The 20 Reasons Startups Fail
Build Your Startup Like a Serial Entrepreneur
Designing your business model
FLEX Troubleshooting Guide
I'm not sure what my riskiest assumption is.
There are a couple of things to think about here. First, see if you can focus on only business model risks. There are definitely other potential risks in your business, perhaps around product development for instance, but for your FLEX Planner, we're only interested in business model risks. Second, you can always refer to the Fluent Founder Roadmap to identify which riskiest assumption needs your attention right now. Working through these questions in order will help you build your business model based on learnings from your customer.
I'm not sure what stage of the founder roadmap I should be focused on.
The Fluency Score will tell you!
The Fluency Score will tell you!
The idea of the Fluent Founder Roadmap is that you work through it sequentially. So, if you have not yet validated a customer/early adopter with a clearly articulated problem, you should definitely stay focused in the Validate Stage. If you have completed that challenge, but have not yet sold your solution to an early adopter, you should definitely focus on the Test stage. Once you have completed both of these challenges, the Grow Stage is where you should focus! The process through the stages isn't really linear though. It's entirely possible that you could move from Validate to Test and then back to Validate. Or from Test to Grow to Test. Sometimes your FLEX will reveal that it's time to move forward into the next stage. Other times you'll learn you need to take a step back and re-evaluate what you learned in a previous stage.
What is the formula for a hypothesis again?
Simply: If I [action you take], then [result you expect] at [success metric].
How do I know what success metric to use in my hypothesis?
There is no objective right or wrong answer for what results you need to see in your FLEX. There is only the result you need in order to feel like you have validated or invalidated an experiment. For one person in a certain context, getting 1 out of 10 would be enough validation. For another in a different context, getting 6 out of 10 or 8 out of 10 might be necessary to de-risk the assumption adequately. To get at an answer for this, we recommend you think about two things. First, what will getting your proposed result tell you? Will it be a clear indication that you should fall back or move forward? That's a good sign that it will serve you well. Second, what is your personal risk tolerance around the assumption being tested? For example, if you know you absolutely have to be right about the assumption because every other strategic decision will be based on that result, we would recommend having a pretty high bar for your success metric. But there are other cases where even getting one positive signal is enough to indicate you should push forward (optimizing for speed rather than accuracy).
I don't think I can complete this FLEX in one week.Reach out to your Fluent coach as soon as possible! We can help you brainstorm a way to re-design the FLEX to be more manageable or can offer ideas for ways to accomplish the execution of the FLEX in a faster, more efficient way. Often, we see incomplete FLEXes because the founder tried to tackle too big of an experiment at once. Remember, our goal is tiny, fast experiments, so we can learn quickly!
I started on my FLEX, but am having trouble completing it.
Sometimes you set up a perfectly good FLEX, but end up hitting deadends or roadblocks. This is a great moment to reach out to your Fluent coach! Let's brainstorm a way through the challenge together.
I haven't completed my FLEX yet, but it already looks like a failure.
Sometimes you get started on a FLEX and quickly get enough data to see your hypothesis will be invalidated, even before you complete the experiment. This is a good thing! It means you learned something important super fast. So stop working on that FLEX and set up another one based on what you just learned.
My FLEX is working!
Congratulations! We see this all of the time. With just a few data points, you can quickly see that a FLEX is going to be successful or not. Again, no reason to just keep doing the same thing once you have the learning you need. Remember, FLEXes aren't about just doing work. They're about learning from customers in a focused and fast way. So see if you can set up your next FLEX based on whatever your next riskiest assumption is. And of course, reach out to your Fluent coach if you want a little extra brainstorming. The key here is to build your next FLEX based on what you just learned. There should be a logical progression through your FLEX planners.
I really want to start another FLEX while working on my current one.
Ah, this is a common desire. Depending on what stage of the Fluent Founder Roadmap you are working on, we will offer different advice. If you are focused on the Validate or Test stage, we advise you to stick with one FLEX at a time. There are critical learnings that must happen in a sequential way. Additional FLEXes during these stages will only cause you to lose focus - definitely not what we want! However, if you are in the Grow stage, you should be running lots of FLEXes at the same time! There are so many elements of your Growth Engine that can be tested and measured and understood at once. You can maximize your learning by running these experiments in parallel.
What do I do after completing the FLEX?
Be sure to fully complete your FLEX Planner after each experiment is complete. We know it might seem easy to take the learnings and just move onto the next FLEX. We get pretty eager to tackle the next challenge too! However, the FLEX Planner tool is designed to help provide a container for thoughtful reflection. Remember, learning is a big part of this process. Take the time to enter your metrics in the Results section. You want it to be detailed enough that you could return to this FLEX Planner in a year and clearly understand what happened in this experiment. Take the time to reflect on both the outcome of the experiment and your methodology for completing the FLEX. These reflections help you and your team get better at this process over time. Then... fill in your next FLEX planner!