It is often the case in my own life that one or two days of solid, no-stress thought time can save many weeks, sometimes months of effort.
I think it can be particularly hard to take this time when you're cashflow negative, in the press, and the clock is ticking.. That is precisely when you most need to take that time, of course. :)
Look at the screenshots. https://www.leanlaunchlab.com/#screenshot-canvas
"Key activities: Write code. Meet entrepreneurs. "
"Cost structure: Employees. Rent"
These are obvious. These arn't things that need to be written down in a planning app. A 10 minute smoke break and it should be in your head for good. Then a month later they are in an accounting app or spreadsheet with hard figures on them.
Then there is an internal blog with commenters talking about learnings and whether or not angel funded startups have board meetings. Common, do people really needs this?
It's starting to feel like everyone talking about "lean startups" is just trying to "play business" instead of making an awesome product that solves a real problem and hustling hard charging people as much as they can for it. The whole thing reeks of MBA BS.
 (read: meeting clients, split testing, funnel marketing, optimizing adwords, etc. not writing internal blog posts about how you feel things are going)
"Draw a man in a cave being chased by a fire-breathing dragon. He is desperately trying to remove a bunch of stones that are blocking his path. A fairy and a forklift just appeared beside him."
I can only hope that I made the turkers laugh a little bit when they saw that. :)
The payoff can't be a thin margin either. If doing it manually vs learning a tool will save me a few hours total, It's not worth it. However if writing a script will save me days on end in the long run I'll think about it.
"The hero’s journey is an apt way to think of startups. ... Obstacles, hardships and disaster lie ahead... It tests their stamina, agility, and the limits of courage.
Most entrepreneurs feel their journey is unique. Yet what Campbell perceived about the mythological hero’s journey is true of startups as well: however dissimilar the stories may be in detail, their outline is always the same. Most entrepreneurs travel down the startup path without a roadmap and believe that no model or template could apply to their new venture. They are wrong. For the path of a startup is well worn, and well understood."
Sure there are tons of Lean and Agile tools out there that waste more time than they save. Where a whiteboard will do a better job and do it faster and cheaper. I agree many of these tools should have the stamp "Cargo Cult" on their landing page (caveat: I've never used LLL, but I love the lean canvas, it's just that pen and paper is good enough for me). I'll even go so far as to say that I think the market for "tools" exists at least in part for people who are not interested in really learning, but want to follow a step-by-step road map through the product development processes. This is clearly wrong and a colossal mistake. How can anyone honestly learn from the product development process if they are just following the prompts?
So while I think you've probably made the right decision, your analogy makes me wonder if you've done it for the wrong reasons.