Over the last couple of weeks I’ve taken a deeper look into the Lean Startup Canvas. It is an great tools to gauge risks and evaluate business models and is widely used in tech. However, I came to the conclusion that for developer-driven tech ventures it isn’t only a bad fit, it is outright harmful. Today I want to share with you an alternative approach.

Introducing: The Tech Creationist Canvas

The Tech Creationist Canvas

Based on the iterative ideas and principles of the Lean Startup, the Tech Creationist Canvas, too, acts as a living document. Though totally applicable to startup and businesses in general, the Tech Creationist Canvas has the venture’s purpose at heart and asks the author to think about the problem, the solution, the benefactors (rather than customers) and how to communicate with them.

Build for tech ventures, the Tech Creationist Canvas takes account of the inherinetly different structure of their production cycle. Thereby forcing the author to think about the initial costs as well as how, when and through whom to make the venture grow and hoe to sustain it, from early on. Through that we avoid common pitfalls and the “just that other feature”-loop. Learn more about the basic principles of the Tech Creationist Canvas and read the in-depth guide for all sections here.

Including an editor – free and open source

One common issue I, as a developer, have with many business tools is that they aren’t very accessible nor easy to track, spread and share. A paper with post-its simply isn’t very helpful in a distributed team, most online tools don’t even allow public sharing nor proper exporting. Annoyed by this lack of accessibility, I have developed a yaml-file based editor and renderer for the Tech Creationist Canvas, with plenty of example to get you started quickly.

By using a plain text file, you can easily track process by putting the source in your Git-Repository alongside the Readme and the Licence-File. The online editor has build-in support for loading canvases from github repositories, gists and through base64-data-parameters. Please don’t hesitate to report bugs or send pull request on it. Read all about the editor here.

Start the editor now

The experiment continues

Though I am quite happy with the state the Tech Creationist Canvas is at right now, I do consider it a living experiment too. Over the next couple of weeks I will use the Tech Creationist Canvas to describe existing (and upcoming) tech ventures in a series about Open Source and Community-driven Businesses. If you want to see the Canvas in action, wait for what’s coming.

I’d like to have your feedback and input: What do you think about the Canvas? Does it work for your case? Or are you feeling/knowing something important is missing if you model through that? Please let me know, through the comments here, Github Issues or emailed directly.

Read Next