responses to my move – price, functionality, marketing
- Capacity to respond
- Motivation to respond
- Ability to produce at required scale
- Proprietary advantages and how much lead time they’ll give you here
- Availability of people with required knowledge and skills
- Development time and cost
- Plan or resource independence
- Alignment of selling, production, servivce rhythms
- Cash required to reach cash breakeven – daily, weekly, monthly breakevens
- Investment required to P&L breakeven
- gross and net margins
- Costs and profits at various volumes
- Support of key internal players
- Availability of qualified management
- Organizational setting and why this makes sense