Ash Maurya, CEO of LEANSTACK and the creator of the “Lean Canvas,” says the COVID-19 pandemic has created enormous opportunities for entrepreneurs, but cautions it will be months, and possibly longer, before a vaccine and recharged economy allow those opportunities to bear fruit.

“This is probably the biggest once-in-a-lifetime type of a crisis that we are all going through, and it’s got that kind of characteristic of being global,” Maurya told Communitech CEO Iain Klugman in the latest episode of True North TV, a series of weekly summer conversations with leaders in tech and non-tech roles.

The global nature of the crisis, Maurya says, means that those with solutions to the problems that the virus has generated will “just have a massive opportunity, massive appeal.”

Massive appeal would aptly apply to Maurya’s “Lean Canvas,” a concise, one-page business plan template, that has drawn wide interest from not just startups, but large companies and governments, too. Lean Canvas aims, as Maurya told Klugman, “to capture fundamental assumptions” about a business amid the fast pace of creating a business.

“So one of the things that we embrace in the lean startup is this notion of going fast, but going fast while still having some semblance of a plan, because otherwise we’re just going around in circles,” said Maurya, who is based in Austin, Texas.

Challenging assumptions, planning, is a hallmark of Maurya’s standard operating procedure. To that end, Klugman pointed out that the pandemic has shown it is possible for businesses to respond quickly, to do what they thought could never be done. Work-from-home is but one example. Maurya wholeheartedly agreed.

“I think this is one of the powers of crisis,” he said. “It creates this focusing event, and brings people together in ways where they try to overcome some of the normal status quo-ways of doing things.

“Many [businesses] have been surprised at how productive they have actually become in this time.”

Maurya is also a big believer in the True North, tech-for-good, principle.

“I believe the job of every entrepreneur, every innovator, out there, is to leave us better off than where we started out,” said Maurya. “The Silicon Valley mantra [is] fail fast, break things because things need to be broken. But I think a more healthier way to look at things is: How do we make the world a better place? How do we look for a better outcome?”

True North TV continues next Tuesday with a discussion with John Baker, CEO and founder of education software company D2L – timely insofar as students are preparing for a return to school in a few weeks.