Tools for using Titanic Effect Frameworks with your Startup

We frequently get asked the question: Why did you write this book? What do you hope to get out of it? Our primary objective is to help founders and those who support startups be more successful. But the greatest book in the world can only go so far—and we are far from that! To bring the book to life, and hopefully make it actionable, we have created some tools startups can use.

A Company Discussion Guide

We considered that some startups might want to explore where they have strengths and challenges together. We created a Discussion Guide to help apply the concepts within each Ocean to your startup. It starts with considering where your startup is today, walks you through the Oceans, and gives you a way to write down key debtbergs you want to track. You can download this Discussion Guide from the website – The Titanic Effect Discussion Guide.

The Iceberg Index

The primary tool that “maps” directly to the Titanic Effect book is the Iceberg Index, detailed in Chapter 8. Essentially, this takes the 32 “debtbergs” we identify in the book and converts them to a series of items in a checklist format. Founding teams can quantify their hidden debts and highest priorities for navigation over time. Eventually, we hope to have an online community with aggregated information so startups can benchmark themselves against peers in similar stages and markets. But for now, you can download the tool as a document from the book’s website and see where your startup stands – The Iceberg Index Checklist.

The Navigation Map

To bring a visual element to the Oceans and debtbergs and make it more operational for a larger group, we created a poster-sized (2 feet x 3 feet) map with all the Oceans and debtbergs. We envision startups having this map on a wall in their main shared space. During weekly standups or group meetings, employees and others can put a marker or thumbtack on the debtbergs that are of concern. To make it even easier, we’ve got Velcro-backed Icebergs that can be put on the poster map. This could be done in a meeting, or anonymously in advance. This map then provides a vehicle for company discussions of possible debt bergs, as well as deliberations about how to navigate around them. We recommend no more than three debtbergs be a focus to address at any time. You can order a printed map poster with Velcro icebergs from our website – The Titanic Effect Map.


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Of course, no employee communication and motivation plan would be complete without gamification and rewards! The coolest swag is a limited edition snow globe. We discovered the Queen of Snow Globes, Leah Andrews, after a search for sources of snow globes and desktop paperweights. Leah has crafted limited edition snow globes for Steve Martin, Daft Punk, Quentin Tarentino, and the Narcos Netflix series. She did an excellent job helping us think through how to translate the theme and visualization of the book to a snow globe format. Picture the annual “Titanic Award” for the employee who helps the startup or growing venture identify or address a particularly challenging debtberg. Of course, it looks pretty cool on ANY desktop—just sayin’. Get yours on the website – The Titanic Effect Snow Globe.


And, if you like the snow globe, you might also like a T-shirt. You can pick one up on the website too – The Titanic Effect T-shirt

We would love to hear how you are using The Titanic Effect in your own journey, whether as an entrepreneur or as a supporter. Leave a comment below or email us at We hope some of these tools help you keep navigating successfully!