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Clarify the product vision & goals

Getting clear on the idea

When we first begin our discovery phase, it can seem daunting. The scope feels like it could go on forever. One way to help maintain focus is to create a lean canvas.


Why would we do this?

I mentioned earlier that we want to move through the discovery phase as quickly as we can. The lean canvas helps us record our ‘hypothesis’ about what we want to build, see the problem through the users eyes and address some practicalities.

This serves as a working document which can be adjusted as we move through discovery.

Sections include:

  • Customer segments
  • Problem
  • Solution
  • Unique value proposition
  • Unfair advantage
  • Channels
  • Key metrics
  • Cost structure
  • Revenue streams
  • [Extra] I’ve included an extra column on ‘Where could this go?’. This section is not part of the typical lean canvas. But it addresses an issue to do with focus. It’s easy to get excited and try to add many problems/solutions. However it’s important to restrict it to only a few. This additional column helps get down any extra ideas I’ve had around how the product might be expanded. I may test around these during the initial discovery to get a feel for how customers receive these ideas.

The birthday reminder service lean canvas

The following is the lean canvas I’ve prepared for the birthday reminder service. This exercise took me around 30 minutes. This is iteration #1 and is a hypothesis only! It’s not until i’ve validated these sections that we can firm up the contents of the canvas.


(Click to download PDF)


What about expected outcomes and goals?

What do I want to get in exchange for creating this product. Well, the reality is, i’m creating this to help you, the reader to learn about Product Management. However for examples sake, I will define this as follows.



Enable people to spend more time celebrating with their loved ones and less time planning.



  • Get 1,000 active users in year 1
  • Facilitate 10,000 ‘happy birthday’s in year 1

Thanks for tuning in.

Marie xx


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