It was great meeting the new faces and thanks to all the veterans who are making the Lean Startup Circle – Louisville more ‘sticky.’ With your help, our ‘experiment’ to see if a Lean Startup Circle can survive in Louisville continues on!
General theme from our discussions:
The Lean Startup is a ‘principled’ approach to developing a startup idea around ‘validated learning.’
The framework is based on Vision, Steering and Acceleration. As entrepreneurs we’re mostly in the ‘vision’ stage of this framework. Some of us have had years of experience with Lean, but applying this approach to startups is a new experience for all of us. Glenn was able to describe ‘the value’ of BMCs create by telling us how his consulting firm is using with clients, but also how he’s using them internally.
You’re not really in the steering phase, until you’ve assembled or created a minimum viable product (or MVP) in which to test your hypothesis. Your MVP is what you use to validate your learning. It’s not enough just to learn, you want to validate or invalidate your most important assumptions,
“a true experiment follows the ‘scientific method’, “it begins with a clear hypothesis that makes predictions about what is supposed to happen it then test this predictions empirically, just as scientific experiments are informed by theory, startup experiments are informed by ‘vision’.-Eric Ries, The Lean Startup Chapter 4
Eric goes on to describe the story of the Zappos Experiment:
Is there already sufficient demand for a superior online shopping experience for shoes?
Many other assumptions were tested as well (which provided much different (better) data from market research)
By building a product instead, the company learned much more from their customers and had more accurate data.
1.More accurate data about customer demand, b/c it was observing real customer behavior-not asking hypothetical questions.
2.It put itself in a position to learn about their customers real needs
3.It allowed itself to be surprised
Zappos initial experiment provided a clear, quantifiable outcome.
Either a sufficient number of customers would buy the shoes (success) or they would not (fail.)
[*BTW, the first person (from our Meetup) to respond will get their very own FREE audio version of the Lean Startup via proAM Labs.]
‘The Lean Startup’ is not the tactics used and there isn’t a one formula fits all approach for all startups. On the other hand, as Ben Yoskovitz (from Lean Analytics) discussed, our ‘business models’ are not ‘unique gems’. So, how do we marry the passion of our idea with the rigorous testing of Business Model experimentation? We know we need to get quantitative and qualitative feedback earlier and more often in order to make actionable decision(s), but how?
Lean Analytics (tactics) and Customer Development (tactics) provide options for us and the tactics are evolving.
As entrepreneurs, we all live in our own ‘Reality Distortion Field.’ As Steve and I were talking, we discussed the role of a Business Analyst to help build the necessary experiments (components) in order to deliver better learning (in order to learn more and be more effective). Is this of interest?
Do you think a Business Analyst can help improve outcomes for an entrepreneur by helping a Founder ‘bake-in’ validated learning mechanisms? As I prepare for a presentation on the “Role of BA’s in Startups“, I’d love to hear what you think of how a BA can help deliver REAL value (and eventually happiness.) I think there is much to be said about the invalidated product idea, as we don’t have to spend another sleepless night (or second) wondering, “what if, we only”..
We’ll continue to poke and prod and try to ask the ‘right questions.’
“Show to Grow” -
Steve mentioned an idea that I believe in strongly and there are others who have come to the Meetup with similar ideas.
IDEA: What if, “we could create a Startup that could be used as an example.” The thing is, we’re all very passionate about our own ideas (and personal interest) so it’s difficult to put any additional time into a startup that isn’t our own. I still think it’s a great idea and if anyone wants to participate in that endeavor-I’m in. So, an idea for a startup must be presented strong enough that a team can self-organize around it. Let it be noted, I would just as much prefer each Startup ‘blow up’ outside of the Lean Startup Circle and then circle back to share their experience or “Tell your story of “How I blew up my Startup!” (sounds like a good title for a book? anyway)
Our Lean Startup is a great place to discover new folks interested in entrepreneurship, business analysis, startups and product development. It’s a great place to move our ideas (as projects) forward through validated learning based on experiments (basically holding each other accountable.)
As teams continue to self-organize, be sure to promote your accomplishments of learning here. Your accomplishments can be added here. This Meetup is a great place to learn from one another.. what tactics worked, what failed, etc.
Joe and Xavier, great ideas to help improve the ‘experience’ for our local Lean Startup – Justin, you have mad ninja skills that can help many folks. Look forward to working with you on future experiments! Yinka and Joe, great to meet you and look forward to hearing more about the adventures of Wirecup .
Oh, btw, YPAL’s Develop Louisville Session 4 is on Startups. If interested it’s at i-Hub tomorrow night at 6:00. Please come out, it’s free to all (and you can register here.)
Frequently Used Words
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- Using Google Docs to scale a lean startup | PandoDaily (pandodaily.com)
- Why should you care about Lean Startup? (neumanagement.wordpress.com)
- Customer validation: from lean startup to craigslist | PandoDaily (pandodaily.com)
- Do lean startup principles have a place in the enterprise? (thenextweb.com)
- Bright gets Lean: our weekend at the Lean Startup Machine workshop (bright.com)
- Lean Startup: Should You Really Get the Product Out as Quickly as Possible? (agile.dzone.com)