A Strategy Framework for Startups

Startup strategy begins with a fundamental understanding of market dynamics and a systematic methodology that results in a well-defined product that can be validated for market fit.


Building a successful startup in many ways is like throwing a ball at a distant target. The odds that you’ll hit that target are a lot higher if you know which direction to throw, the weight of the ball, and whether the wind is blowing. They’re even better still, if you plan to throw the ball several times for practice, adjusting til you know precisely what to do.

Much of what sinks a startup is predictable so why waist months or years of your time and thousands of dollars testing a failure that could have been anticipated? The goal of SmarterStartup is to provide concepts and frameworks that are lacking for startups going through product opportunity discovery. With these tools, startup entrepreneurs and product managers can reaffirm the dynamics of the market they’re entering and develop comprehensive vision definitions that are ready to be prototyped and validated in the market.

These concept models and applied tools comprise the SmarterStartup strategy framework. They can be used individually or holistically for planning and analysis.

Core Concepts

  • Business Model Archetypes - The 7 fundamental types of business “personalities” that underpin every business model.
  • Market Dynamics - The 6 market dynamics that must be considered to evaluate opportunity and difficulties.
  • Value Creation Plane – An analysis tool for understanding the spectrums of value and identifying opportunity to create new value.

Applied Tools

  • Opportunity Discovery - A systematic approach to ideating and evaluating startup and new product opportunity.
  • Startup Scorecard - A simple applied scorecard for rating startup and new product concepts against the 6 market dynamics.
  • Vision Definition - An applied tool for clarifying and articulating a targeted value statement (elevator pitch).