Venture Development Life Cycle (VDLC)

A repeatable process for building startups

Venture Development Life Cycle (VDLC)
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  • Reverse engineer from your customer’s problem; bottoms up unit economics modeling designed for organic growth
  • Your pricing plan should be the first step of product development because it narrows down who the buyer is, articulates what growth looks like, and forces a tight scope on the product plan


  • Specify GTM motion and prioritize feature roadmap
  • This is where you take the theoretical model and create a tactical playbook for approaching both market and product development


  • Develop a sellable version of the key few features that enable customer success
  • This includes producing workflows for onboarding and payment—treat the growth funnel as an equal part of the product


  • Ask your list of potential customers to buy
  • Whether acquiring new logos or getting existing customers to adopt new features, active selling of functional products is the best way to test hypotheses and garner market feedback


  • Identify what’s working and what isn’t in order to modify approach as needed
  • Continuously improve internal measurement processes to capture, and synthesize data, then translate into actionable plans
Chris Davis

Written by

Chris Davis

Today, I am focused on increasing the surface area of founder success through my venture studio, Bootstrapital. Prior to this latest foray into entrepreneurship, I was a data guy at startups; before that, a supply chain/analyst/bizops guy at big companies.