Esther Gons

Esther is the author of The Corporate Startup; How established companies can develop successful innovation ecosystems. Winner of the 2019 Golden Axiom Business Book Award and the 2018 Management Book Of The Year Award. Published worldwide and translated in Dutch, Indonesian and Japanese. Esther is currently working together with Dan Toma on her new book on Innovation Accounting. This new book provides a practical guide for measuring your company's innovation ecosystem. Subscribe for updates at http://innovationaccountingbook.com/ Esther is an international speaker on topics of corporate innovation, innovation accounting, entrepreneurship, startups, lean methodology, business models and customer development.
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Articles by Esther Gons

Portfolio Management
How we look at Innovation portfolio management

The other week at the Lean Startup Summit I introduced our ROI calculator in a couple of innovation accounting roundtable sessions. The sessions were overbooked in general since innovation accounting and the connection to portfolio management was a topic many were interested in. Most of the people joining the tables were looking for ways to […]


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Innovation Investments
The corporate ‘Innovation Mascot’

-”Ok, we agree, let’s try innovation. We’ll start slow, with 2 or 4 startups and see what happens”. I have heard this often enough. It seems a logical thing to do, try something first. The problem lies in the fact that people often forget that investing in ideas is, and always will be, a betting game. So the chances of these two or four startups becoming a success are slim considering the odds of 2 out of 10 will make it big.


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Innovation Investments
Investment should not be the single goal of a founder

“-Can you tell me what you would look for in a startup so I can properly build my MVP?” I am at a Meetup where investors (VC’s mostly) sit around the table with Saas startups. Others are nodding at this question, it is the thing they want to know as well. “-So what do you […]


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Lean Startup
How to turn your risky assumptions into Experiments

Once you have filled in your NEXT Canvas, you are stuck with a pile of stickies filled with assumptions. Do they all need to be tested? Is every single one of them risky? Where do I start?! 1. Determine the impact and evidence of each assumption There are a couple of tools that can help […]


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Innovation Investments
Generating change by focussing on revenue instead of the next funding round

Photo credits; Marcos Ojeda As we have mentioned before, one of the beliefs in our investment thesis is: “The time of the unicorn is over. We need revenue-driven and problem-solving startups.” Why is this such an important part of our thesis? The system as it is right now, we feel, is broken. VC’s are steering startups […]


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Lean Startup
Doing customer interviews: how to get to the actual value

This is Part 4 of our Lean Startup series. One of the most important tools or experiments you can do throughout the search for your business model is the customer interview. Whether you are finding out if there is a problem, or want to know about what it really is that people are trying to […]


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Lean Startup
Continuous experimenting in innovation

In the last post, I talked about the importance of validated learning. Trying to validate your way to a working business model. You don’t validate your business model by running one single experiment. Continuously testing risky assumptions is important in every phase of your startup. Helping you to de-risk the path to a successful business […]


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Lean Startup
Validated Learning: The ‘Build, Measure, Learn’ loop

In the previous post, I introduced the lean startup methodology by Eric Ries. He defines two phases in a startup. There is a Customer Discovery and Customer Validation phase. The first phase is all about proving the problem/solution fit. It starts off with exploring the customer segments, validating there is a real problem and deciding […]


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Lean Startup
An introduction to Lean Startup: How it all started

The Lean Startup, Running lean, The four steps to epiphany, we have all read the books. We use the Business Model Canvas and build MVP’s. The Lean Startup methodology has become very popular not only within the startup industry worldwide, but also amongst companies that want to enable innovation and change. Allocating time and money […]


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Innovation Ecosystem
Vision; why you need one

From passion to vision, why all startups should think about it. The one thing I ask first when visualizing business models and strategy is; “What is your Vision?” Why I ask this? Because I think that Vision is a very important part of your business. It guides you, it keeps everyone on the same road and […]


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