Page 1

Program designed by Ayuh Bina

The Innovator’s Playbook

Tailored for all the aspiring entrepreneurs Program designed by: Ayuh Bina

The Innovator's Playbook

The Innovator’s Playbook

Art direction by: ForReal Studio


Foreword by Aspen Group Foreword by Ayuh Bina Introduction

8 10 12


Week 01 Week 02 Week 03

Prepare Understand Ideate

16 34 48

Phase II Adding Gas to the Tank Week 04 Week 05 – 06 Week 07 Week 08 – 12

Focus Validation Prototype Build

68 76 86 98

The Innovator's Playbook

The Innovator's Playbook

Phase I Tuning the Engine

Phase III It's Time to Floor It Week 13 Week 14 Week 15 References The Team 6

Scale Final Review Demo Day

108 116 124 132 133 7

The Innovator's Playbook

I know from experience that if we can get a core group of people who are willing to take calculated risks for what they believe in and get them to focus their skills and energies on maximising outcomes, they can cause disruptive transformation. Not only in an organisation, but also in communities, industries and even nations. That in a nutshell is why we created the AG Entrepreneurship Program (AGEP). To give deserving individuals a platform with an amazing range of resources, tools and exposure. As a participant of the AGEP through the SmARTer Hackathon Penang, you have been given the privilege to come as you are and do what you do best to innovate and impact the arts world, using the intuitive and inventive power of technology.

Dato’ Murly Manokharan President and Group CEO Aspen Group 8

Each one of you may have come from different cultures and may have your own unique perspectives, but throughout the duration of the AGEP, I strongly encourage you to set aside your inhibitions and work together as a team to leverage on all the resources that have been custom-created for you with singular focus. The arts scene in Penang awaits your disruption. Make a mark in the evolution of how art can be experienced and appreciated beyond normal sensory perceptions, to benefit not only art lovers but also artisans and fringe businesses.

Dream big and disrupt bigger. This is your time to shine.

The Innovator's Playbook


As a Penang-grown corporate citizen with an entrepreneurial mindset, I am fascinated with how technology and innovation has disrupted the way we live, work and play. And I also have tremendous admiration for individual talents and the potential they are capable of bringing to the table, if given the opportunity and a platform to flex their imaginative prowess and skills.

Dream big and disrupt bigger. This is your time to shine. 9

The Innovator's Playbook

The tech scene in Penang has grown in recent years—a whole lot. It has gained serious traction for its vibrancy, which in turn, created jobs, stimulated economic growth—and what’s more, fastened us on the world map. And if my recent observations are anything to go on, I am also seeing a real entrepreneurial resurgence. Entrepreneurs, be it budding or seasoned, are breaking from their limitations as they venture out of the market-scape to further discover and build new products and services—it is truly a heart-warming scene. With all the available tools and opportunities, truth is, there has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur. It gives me a great pleasure to preface The Innovator’s Playbook and of course, to kickstart the inaugural entrepreneurship program with Aspen Group. This 4-month long program aims to help you redefine and find the balance of the various parts of the process—from functionality to design and performance of your product. And this book will come into the picture as a one-stop guide to the fundamentals of accelerating your team’s startup idea, which consists of all the necessary tools to run your business more effectively. You and your team will be actively geared toward the Demo Day in July, where you will showcase your final product to the world. Howie Chang Founder and CEO Ayuh Bina


Truth is, there has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur.

The Innovator's Playbook


Penang is one city of many traits. We are known throughout for our palatable street food and cultural heritage. But little did everyone know, we have been developing a strong eye for technology and entrepreneurship too.

All in all, congratulations for making it this far and I look forward to seeing your final product on the Demo Day. I wish you all the best in your work. Onwards and upwards! 11

So, do you have the necessary constitution to make it as an entrepreneur? Whether you fail hard or become a massive success, you will be grateful you took the risk.

The Innovator's Playbook

The Innovator's Playbook 12


Your palms are sweaty, your heart is pounding; it feels like everything is laid on the line—and that success all rests on you. The weekends and holidays are irrelevant. Decisions seem way less consequential. You no longer heave a sigh of relief despite closing a round of financing deal. This is because more people are depending on you to make it work— to turn their investment into twenty times what you were given. This, in a nutshell, is what entrepreneurship is all about.


The Innovator's Playbook


Phase One

Tuning the Engine

Figure A 14


Week One

The Innovator's Playbook

The Innovator's Playbook

01 Prepare Think the A-team, not Friends

Figure 1.0 16


The Innovator's Playbook

“ If you can’t feed a team with two pizzas, it’s too large. ”


— Jeff Bezos Amazon founder and CEO

The Innovator's Playbook

1. Build Team Charter 2. Establish Vision Statement 3. Create better Meetings via Sprint Planning


Tool 1.1—Team Charter

You are about to embark on a journey of exploration that is different from any other as you will learn the ropes to create a startup. Well, it is more than just using sticky notes, for the journey is not a linear one; it is cyclical and iterative. It is about embracing the cloud of uncertainty—because somewhere inside all those uncertainties lie an opportunity to make your business better.

The ideal team, be it in a startup or a business, will consist of diverse characters and personalities as you will need to be able to cover a wide range of tasks within the given time frame. In need of someone to write a business proposal? Obtain a writer on board. How about someone to handle all things design for the team? And possibly, a coder…Well, you get the point.

Whether it is to understand your customers better or to design a new business model, preparation is key. You would not want to go into a battle without preparing, right?

The question is, how will all of you agree on your goals, expectations, and values yet at the same time not forgetting but dealing with challenging situations together? The answer is by designing a team charter together.

You have put together a team and have secured an environment to work together in. Now, it is time to actually work together efficiently and effectively. This week, you will learn how to prepare your team for the journey ahead and your environment for the work that will ensue—all by utilizing the tools that are provided so that you will get the best from everyone.

A team charter will help you to create a blueprint for the engine behind a project; a well-balanced team. It is always an advantage to know who you are working with!

The startup journey is not one to be taken alone. Success comes when a team of people are in it together and are collectively compelled to see the process through. So, set yourself and your team up for success by controlling what you can; do not leave things up to chance.

Mentor: Aaron Lim is a 90s young entrepreneur who founded Goody Tech in 2015. Goody Tech owned No.1 Chinese Digital Media Platform in Malaysia, making 7 digits revenue in its second year. Besides, Goody Tech has accumulated more than 500 brands and merchants to register under their advertising platform. Over the past 24 months, they expanded their team from two to 30. Goody Tech has more than 1000 Online Editor who creates content and profit through their platform. 20

Figure 1.1

Step by Step Guide 1. Decide on the role of each member. 2. Each individual team member will need to write on sticky notes what their expectations are (max 3), what they see as obstacles (max 3), their 1 most important value, and what will give them energy. Also, each should write down his or her most important value that they want to add to the group. 3. Take a step back and discuss about the expectations, values, energy sources, and obstacles.

The Innovator's Playbook


Download this tool at: toolbox/#/tools/teamcharter 21

Checklist— You have defined the team goal You defined the driver, team members, and values

The Innovator's Playbook

You defined obstacles and energy sources



The Innovator's Playbook

The Innovator's Playbook

Notes & Sketches—

24 25

Tool 1.2—Five Bold Steps Vision

The Innovator's Playbook

Once you have sorted out your team dynamics, let us proceed to discuss about vision. When you enter that boardroom, or strategy meeting, or a VC pitch, what are you going to say? How will you sway people to your point of view, or at least convince them to explore your vision with you? This is precisely, where stories and a vision statement can make a world of difference.

Visions set directions—and it is sometimes called a picture of your company in the future. However, in reality, it is always so much more than that. Your vision statement is your inspiration, the framework for all your strategic planning. It should be meaningful, authentic and unapologetic—and stands as a reminder of what everyone is trying to accomplish together as a team. The 5 Bold Steps Vision Canvas is the perfect tool to align you and your team members. — Created by David Sibbet, The Grove Consultants International

Setting a vision lets everyone know which direction they are going, even in small teams. There is nothing more valuable than knowing the baselines; the “whats and whys” (your mission) behind your startup and “where do you want to go” (your vision).

Figure 1.2 26

Download this tool at: 27

Notes & Sketches—

Checklist— You have identified five steps to achieve your vision Your vision statement is supported by clear themes and the realistic ways it shows up

The Innovator's Playbook

The Innovator's Playbook

You filtered out criteria to design your business model (s) and value proposition



Don’t we all dread unproductive, time-draining meetings? Regular team meetings are essential to a company’s success, but they tend to run off the rails when no proper preparation is executed. This is where Sprint Planning comes into the picture.


Sprint Planning

Sprint Planning—widely known as the foundation of the Scrum Methodology—is known as a collaborative meeting in which the team estimates the size of user stories, decomposes the stories into tasks and commits to delivering this “Product Backlog” during the next sprint session. Every sprint is expected to last roughly one hour every week and if done correctly, it will help ensure that you have the commitment and buyin from each team member to deliver the content to the best of their ability.


What Product Backlog

Capacity / Velocity

Sprint Goal

The Innovator's Playbook

The Innovator's Playbook

Tool 1.3—Sprint Planning Meeting

How Current Product Status


Sprint Backlog

Figure 1.3 30


The Innovator's Playbook

The Innovator's Playbook

Notes & Sketches—

32 33

The Innovator's Playbook