The Straight Up Toolkit

Helping you (learn to) start

These tools help you start and grow pretty much anything. And they’re completely free through our Creative Commons license. Download, print and use as many copies as you want for your own personal non-commercial purposes. Or use the Google Drive versions to collaborate with colleagues.

What are you waiting for? Get started!

And while you’re here, be sure to check out the Idea Maker Course » which helps you get your ideas out into the world – with the right tools, processes, and support to do so successfully. And if you’re an educator then be sure to also check this out »

The Idea Napkin

The Idea Napkin is a tool for people who want to start and lead something impactful – whether it’s a trendy restaurant, a high tech venture, a social business, or a personal project of passion. It’s to help you start, or come back to basics when needed.

Break It & Better It form

As tools go, this one’s ridiculously simple – two columns on a piece of paper. But as process and mindset go, it can provide an eye opening shift in how to best move an idea forward and avoid common mistakes. Whether it’s brand new or a going concern.

The Idea Model

The Idea Model comes after the Idea Napkin and before tools like the lean canvas or business model canvas. We think of it as a home plate for running the bases with your concept – whether you just thought of it or you’ve been working on it for years.

Value Proposition Wheel

One of the most practical and powerful tools in our idea design arsenal, the Value Proposition Wheel helps you figure our who are your key customers (using “testable pre-personas”) and design the version of your concept that best meets their needs and wants.

Deeply practical tools for assessing your idea or concept

Trust yourself. But don’t fool yourself. The tools on this page will help you get feedback from others and translate it into an authentic critique of your idea – one that’s directly tied to the challenge of designing the mostly impactful and feasible version of your concept.