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Traditional Business Planning theories and tools are becoming obsolete. Traditional Business Planning theories and tools are not keeping pace with the high rate of change and innovation in the startup world. Many startups are no longer using traditional business plans. Many startups do not formally start with applying Porter's Competitive Strategy or Value Chain. For the many billion dollar startups that have recently been created, none has been reported to use traditional business tools such as the voluminous business plan, value chain, and industry attractiveness analysis.
Today's billion dollar startups such as Facebook, GroupOn, AirBnB, and DropBox are mainly using tools of Customer Growth Hacking and in particular, the Customer Growth Storyboard which seamlessly integrates the Lean Startup methodology with Growth Hacking. The graphic below visually summarizes the methodology of Customer Growth Hacking as it relates to the Lean Startup Methodology and Growth Hacking. The Lean Startup Methodology and Growth Hacking "intersect" in the area of Innovation Accounting and Marketing Analytics and in particular, "EARRR" success criteria (metrics) of the Customer Growth Storyboard.
Although the Lean Startup Methodology is comprehensive, its focus is on emergent problem solving especially using the Enterprise Engine of a business model engine. In contrast, Growth Hacking focuses on performance management of the Customer Growth Engine especially using the "EAARRR" success criteria to facilitate exponential customer growth. In practice, billion dollar startups synchronize the performance of the Enterprise Engine (Value Creator) and Customer Growth Engine (Value Deliverer) with the performance of the Value Engine (Value Captor) of a business model while rapidly and inexpensively discovering as well as solving BUMPs: Big Urgent Market Problems.
To conclude, this article presents an overview of the methodology of Customer Growth Hacking which covers emergent problem solving as well as deliberate problem solving. In today's world of high volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, the planning paradigm is shifting away from deliberate problem solving to emergent problem solving. While the tools of traditional business planning are applied and relevant in the hitherto stable world of established businesses that have established customers and known products, in the fast moving and extremely uncertain world of startups, traditional business planning tools are rigid, slow, and time-consuming to use. Consequently, many tools of traditional business planning especially voluminous business plans are becoming obsolete.
If you're thinking of building billion dollar startups, the methodology most likely to let you rapidly and inexpensively achieve your goal is Customer Growth Hacking. Why not start with the phase of Customer Hacking (to achieve problem-solution fit), then proceed to Customer Growth (to achieve product-market fit), and move further to Growth Hacking (to achieve business model fit and scaling)? And don't forget to use the Customer Growth Storyboard to continuously monitor your progress from the stage of idea generation through Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to full product and scalable platform. The 1-page fractal document of the Customer Growth Storyboard can rapidly and inexpensively be applied to all types of projects: from personal through business and non-profit to national and international projects.
What do you think?
P.S.: You can FREELY download a copy of a Slidedeck that includes the above diagrams such as the Customer Growth Storyboard from here: