Test if you’re still on the right track – Part 2: towards a validated business model

Validate your business model with the S&D Experiment Report Canvas

A hackathon is all about making assumptions and taking risks. But what if we tell you that we can help you to de-risk your solution and to create real evidence to convince the audience of the fact you are almost 100% sure your idea is what the customer has been waiting for?

In this final race stage, we will give you insights on how to make your business model explicit using the Lean Canvas and explain to you how to validate your assumptions using the Seth & Dunn Experiment Report Canvas. It is the final stretch towards the finish line.

How do you structure your validation process? 10 steps towards a validated business model

Now you have the first version of your business model, it is very important to de-risk your solution by talking with customers. Observe your customers to see their real problems, validate if the target customers really are the customers you should focus on, show them your mock-ups or prototypes to validate the features of your solution,… You should design several experiments to validate your most riskiest assumptions. Below you can find a step-by-step plan to use our Experiment Report Canvas and to help you structure these experiments.

1. Download the S&D Experiment Report Canvas

2. Describe the BACKGROUND of your experiment

You should describe in 1-3 sentences what you really want to prove. Also mention why you want to prove it.


Point out on the lean canvas which part of your business is impacted by this assumption. Is it assumption in the customer segment area? Color in the right box of the lean canvas.


Make explicit what you need to test to validate your assumption. This should be like a scientific formulation of your assumption. E.g. 80% of this specific customer segment indicates problem X is the problem they face the most.


Make the duration of your experiment explicit. How long are you running the experiment? E.g. 2 weeks


What do you need to run your experiment? Is it a mock-up? a pitch slide set? a survey?… Also describe the effort you will need to run the experiment. E.g. You need 2 interviewers full time interviewing for 10 days.

7. After running the experiment, write down the EXPERIMENT RESULTS

Just write down a summary of the findings of the experiment. It is not yet needed to interpret the findings.

8. Interpret the findings and formulate the VALIDATED LEARNINGS

Indicate if the experiment is a success, failed or needs more research. A success means the falsifiable hypothesis is proved. Failed means the hypothesis is refused and thus the assumption you made is false. It could also be that the experiment should run for a longer time and you need more research to investigate the falsifiable hypothesis. Besides this indication you should describe your interpretation of the results.

9. Define the NEXT ACTIONS

After interpreting the results of your experiment, you should define the next steps you need to take. This could be running an other experiment to validate an extra assumption, or could be doing more research to validate this specific falsifiable hypothesis.

10. Adjust your Lean Canvas based on the validated learnings

Use the learnings of each experiment to adjust your Lean Canvas to go step-by-step towards a validated business model.

Tips & Tricks for using the Experiment Report Canvas

1) Start with the quick wins. Focus on the riskiest assumptions but also with the most cost-efficient experiments. As your confidence in your solution rises, you can run more expensive experiments.

2) Create an overview of all the experiments you are going to run. Indicate if you are still designing the experiment, running the experiment or learning from the experiment. Hereby you can keep track of the whole validation process.

3) Don’t be afraid to get out of the building. In my experience customers are really open to share their thoughts, certainly if it could increase the value you are offering them.

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