Thursday, February 3, 2011

Structuring Experiments: Product within a service company

Some notes on today's Lean Coffee Toronto case study, hosted superbly by Jet Cooper.
  • Rocketr: 0 to launch in 99 days
  • Andrew joined the firm after some long-term travel
  • They had 3-month and 10-year plans, but nothing in-between
  • Unique: Created a separate entity external to Jet Cooper for Rocketr
    • Corporation
    • Board of Directors
    • Legal Agreements
    • Monetary Investment (both from Jet Cooper and people involved)
  • Hardest part: Defining the MVP
  • Artificial constraints: Having a hard launch date helped keep focus
  • Talking to people early on was extremely valuable
  • Every week they had potential customer using it
  • First 30 days were basically lost due to a substantial change in methodology and approach
  • But, this lead to valuable lessons learned for Jet Cooper as a whole
  • Now focused on "Agile Design"
    • Tools: Paper, Balsamiq, HTML (all the standard stuff)
  • Product vision: "Open source" your early thinking about projects
  • Focus and forget about the stuff that doesn't matter
    • If it's truly important, it will be brought up again
Jason's thoughts:
  • The "Agile Design" lessons sound extremely valuable
    • Would love to see these organized and documented publicly (perhaps in Rocketr? :)
  • Is the separate entity and investment really necessary?
  • How much overhead does the legal/corporate stuff add in the early stages?
    • There was mention that the board of directors often took up a lot of time
  • The "throw stuff out" advise is good (sounds very Tim Ferris or 37signals although not 100% sure of the source)
  • Could this approach be "lean-ified" a bit?
Really great to hear these cases studies. Looking forward to next week!

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