Weekly status reports: hypotheses, pitches, tasks

We have prepared a template for each team to prepare weekly. It covers your current vision of your product/service,  your key hypotheses, and how you plan to test them. We provide some hypothetical examples to get you into the spirit applying these ideas, which were discussed last week, to your own situations.

The framework we are using is the “lean startup” approach, or more generally framing your knowledge as hypotheses, rather than facts or assumptions. You progress by identifying the most critical assumptions and testing them as early as possible. Some will fail the tests, setting off the process of rethinking what you are doing. Others will “pass” the test but still lead to recalibrating and adjusting.

One goal of these reports is to look back at the end and see how your ideas changed as a result of what you tried and what you learned along the way. Therefore, please do a new report each week, rather than just updating the old one. Normally, each team will do a collective analysis, perhaps at a team meeting. But for this week (Monday April 23), let’s have everyone prepare an individual report. We will learn a lot by comparing the visions and priorities of different team members.

Startup weekly report template v 0.11 Microsoft word format. Modify it to fit your team and  as a template on your system. Remember to create an entirely new file each week, instead of updating the old one. Save each report with a filename that includes:

  • Team name
  • Today’s date
  • What it is (weekly report))

Here are a few segments from the report. Load the full template into a word processing program.

Your Hollywood pitch:   It’s like …… Pinterest for aquatic reptiles.

Elevator pitch to a prospective customer. (approx 3 sentences):

Key hypotheses

Add to this list each week, and move settled hypotheses to the bottom of the list with a note about disposition. Write a thorough description of the new hypotheses. The hypotheses themselves should evolve as you test them and progress through the startup.

ID number/title

Date first stated

State in 1 sentence

Fill in

Current status:

● Waiting for test

● Partially tested

● Resolved + Conclusion

Hyp. A


That young adults like unique T-shirts.

Details: Age group 17-23?ownat least 2 unique T-shirts, or have purchased one in last 6 months.

Testing underway, by finding articles /data about T-shirt companies.

Test 2: Interviews of college students via web.

Hyp. B

That target audience is aware of recent memes.

Comment: defn. of “recent” will be investigated

Testing underway (see test description below)

B continued

We are testing by using list of popular memes fromMemehit.com, and seeing how many appearances on Pinterest within following 10 days.

Hyps C1


Target audience buys at least 1 T-shirt per month.

Test by conventional market research reports.

Hyp. 101

Target audience is interested in news about Topic X __________

Or Topic Y ____________, or Z

Hyp : “Want contrasting sources”

Target audience (TA) wants news from sources with contrasting viewpoints

Hy 103

TA knows has a personal list of news sources that each considers trustworthy. TA prefers news from those sources.

We decided not to test this hypothesis. (See note dated 4/27)

Author: Roger Bohn

Professor of Technology Management, UC San Diego. Visiting Stanford Medical School Rbohn@ucsd.edu. Twitter =Roger.Bohn

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