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MV - Template
This page is a template for how to start and run your microventure. This is the primary page for interns to refer to for direction on how to create and grow their microventure (MV). This template will be updated periodically based on lessons learned. This is an evolving page.
Version: 7/6/11 by Steve (reviewed 7/3 by Kathy R)


Advice
Budget
Steps
Plans
Schedule






Budget - $100 per week per MV
  • Lifebushido provides a budget of $100 per week per microventure.
  • MV - Budget has details on use of budget.
  • Email Steve the proposed use of the budget each week or in advance, until a more formal system is created.
  • You must use the $100 each week or you will lose it. Thus, the smartest MV will get $1,000 of Lifebushido capital to help grow the MV.
  • The $100 can be used for marketing/advertising or any and all external costs. It can also be used to purchase internal Lifebushido resources, at $20/hour, for skills which you do not have within your MV Triangle and that you are unable to find from other interns to trade time to help each other.
  • MV must maintain an ongoing budget and accounting spreadsheet of budget and expenses.






Advice
  • Ask questions - when stuck or unsure - ask questions.
  • Move fast - it is better to make a decision and fail rather than to make no decision at all.
  • Take action daily - push forward daily.
  • Gather and create a Triangle - the more solid interns you have working on your MV, the more you will learn and enjoy.
  • Ship weekly - release a new version of product/service with some improvements every week. Shipping refers to releasing a new version of product/service/project.
  • Do not be scared of technology - if you are not technical, there are many technical things you can accomplish without programming. Dive in and ask questions.
  • Learn to use the Wiki and easily add/edit pages and add/remove links.






Steps 1, 2 & 3 - After you complete Startup Steps

Step 1 - Decide with Steve what MV you will work on and create/join a Triangle for your MV.
Step 2 - Create a MV business plan on your MV Wiki page within one week and take action.
Step 3 - Ship a new version every single week and follow a Weekly Schedule. (Shipping refers to releasing a new version of product/service/project.)

Additional Information
  • Use the wiki pages to manage your project, and add subpages and links as needed
  • Create a one page business plan on the wiki page. Have action items and project management at the bottom or on another page
  • You should update/improve your business plan every single week when you ship new version
  • Use the Discussion tab at the top of the wiki page to receive input/suggestions from other interns, friends, and anyone else, since it is public site
  • Ship a new version weekly - the deadline is Friday and everyone will review/comment on Sat/Sun/Mon so you can focus on the next wave
  • Ship early and often. Most MVs should be able to ship the first version of their MV within 2 weeks of starting


Step 1 - Decide with Steve what MV you will work on
  • Completing your Startup Steps provides Lifebushido with your desired goals, unique talents, and your top 3 choices for a microventure. Steve will personally review this information within a few days of receiving your completed Startup Steps and recommend a MV.
  • Join or create a Triangle as soon as possible once a MV is chosen: https://mbavirtualintern.wikispaces.com/Join+A+Triangle.

Step 2 - Create a MV business plan and wiki page within one week and take action
  • All top level business plans and project management are done from this wiki.
  • We will create and provide you a starting wiki page for your MV.
  • You can create as many subpages as you want, just make sure all have the same starting name of your MV - microventurename, so they are easy to find.
  • If you are unsure how to use the wiki and add/edit pages, use Help or email us for help.
  • Your MV plan will evolve every single week and get more clarity.
  • The first 10-20 days of your MV is the point of maximum ambiguity and potential confusion. It is critical that you push forward and send daily emails as required with your next set of questions or decisions.

Step 3 - Ship a new version of MV every single week using Weekly Schedule
  • A key feature of being a true entrepreneur is not just talking about business or planning but actually DOING and SHIPPING actual products and services.
  • Shipping means to release something which someone can use or buy. Microsoft was a huge success because shipping software was the most important feature and they would then methodically improve the software and ship a new version.
  • You should ship a new version of your MV every single week. At first, it may just be a new MV business plan version.
  • Work fast to define the smallest minimal viable product (MVP) which you can release to get customers/clients as fast as possible.




Schedules

Weekly Schedule
The excitement and forward energy of Lifebushido MBA Virtual Intern is created by all interns working on the same weekly schedule, sharing ideas, and competing to make the most progress each week.
  • Ship a new MV version every Friday by midnight and email a link to your MV business plan and new version to Steve by deadline.
  • Lifebushido will share updated links and progress and the Leaderboard on Saturday to all interns.
  • Metrics for MV success will be posted weekly.
  • Interns review/comment and provide feedback/ideas to each other and other MVs over the weekend and Monday.
  • MVs have updated business plan and goals for their next version by Monday midnight and work on new version.

Weekly Deliverables - Weeks 1-10
Detail the project goals of weekly deliverables in terms of building microventure, release, leads and customers/clients, and metrics.




Plans


Business Plan - One Page
  • Focus on a one page business plan and tune it weekly based on changes and include definitions of the following.
    • Project codeword for microventure:
      • This is a fun codeword you choose to refer to microventure until you have chosen and been approved for formal name and website domain name.
    • Type of microventure:
      • State whether it is a business (revenue), creative, or social entrepreneurial microventure or a combination.
    • One sentence description:
      • This is challenge to state in one clear sentence the microventure scope and purpose based on the 10 week internship. Focus on statement of what is achievable in that scope, not big long-term vision.
    • One paragraph description:
      • State in a few sentences an overview of the microventure
    • Big future vision one sentence description:
      • Assuming microventure is successful and is continued by Lifebushido, you, or others, looking out about 3 years or 1,000 days, what would be one sentence description of most successful outcome?
    • Target market:
      • Define as clearly and narrowly as possible the target market for microventure
    • Minimum viable product (MVP) - what is the smallest possible version of the MV to ship and release?
      • The goal is to define the MVP as small as possible to ship first version within 1-2 weeks and get customers/clients. Lifebushido will often provide a few free samples to give out for initial feedback to speed process of acquiring customers.
    • Website domain name ideas:
      • If the MV will involve a new website/domain, provide best current suggestions of requested domains. Once we decide, Lifebushido will purchase those domains/websites and provide logins to your MV.
    • Metrics of how to measure progress and success weekly
    • Budget of work hours based on number of people involved:
      • Clarify who is on your Triangle, hours per week to work on microventure for X weeks and thus total work hours to be worked on microventure.
      • Update weekly with numbers such as XX hours budgeted, YY completed, ZZ hours remaining.




Marketing Plan

This section should be for marketing plan items as they are developed. Your biggest challenge after defining scope of MV and business plan is deciding on target markets and as quickly as possible conducting market research, giving away some free product/services to get feedback, and decide on first marketing efforts to acquire customers. We suggest you have three marketing segments/tactics at anytime and once you prove a marketing tactic does not work, replace it with another to try.

  • Marketing tagline:
    • This is a few word or one sentence marketing tagline for MV for marketing. For example, the tagline for Lifebushido is Anything is Possible.
  • Market research plan:
    • Define market research steps, questions, survey, and how many people you want to get input from
  • Marketing ideas:
    • List of top 10 marketing ideas to pursue first with estimated hours needed and budget to test that marketing ideas
  • Pricing:
  • Other - this is list of other marketing aspects or MV aspects to be decided
    • Website beta site (before formal domain name choice):
    • PayPal button link for purchase: Lifebushido will provide once pricing is set
    • Introduction email to leads:
    • Website homepage text:
    • Marketing one page PDF:
    • Powerpoint on Slideshare:
    • Audio overview:
    • Video overview




Technology Plan

Lifebushido uses over 50 different free and low-cost web services to run our business. You can use all of them for free and also access our Technology Team for free. We will have a core technology platform for MV. You can also request or use other free and low-cost web services.

  • Ask questions if you have a need for some technology tool or service
  • Each MV will be assigned a unique MV email which will be used for that Triangle/MV and all other associated logins will be connected to that MV email from Lifebushido.
  • We have over 10 different tools to help interns and Traingles communicate and collaborate
  • If you want to signup and use some new web service, free or paid, for your MV, just ask us first and explain purpose and we will approve and tell you to either signup directly under your personal email, use your MV email, or we will provide Lifebushido login.