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Published on Nov 19, 2015

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by @shaanvp

monkey inferno

  • an idea lab
  • 22-people (design, dev, biz)
  • dream up ideas, build them
  • 4 startups at once
  • self-funded by Michael & Xochi Birch

week 1: ideation

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canvas the idea

what does your startup do?

______ helps ______ do

people use it because it is ______, ______, and NOT _______.

(6 months later...)

It failed because ____________.

week 2: discovery

get out of the building?

get back to the problem.

  • mock it up in invision
  • find people to talk to 
  • listen, don't pitch
  • learn how they feel/talk about the situation
  • sticky note stack rank

you should know

  • who is the customer
  • what dictates their buying decisions
  • how they describe the problem (their words)
  • intensity, frequency of the problem
  • how you will reach them

week 3-6: The MVP

type 1: painkillers

case study: Get Out There

type 2: vitamins

case study: Blab


  • you will be embarassed
  • look for evidence, not answers
  • start low-fi
  • state your 'success criteria' up front
  • it's disposable

the first 1k customers

how would you find them?

week 6: Keep or Kill

gut check time.

  • does it fit your framework for success?
  • Could you see yourself doing this for years?
  • did the MVP succeed? What's next?
  • More or less excited than day 1?

good luck.