The generations on either side of me link me to my past and my future. My view of family history involves revealing the roots and the branches.

Throughout this blog you will find perspectives related to the doctrines of temple and family history work from revealed revelation given to living prophets of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS - Mormon).

Friday, February 12, 2016

RootsTech 2016: Innovator Summit: Entrepreneurship: Validation Precedes the Money

John Richards - Photo from UVU Press Release
This class is called: Entrepreneurship: Validation Precedes the Money and the speaker was John Richards, CEO of Startup Ignition.

This is part of the class overview: "Are you launching your startup correctly? Many entrepreneurs with a great idea for the family history/genealogy industry are still practicing entrepreneurship the old-fashioned way, which is coming up with an idea, raising money, building a product, and then finding no one wants the product."

Here are some of my takeaways from this session:

The old model was planning and product based:

  • Business Plan
  • Product Development Model
  • Gather Money
  • Staff Divisional Roles

The new model is learning and customer based:

  • Rapid Cycles
  • Frugality
  • Experimentation
  • Identify
  • Validate
  • Iterate
  • Looping Scientific Method

We are seeing a metamorphosis of entrepreneurship due to: economy, internet capabilities, internet sub-culture, dramatically lower startup costs, and the sophistication of all players.

Recommended books that every entrepreneur needs to read:

Alexander Osterwalder, Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers, 9780470876411

Steve Blank, The Startup Owner's Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company, 9780984999309

Eric Ries, The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses, 9780307887894

Nathan R. Furr, Nail It then Scale It: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Creating and Managing Breakthrough Innovation, 9780983723608

A startup exists to search for an unknown but viable business model, not to develop a known product.

Customer development has to be the first priority.

Check out this software:

The #1 cause of startup failure is premature scaling.

Customer Development captures how startups should iterate and pivot to a viable business model. Listen to customers for what they really need and identify their #1 problem that needs to be fixed.
Get customers first ... then build product.

Don't do business plans for startups. Instead utilize a business model.

What is a business model?

  • Create, Delivers, and Captures Value
  • Dynamic
  • Model ... then Plan
  • Facts are with Real Customers

Business Model Canvas

  • Customer Segments
  • Value Propositions
  • Channels
  • Customer Relationships
  • Revenue Streams
  • Key Activities
  • Key Resources
  • Key Partnerships
  • Cost Structure

Check out Startup Ignition for 13-week Boot Camp info.

I love this kind of class. It applies to anyone with creative ideas.



  1. This was one of my favorites classes at the Innovator Summit. Great summary!

    1. Thanks Nicole! I wish I could have "met" you in person at RootsTech.