Validate Your Ideas with the Test Card

Added on by Alexander Osterwalder.

The core idea of the Lean Startup movement is to validate your business ideas with customer experiments/tests before scaling them. We came up with a simple tool to better design those experiments/tests, because we weren't good at it in the early days of Strategyzer. Watch the video in this post to learn about the Test Card.

At Strategyzer, we talk to customers a lot and continuously conduct experiments before we launch something new. Yet, in the early days, we didn't learn as much as we should have despite talking to tons of customers. We were all over the place. That's why we invented the Test Card for ourselves.


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Basically the Test Card forces you to make the following things explicit:

  1. What needs to be true for your idea(s) to work (aka hypothesis, assumption, or simply guess)?
  2. How are you going to test if that hypothesis is true or false?
  3. What are you going to measure to (in)validate your hypothesis?
  4. How does success look like? What's the threshold?

Watch the video below from our enterprise online course on Value Proposition Design in which I explain the Test Card.

Of course you'll need to design and execute many, many Test Cards to validate an idea. We'll show you how to organize these tests with Test Cards, and how to digest them in two follow-up posts. In the next post, we'll introduce you to the Learning Card. We will then introduce the Progress Board, a completely new tool that we've been working on.

What tools do you use to structure your experiments?