#LeanLondon - Option Cards w/ @saintsal

Balancing focus vs new opportunities. An advanced business model technique taught in accelerators/


Telling an entrepreneur to focus is like telling Gary Vaynerchuk to shut up.


1) It's pointless.

2) Why would you want that? It goes against what makes them great!


Working with founders in high-pressure accelerators all over Europe, we've developed an technique called Option Cards that helps with them make these decisions and move forward quickly.


It's based on Alex Osterwalder's advanced level of business model proficiency, where the focus is on understanding and validating dynamics, rather than using the Canvas as a dashboard on your wall. (If your sticky notes are gathering dust, it's a sign that stepping up to the advanced level could be valuable now.)


Option Cards is light-weight, process-agnostic, low-tech, and cuts out the time-wasting in deciding what to validate next.  It's a kind of hack that helps you spot and validate the key dynamics of your entire business model, rather than the individual blocks, so you quickly design a business model that fits your target market.

Join or login to comment.

  • Salim V.

    Here are links to the various things I mentioned on Tuesday:

    Getting going with Option Cards
    Subscribe to my blog at http://www.saintsal.com I'll be sharing more there!
    £5.50 for 1000 blank cards on Amazon http://sal.st/ZMBTCK

    Useful principles -
    Business Model proficiency levels by Alex Osterwalder: http://sal.st/JtNFyg
    Effectuation - how successful entrepreneurs make decisions http://sal.st/ZTd4sd
    Getting Things Done - Trusted Systems http://sal.st/196UnBO

    Moving beyond the funnel -
    Mckinsey's Customer Decision Journey http://sal.st/ZTdcaY
    Zero Moment Of Truth http://sal.st/11pdl9j
    Bokardo's Make The Care http://sal.st/ZMCoMQ (Sign up for the book announcement to get 3 blog post links)

    4 · May 10, 2013

    • Colin N.

      Thanks for highlighting Effectuation. Really powerful insight and aligns strongly with Lean Startup etc. Also, matches what I have observed!

      May 10, 2013

    • Doug M.

      Yep - I found the link on Effectuation v interesting.

      May 31, 2013

  • Salim V.

    Who has the recording of this? Could you please connect with me? [masked] Cheers!

    May 31, 2013

  • Marcel M.

    Heya! I've put together a quick blog post explaining how I understood the cards: http://www.marcelmuench.de/2013/05/option-cards-for-testing-business-models/ . Hope it makes sense. Enjoy your weekend!

    May 11, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Very nice write up Marcel!

      May 11, 2013

    • Marcel M.

      Thanks Klaus, glad you like it!

      May 13, 2013

  • Rammohan

    From the comments seems like it was awesome, can some one write about the workshop so that it would be useful for those who could't participate please

    May 8, 2013

    • Kumaran V.

      see above comment

      May 9, 2013

    • Salim V.

      Hi Rammohan, Christian covered the technique. I'll write a blog post in more detail soon.

      May 10, 2013

  • Christian M.

    Here's the TL;DR:

    Option cards are basically H H T (bare bones) business model canvas sketches with dots/question marks in each sector (to show what the idea impacts) and a one sentence note underneath summarising the idea. Should be brief enough to fit on a business card sized card.

    Keep all the ideas/cards separately so you don't combine two good ideas into one bad idea.

    Pick a card (based on current business need) then work to (dis)prove the related hypothesis. Once you have the learning you can then pick the next card to work on / pivot / etc. Fits nicely with kanban.

    Allows you to store all incoming ideas, then retrieve/recall/reconsider them when you need to.

    If anybody thinks I've missed anything or have the wrong end of the stick please comment!

    5 · May 8, 2013

    • Kumaran V.

      Awesome.

      May 9, 2013

    • Salim V.

      Wow! Thanks for writing this up! It's always very useful for teachers to see what sticks and how it's applicable. If anyone else, wants to chip in, it'd still be very helpful. Thanks!

      May 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Anyone perhaps had time to find the Amazon 1000 cards for 6 pounds mentioned during the talk?

    Thx!

    May 8, 2013

  • Marcel M.

    thanks sal, brilliant talk!!!

    1 · May 7, 2013

  • Richard D.

    Another excellent session full of insights from Sal.

    1 · May 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Technique seems really easy with potential to deliver really high value = better understanding of my business.

    May 7, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Actionable and simple. Thanks!

      May 7, 2013

  • Christian M.

    Thanks for the talk, Sal - will undoubtedly be a useful tool going forward. The geek in me is itching to build a website/app for the option cards but perhaps should just stick with the simplest thing that works!

    May 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Definitely keen to learn this Sal!

    2 · May 1, 2013

    • Salim V.

      I haven't had a chance to write anything up just yet - its still pretty new - but will likely blog about it soon after the meetup.

      2 · May 2, 2013

    • Roberta L.

      Thanks Sal! :) I was keen to be there, got the ticket, but unfortunately won't be able to make it.

      May 7, 2013

  • Jack T.

    I'll take Mark's place if that's OK - will pay you on the door Sal

    May 7, 2013

  • Mark

    Sorry, I double booked. Someone else can have my place.

    May 6, 2013

  • Tina de S.

    Bummed I can't make it, any chance we can get slides/notes/material on this? Thanks!

    May 6, 2013

  • Doug M.

    Sadly I will be up North, but wish I could go to this.

    1 · May 4, 2013

  • Laurence M.

    Sadly can't go, but looks great!

    1 · May 2, 2013

45 went

Your organizer's refund policy for #LeanLondon - Option Cards w/ @saintsal

Refunds are not offered for this Meetup.

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sometimes the best Meetup Group is the one you start

Get started Learn more
Katie

I'm surprised by the level of growth I've seen since becoming an organizer, it's given me more confidence in my abilities.

Katie, started NYC ICO

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy