The Lean Canvas was developed by Ash Maurya in 2010 and has since very quickly caught on because due to its simplicity and powerful ability to transform business ideas into a lean and actionable model that allows for a more fluid transition when things change, as things most often will.
In his book, Running Lean, Maurya talks about the fact that most entrepreneurs and start-ups fail with their "plan A." Therefore, developing a traditional 60-page business model does not always make practical sense. This is particularly the case when the model is based on untested assumptions. Maurya's concept of "running lean" allows you to continually test and refine your business model by using a single page diagram he calls the Lean Canvas. Simply put, the Lean Canvas is your business' entire essence on a single paper.
After creating a Lean Canvas layout, you can easily share it with clients and stakeholders allowing their input to inform you as you continually develop your business plan. A Lean Canvas is easily updatable and allows you to make changes along the way addressing the market needs more efficiently and then testing for validation. The process is more cyclical and dynamic than the static form of a traditional business model.
In future articles, we will go over how to design a lean canvas and the reasons you should be using the Lean Canvas to write your business plan.