Previous Lecture Complete and continue  

  4.16. Identifying Your Assumptions with the Business Model Canvas (3 min.)

As we've discussed in previous units, when you conceptualize a new business idea, it is full of untested assumptions. Consequently, you need to be able to identify what those assumptions are. You've started that process by writing down your Monetizable Pain Hypothesis and Big Idea Hypothesis. But within each of those high-level hypotheses are many lower-level assumptions that need to be tested and proved.

There are many tools that can help you accomplish this. The one that we recommend using is Alex Osterwalder's Business Model Canvas. In his tool, Osterwalder highlights nine areas that make up a business, and if you map out your assumptions on his canvas, you will notice the areas in which you are guessing. These nine areas are shown in the diagram below.


Please familiarize yourself with this tool. Just as you have been assigned to write down your Monetizable Pain Hypothesis and Big Idea Hypothesis, you will also be assigned to fill out a Business Model Canvas in this unit. As we progress through the Nail It Then Scale It method, we'll use and revisit the canvas often to help you identify more assumptions and validate them in the market. You can download Osterwalder's Business Model Canvas below. In addition, you can watch Osterwalder's video below, which explains his canvas in more detail. You can also visit his website at