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Category Creation Scorecard

[idea] Category Creation Scorecard
Description & Notes
Category POV / Problem
[Sample Data] Today’s technology is transactional and impersonal. AI optimizes product offering for the benefit of the company over the user. Do we need to read another tweet, binge another 10 hours of mindless entertainment, be programmed into another formless, thoughtless widget. Have we bought into personalization that actually segments.
Future Reimagined
Humans deploy personal AI to cope with overwhelming data and technology volume and noise. Maslo is your own personal AI. Personal AI > Corporate AI. the best way to counter over-technology, AI, and computing power is to become more human
Radical Offer & Model
Data Flywheel
Begin to understand the levers of human motivation and self-actualization. Help humans become more distinct and
Customer Outcomes
More focused, disciplined, self-aware users tell their stories of productivity and impact.
There are no rows in this table


Key Areas

(Area 1) Category POV: Does the company have a clear “Point of View” of their category? Are they able to frame a powerful problem, articulate a compelling vision, and most importantly, communicate the core compromises, trade-offs, and problems inherent to the way the category is today, such that the consumer/customer will be open to a new and different approach. It’s important to note this should not be expressed as the “challenges” unique to a brand or company, but rather a fundamental problem to the entire category itself that consumers have typically and unnecessarily accepted as a given.
(Area 2) Future Category Reimagined & Without Compromise: Does the company cast a compelling future—free of these fundamental problems, compromises, and trade-offs inherent to the category? Are they able to explain what the category looks like in its true glory where the customer/consumer is transformed, partners are proud participants, and the company generates an abundance and surplus of benefits: rational, emotional, aspirational, as well as financial?
(Area 3) Radically Different Offer + Business Model: How does this new category get delivered to the customer, both through a breakthrough product/service/offer, but also through a breakthrough business model? How does product innovation and business model innovation come together in a way where 1 + 1 = 11?
(Area 4) Data Flywheel: Does the company generate data about customer/consumer demand/preferences (be it intentional or as a side effect) that creates a unique opportunity and advantage to anticipate the future of consumer demand and any category shifts? Does this Data Flywheel provide insight into not only how to improve company offerings, but predict where demand for this new category will unfold next?
(Area 5) Depth & Degree of Customer Outcomes: Does the company generate satisfied/ecstatic customers/consumers? Are they so happy and satisfied they gladly evangelize the product/service to others? Or, even better, do customers want to tell their own stories of radical transformational outcomes—where the customer’s life is truly different after engaging with the company?

How to Score

Score yourself in the five key areas on a 0 to 2 scale:
0 - currently does not successfully accomplish the area’s goal
1 - is only partially accomplishes the goal
2 - you successfully accomplish the goal


Be the Winner - 60% of companies on the list scored 0 to 2, and were much more focused on “beating the competition” than innovating or creating something entirely new. These “compete to win” companies fight for existing market share.
Be the Best - 20% of the companies scored 3 to 5, and were more focused on “being the best” within an existing category—not “being the leader” of a new category.
Be Different - The final 20% of the companies scored 6 to 10, and were companies clearly trying to design/create a new and meaningfully different category.

Other references:
Conformity Bias
Choice supportive
How to condition the mind of those you want to persuade?
identify founding insights
how to breakfree of the present mindset? how do you propose a different belief?
how is world you are proposing different than today?
force choice over comparison
do not position as comparison
create category design blueprint
map entire ecosystem
customers / evangelists
gatekeepers - who will stop you
define provocative point of view
mobilize your movement
what are the building blocks to implement your vision
who are the people and what infrastructure do you need?

What unique space will your startup occupy in people’s minds?
David Sacks
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