Template for Assignment:

In a two-page summary outline your idea, the market, the customer, the distribution strategy and the business model i.e. How will you make money? You should have proposed revenues and costs. Points will be awarded for originality and creativity. You are not expected to have exact numbers but you are expected to list assumptions justifying any conclusions.


Fill out the following template for your idea (Lots of this is stolen from Guy Kasasaki):

1. The Product or Service: You should lead with the most compelling statement for your idea. This sentence (or two) sets the tone for the rest of the executive summary. Usually, this is a concise statement of the solution you have developed to a problem. It should be direct and specific, not abstract and conceptual. If you can drop names in the first paragraph you should—advisors, companies you are already working with etc. Don’t expect anyone to discover that you have two Nobel laureates on your advisory board six paragraphs later. He or she may never get that far.

2. The Problem: You need to make it clear that there is a problem (current or emerging) that you are going to solve. In this context you are establishing your Value Proposition—there is pain out there, and you are going to increase revenues, reduce costs, increase speed, expand reach, eliminate inefficiency, increase effectiveness, whatever. Don’t confuse your statement of the problem with the size of the opportunity (see below).

3. The Solution: What specifically are you offering to whom? A product, a service, a combination? Use commonly used terms to state concretely what you have, or what you do, that solves the problem you’ve identified. Where you fit in the value chain? What is your distribution channel?  If you have customers and revenues, make it clear. If not, say when you will and how you’re going to get them.

4. The Opportunity: Spend a few more sentences providing the basic market segmentation, size, growth and dynamics—how many people or companies, how many dollars, how fast the growth, and what is driving the segment. You will be better off targeting a meaningful percentage of a well-defined, growing market than claiming a microscopic percentage of a huge, mature market. Don’t ever say you’re going to capture 1% of a market. Define the market better.

5. Your Competitive Advantage: No matter what you might think, you have competition. At a minimum, you compete with the current way of doing business. Most likely, there is a near competitor, or a direct competitor that is about to emerge (are you sufficiently paranoid yet??). So, understand what your real, sustainable competitive advantage is, and state it clearly. In most cases, you should be able to make this point in one or two sentences.

6. The Model: How specifically are you going to generate revenues, and from whom?  What are the critical metrics on which you will be evaluated—customers, licenses, units, revenues, margin? Whatever it is, what levels will you reach within three to five years?

7. The Team: Why is your team uniquely qualified to win? If this is just you, why can you make this happen?

You should be able to do all this in six to eight paragraphs, possibly a few more if there is a particular point that needs emphasis. You should be able to make each point in just two or three simple, clear, specific sentences.

This means your executive summary should be about two pages.