Test Your Business Idea

Actionable methods for finding your first customers
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  • Lectures 29
  • Length 1 hour
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 7/2014 English

Course Description

Finally! An online course to test your business idea.

✔ Increase your clarity and confidence in yourself and your business

✔ Reduce your upfront investment of time and money

✔ Learn the process for building a successful product

Stop dreaming and start working on your great business idea!

Save Time and Money: Learn the methods to validate if your solution fits a real customer problem BEFORE you build anything.

Increase your confidence: Test your solution in front of real potential customers to understand their needs better.

Fill the knowledge gap: Learn the proven concepts and behaviors of successful startup teams.

On demand and repeatable: Learn and practice the methods at your own pace with 24-7 lifetime access.

Make learning fun: Delivered in the language of entrepreneurs, by an entrepreneur with stories, animations and examples.

Practical workbook: Includes a downloadable resource and exercise book to compliment the video tutorials.

What are the requirements?

  • Your willingness to step out of your comfort zone and act.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • By the end of this course you will be able to model and test your business hypothesis
  • You will practice how to conduct customer interview to develop the market side of your product
  • You will reduce risks and increase confidence on your business idea

Who is the target audience?

  • Entrepreneurs and Business Innovators
  • Startup founders and entrepreneurship students

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction

We introduce the concept of Problem - Solution Fit and explain the two common but costly mistakes startups make.


We use the metaphor of learning to ride a bike to understand it's about taking action to learn by doing. We embrace "failure" with the metaphor of falling off your bike. Students will understand that a " failure" can be designed in a way so you can learn the most and cost you the least - just like training wheels help you learn without falling off a bike.


We explain how we break down the course into three components 1) How to Be - the mindset,2) What to Know - the concepts and 3) What To Do - the methods. We introduce the one page "Problem Solution Fit Worksheet" students will use throughout the course. We also introduce the "cheat sheet" example we provide.

Section 2: How to Be: The Entrepreneurial Mindset

We ask you to be open to consider new perspectives. We ask students to consider stepping out of their comfort a little bit to obtain personal growth. Students will realize business growth happens directly with personal growth.


Students are provided an example of a business assumption for a business idea back when everyone thought for sure the world was flat. The point of the example is to appreciate what we might think is true about our business idea is only an assumption that is yet to be validated or unvalidated.


Students will gain an understanding of how our minds can subconsciously bias our view of reality. We explain why our mind does this and suggest it is much easier to observe it happening in other people than ourselves.


We share a great story from a Zen master to explain how to make room for new learning and discovery.


Students will realize they were all great listeners when they were young children. We stress the importance of good listening skills to get the most out the business idea tests they will be running.


We introduce how being vulnerable is a strength when you are a startup founder. Students will gain an appreciation of the benefits of exposing their idea to potential customers early as opposed to the comfort of keeping it protected in their mind as long as possible. Students will be able to decide for themselves how courageous that want to be.


Students will learn the importance of building a startup team with diverse skills. We provide a worksheet to assess the current skills and identify the skills gaps.

Section 3: What to Know: The Concepts

We use a great visual diagram called the "design squiggle" to show the high level of uncertainty and risk starting with a new business idea. Students will understand why testing assumptions is necessary to reduce uncertainty and risk.


We provide a definition of a business model and give examples of two different business models.


We introduce the Business Model Canvas(BMC) and explore the benefits of using it compared to a business plan. We introduce the Lean Startup methodology. Students will appreciate the need to eventually build a complete business model, but then learn to focus first on only two of the nine components of the BMC - Customer Segments and Value Proposition.

The business model canvas

Students learn the definition of customer segments and why they are important. We use a fishing metaphor to help students understand why a business startup should focus on specific customer segments.


We introduce the concept of an "early adopter" and why these particular customers are so valuable to a startup.


We define what a value proposition is and explain the importance of differentiation.


We introduce the concept of features and benefits. Students will learn that customer care more about the benefits than the features.


Students get to start work documenting their initial assumptions on their Problem Solution Fit Worksheet. We take them step by step through the Handy Band example to show them how to get started.


We review the initial assumptions from the previous lecture and revise them. The revisions are for common mistakes students often make in their first attempt to document their assumptions.

Section 4: What to Do: Practical Methods to Test Your Idea

Students will learn how to conduct their first test experiment - the Problem Interview. We show how to apply the Lean Startup concept of the "Build, Measure, Learn" loop to conducting these experiments.


We provide the students with the definition of a pivot. Students will also learn both the right and wrong steps that lead up to a decision to make a pivot.


Students will learn there is a difference between an invention and an innovation. Students learn the two types of insights that could get from their interactions with customers. The first insight is the validation or invalidation of the assumption being tested. The second type of insights are the unexpected surprise insights.


By taking a light hearted look at common mistakes we have come to expect, we help students recognize them when they make them themselves.

Section 5: What to Do: The Problem Interview

This lecture provide a checklist, blank worksheets and completed worksheets for our example. We take the student through the problem interview experiment step by step. Students will be able to follow the example and then use the blank worksheets provided to conduct their own problem interviews.

Section 6: What to Do: The Solution Interview

We introduce two additional concepts students will need to understand before completing their next set of experiments - the solution interviews. We provide a definition of MVP's and examples in an additional resource. Students will use the elevator pitch tool to gain clarity.


We provide a checklist, blank worksheets and completed example worksheets for conducting solution interviews. We take the students step by step through our example to make it easy to then go out and conduct their own solution interviews.

Section 7: What Is Next

We summarize what we accomplished during this course. We introduced the mindset, concepts and methods for the first stage of a startup - Problem Solution Fit. With the increased confidence, reduced risks and reduced uncertainty, students are now ready to consider moving into the next stage - Product Market Fit.


We thank the many thought leaders and contributors to our own development in order for us to share their knowledge with our students.

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Instructor Biography

Paul D. Foster, CPA, CA and Small Business Advisor

Paul Foster is the founder and leader of the team at The Business Therapist®. His business experience began as a trusted advisor (CPA, CA) to small business families as the owner and founder of an accounting firm which he sold after 20 years.

In 2010, Paul was recognized by his business advising peers as the RANONE North American Advisor of the Year.

In 2011, Paul went ‘back to school’ himself as the Entrepreneur in Residence and then as the Lean Startup Advisor, both positions at the Odette School of Business at University of Windsor. Throw in a trip to Stanford for Steve Blank’s Lean Launchpad program in June of 2013 and some painful lessons as a startup founder himself, Paul is a seasoned veteran of the business development world.

Whether you are starting, growing or selling your business, Paul has the knowledge and relevant real life stories ready to share with you.

Instructor Biography

Rafael Giacomassi, Engineer and Business Coach

Rafael is an entrepreneur and a mechanical engineer who graduated from the University of São Paulo, Brazil. He joined Paul at The Business Therapist in 2014 when he participated in a sixteen-month exchange program at the University of Windsor. As a student, he has developed a diversified background by taking classes and developing research in Business and Management, in addition to his Engineering Major.

An entrepreneur from an early age, Rafael has participated in many startup projects, and has studied several business around the world. Rafael has lived in Brazil, the United States, and Canada and has traveled to many different countries over the past few years. Rafael is now a full-time coach and advisor to business clients in Brazil and Canada.

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