How to Use the Lean Validation Board to Pivot Your Startup 🚀

6 min readJul 21, 2022

Long before Slidebean even existed, Trevor Owens co-founded a company called Lean Startup Machine that, through YouTube videos and other media, looked at helping startups get started. Their most powerful and well-known tool is the Lean Validation Board which helped founders validate and pivot their assumptions, and tracked the success or failure of those pivots.

It is a tool that we used when we were started Slidebean to de-risk our business ideas. So, with the blessing of Trevor, we created our version of the Lean Validation Board with some tweaks and changes based on what we’ve learned from using it.

The Lean Validation Board is a fantastic tool because it allows you to organize and structure your thoughts and ideas in one place and understand if your product can be a good market-fit. It helps validate your ideas and ensure that what you are building makes sense before you start building it (which I think many entrepreneurs often forget about).

You can download the board here or get a printed version here.

The layout of the Lean Validation Board

On the left side of the board, there are three sections that represent a stage in your company's idea development stage:

  • Brainstorming what you are gonna build,
  • Building your first MVPs
  • Creating products that have business models and paying customers

On the right side of the board you have the core assumptions landing box and how to validate each of these assumptions.

How to use the Lean Validation Board

The most important thing to know about the Lean Validation Board is that for every single stage of the product you need to validate your assumptions of that stage, and you start with the most the riskiest assumption of your product (i.e. if you can’t validate that idea your whole product fails) and then work your way through your assumptions until they are all validated.

To help me explain this I’ll use Slidebean as an example.


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