If architects conceived and constructed buildings the way we do start-ups there wouldn't be much standing. I'm deeply convinced we can change that and substantially increase the odds.
Admittedly, launching a start-up means dealing with more unknowns than in architecture. The former deals with unpredictable markets and potential customers, while the latter deals with solid materials and the laws of physics. However, while an architect uses concrete tools and systematic methods to come-up with and construct his buildings, most start-up entrepreneurs shape and build their ideas pretty much barehanded in terms of tools and methodologies. I'm convinced that this is a more important reason for the high failure rate of start-ups than the unpredictability of markets.
To boost start-up success we need to look at entrepreneurship as a science or at the very least accept it as a profession with its own fundamental rules and methodologies (and the same goes for intra-preneurship).
The slidedeck below gives you the 101 of such a systematic start-up process by combining the business model concept to shape and structure your business ideas with the customer development approach to test, prove and build them. Check-it out (and don't forget to vote for the presentation in the slideshare contest!)
I'm pretty excited about all this because I believe it's the beginning of a whole new movement that could become an avalanche.
And we are working on the first basic iteration of an iPad app to support all this business model thinking (yes, yes, we are slightly behind schedule - but we're not that far from finalizing ;-).
Are YOU going to be part of this exciting movement?