Entrepreneurship: Pilgrim’s Progress: Startup Journey

John Cousins
February 7, 2023
3 min read

To journey without being changed is to be a nomad.

To change without journeying is to be a chameleon.

To journey and to be transformed by the journey is to be a pilgrim.

- Mark Nepo

Getting Started

When developing a startup, entrepreneurs should follow the lean startup methodology. Here is a list of some great resources to get you up to speed:

Steve Blank’s free course on Udacity

Its called How to Build a Startup. Steve Blank has done more than anybody to codify this material into a useful and practical process for customer development and searching for a sustainable business model. This course has delightful whiteboard animation video segments that break it all down. Start here.

Talk to Humans

This book by Giff Constable is an incredible resource for customer development. And its free to download. Giff’s generosity in sharing this clear and practical take on conducting qualitative research is inspiring. Take advantage of it.

Kaufman Fast Trac

This is a free online accelerator program designed by the Kaufman Foundation. It will help you organize, plan and move your idea forward.

MBA ASAP Guide to Startups and Entrepreneurship

This is a quick course to get you up to speed on the tools and techniques of turning you idea into a viable business.


Here is a list of books for a deeper dive, inspiration and motivation.

Just Do It.

Don’t wait for permission.


Once you get going, here is a checklist of things to measure your progress:

Pitch deck

Here is a great template for creating your slide deck for pitching your startup from Guy Kawasaki.

Business Model Canvas

You can download and print templates of the business model canvas. Just Google it.

Keep and archive of iterations of your BMC assumptions and pitch deck. This will help you see how you have evolved your thinking in response to customer interactions etc.

Create a two slide presentation with the following:

Two slides:


Logo, name, tag line

Product/market fit:

Value proposition/customer segments

Customer Development

Detail and document your Customer Discovery and Validation process and progress.

· Questionnaire

· Customer interviews

· Data summary from customer interactions and interviews

· Testimonials

· Referrals

· Other information

Minimal Viable Product

Describe your Product/service mix and main/core Feature set.

Provide an image or description of your prototype.

Marketing materials

· Branding

· Flyers

· Cards

· SM posts

· Photos

· Images

· Anything else


How are you reaching your customers?

Social Media accounts

· Links

· Stats


· Mailchimp or other service


Direct marketing

Stores and outlets

· Online

· Bricks and mortar

Other channels

Market Analysis

Describe your Competition and how you deal with it. What are the biggest threats?


Customer archetypes

Customer journey

How does you funnel look and operate

What are the conversions?


Intellectual Property

What is the status, if you have any, of your:

· Patents

· Trademarks

· Copyright

General Questions

What insights have you had?

What course corrections or pivots have you made?

What does success look like? What do you want your business to achieve?

Revenues, net income, number of customers, return customers, new customers, units sold

KPIs or metrics that you have created

Create a detailed 100 day plan

Maintain and update it as you go along.

These are my general thoughts on things to think about and resources to help get started. Please leave any comments about other things you have found helpful or important points that I have left out.

Thanks for reading!

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John Cousins
Author, Entrepreneur, & Teacher

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