5Fortune’s Wheel

Figure out your Unique Value Proposition by investigating the customer’s Pains 
and Gains and making a Value 
Proposition Wheel.


I remember exactly when and where I had the insight. I was enjoying a 
12-kilometer run in London along the 4 Pound Path, which proves to me that running is a great way to clear the mind and have new insights. On this sunny morning in spring, I was thinking about the value that my team wanted to offer to our customers and it occurred to me that something essential was missing from our value proposition.

Our startup had arrived in the Validation stage (4) of the Shiftup Business 
Lifecycle. It is the level at which startups begin working to find Product/Market Fit: a good match between a new product and a large market that wants it. Some experts say finding Product/Market Fit is the toughest challenge for any startup. And my team was feeling that, too. We had a prototype that worked for some, but it was not interesting enough for most. We had scored our first paying customers, but we were still far from good monthly revenues. It was like offering a solar-powered bicycle with a flat tire and no saddle. The innovators and adventurous-inclined were intrigued, but most people preferred to walk.

In the Validation stage, a startup keeps tweaking a new product’s features and design until it can delight many customers in a promising market. ...

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