The Tech Creationist Canvas is build on the iterative principles and ideas of the Lean Startup Movement. It is a one-pager with multiple sections giving you an overview and insight of the most important aspects of the tech venture to model. Similar to the Lean Startup Canvas (LSC) it isn’t meant as a static page but should be evaluated and iterated upon. Think of it as the framework around the agile development cycle – the big picture if you will. After each iteration of the development cycle, you go back to the canvas and rethink whether it still makes sense, what needs to be changed and what are the most important risks to evaluate next. These risks and needs for evaluation would then to be the focus of the upcoming cycle.

Purpose driven

The Canvas is build with tech ventures at heart. It recognises that most developer driven ventures are not started for monetary reasons and, instead, focusses on the higher purpose behind the venture. At the same time, it also forces the author to think about purpose: who will be the benefactors of the technology and how to communicate that to them. Through the purpose driven approach, the canvas encourages it’s user to focus on developing technologies that yield the biggest impact, while also motivating them to take impact into account from early on.

By assuming that developer funded tech ventures are build upon purposes (instead of money or “vage value”) it allows for modelling of other kind of organisations including non-profits, single-developers and development groups as well as volunteer organisations. While still forcing everyone to think about the sustainability of the venture they are about to board.

Aware of Structure

Through shifting focus towards real world impact for actual people (rather than just customers) the canvas leaves open how the technology is developed, or build, while zooming in on the eventual benefactors the founders had in mind. This doesn’t only allow for a wide range of experimentation with technology, it even broadens the view by asking the questions of deployment early on. This means we can start modelling our ventures in the early stages of development, while still maintaining enough flexibility to change course throughout the development process.

Aware that it will and should be used early on in a tech venture, the canvas acknowledges the inherently different structure of the building stage versus the production stage. It asks the question of how a technollgy will be build initially, but also how to translate it into a sustainable system. Through the canvas reminds the founders that it is probably helpful to think of both areas. And by holding the founder accountable – they are, after all, updating it every agile cycle – prevent them from getting stuck in the “just this other features”-loop.

Knowing the target group

By honestly approaching this common issue and adding the topic of the benefactors to the conversation early on, the Canvas aids the tech founder in thinking about who to talk to to make their venture sustainable. At the same time the Tech Creationist Canvas acknowledges that many projects are funded through the founding developers time (and might be able to sustain that way) or through third parties that aren’t necessarily the primary benefactors but have a vested interest in aiding in the process like NGO’s, governments, accelerators or venture capitalists. It acknowledges that both time and money but also other measures are needed and can help to grow and make the venture into a sustainable one.


Through all of these factors the Tech Creationist Canvas is a tool that helps developers to gauge their risks and evaluate their ideas with respect to impact and sustainability, from early on. It asks the the techies the tough questions while aiding in finding solutions for those. These are questions he is only able to answer through his in depth understanding of how technology is developed and the how development cycles are structured. Overall the goal of the Tech Creationist Canvas is to aid more developers in translating the fun technology they’ve been building, into real world, impactful and sustainable ventures.

Read Next