Unlike Business Model Canvas, Lean Canvas, and Happy Startup Canvas,Good Idea Canvas is a more slight and easy way for entrepreneurs who only get an idea in mind to get startup. Good Idea Canvas can help them get a small amount of seed fund to test their idea and it also have many benefits for the early investors. This story would spend you ten minutes to read. Bookmark it to read later.

Good Idea Canvas is more than a startup methodology, it helps early entrepreneurs to test their innovation and ideas, and also help investors to make a faster and smarter investment decisions.

First introduced by Robert Shaopeng Zhang(Binggo Incubator CEO), Good Idea Canvas is a simple but useful tool for entrepreneurs to use and to test. As a famous startup mentor in China, he communicates thousands of entrepreneurs a year, then he concluded this canvas based the thousands talk and startup projects.


Compared to other canvas, Good Idea Canvas is quite simple. It only has six parts/blanks to fill:

  1. Describe the pain point you want to solve in a real life situation.
  2. Write down the relationship between you and the pain point.
  3. Where is your target market and how big is that niche market?
  4. What’s the unique feature of your product or solution?
  5. Do you have a team? If the answer is yes, give them a short introduction.
  6. How do you set up a threshold to stop other copy or protect your market share?

Step One: Describe your pain point in a real situation.

In this part, you should fill the blank with a real life situation which will make people feel empathy and have the interest to listen to your startup ideas. So what is a real life situation?

For example Miss Zhang has a 6-month-old baby. After a hard work day, Zhang backed home seeing her baby fall in asleep. Now she knew she can get a rest so she wanted to watch a movie on TV. The movie is fantastic. But when she recalled she needed to change the diaper, it’s too later because her baby caught a diaper rash. She was very worried about her baby, so she decided to change the diaper more frequently. Every ten minutes, she would check the condition of her baby’s butts. Not only the baby was bothered, but her movie was ruined.

That is a real life situation. You get scene, you get roles, you get picture and you declared the problem clearly in the situation. Now, people felt what you have been through.

Step Two: the relationship between you and the pain point

We don’t want this startup idea is a totally new idea coming out of your mind. It should have some connection between you and the idea. How to define the relationship? This should be a real pain point that you have suffered; you have investigated this industry, or you have talked to a lot of early users. Normally, when we say a lot it means over 50.

Step Three: Estimate the market scale.

We see a lot of startups have a very great start but after a few month or two years, they were no longer growing. Why? Because the market is small. So you need to define your users, and how? For example, where are they living? USA, Euro, China, or India; live in downtown or live in the countryside? Which kind of city do they live? A big city like New York or Beijing or small city like where your grandma lives in? And their gender, age, personality, incoming condition or kids? If your user is enterprise, what’s the main characteristic of this kind of enterprise and which industry do they belong to and where do they locate and the enterprise scale. If you can provide these research result, we can accurately estimate your user number and the market value, thus your seed stage estimated value.

Special attention :

To user number, we don’t want to hear you saying “we get 500 million or 1 billion users” or even “people living in this planet would become our customers” . If this is what you want to startup, it’s not fit entrepreneurs to do. It’s too big a market for a small startup to disrupt. So while using Good Idea Canvas, we suggest entrepreneurs should set their user base to one million to 50 million and the market value should be around one billion to 100 billion.

That’s a relative number and give you as a reference. The reason why this number is you find a problem and that problem worth solving, and you must not be the first to come up with it. There definitely have someone doing it.

Trust us, there at least 100 people have the idea that you “think out” randomly.

Step Four: what’s the unique features of your product?

You should use one sentence to make your difference clear.

In Good Idea Canvas, you would find we deliberately ignored the solution part which every canvas has. We don’t want to see you use so many details to talk about your solutions, so here is the only place you can describe your solution. Make it short to one sentence.

Step Five: an introduction of your team

So you want to build a solution like part four , then you need a team to develop it. Is your team capable of finishing this task? Any kind of investor want to know your team: the background information of your co-founder, the colleague and major your take, the company that you have been worked or something that worth your pride to show off. Investors want to know the team especially the founder team.

Step Six: what’s your threshold?

Basically, a startup without threshold would die badly and sadly. If everyone can copy your idea and enter your market, the leading position would transfer to other the next day.

Get a niche market quickly is a way to build a threshold. Basically, a threshold should be looked from two angles: inner advantage and team factor. Inner advantage means you have special technique or patents, and the team factor means you should have a great team which they were graduated from famous university or they have an awesome experience.

If you can’t find yourself a nice team, then you should consider finding some inner advantage to build your real advantage, that is in your product iterations, try to detain your customers or increase the cost that they may change the solution. Somebody may say it’s dirty to do so, but in business you will find a lot of big companies did the same thing. This is the most effective way to build your own threshold.

Result of Good Idea Canvas

Zhang Shaopeng(Binggo Incubator CEO), a famous lean startup mentor in China who founded the LeanOne Academy, a leading seed-stage incubator and seed fund.

During their first patch, six startups were lucky to accept their seed fund and Lean Statup mentorship. Half year later, four of them got their angel funds.One company died during the incubation and the other one kept on living without any funds. By using this Good Idea Canvas, Shaopeng investigated hundreds of new startup ideas and finally found these successful four. And the dead one was also a huge success. Though the founder tried four-times of his different approach in the same startup idea, but it inevitably failed because there is no market for his current idea.

In this way,