Thursday, March 10, 2011

Inside The Lean Startup

This evening I attended a great panel discussion event at the MaRS Discovery District entitled "Inside The Lean Startup".

There were some great points brought up by the panel of @ashmaurya, @skanwar, @leilaboujnane, and @davidcrow of StartupNorth etc.

My takeaways:
  • What do people misunderstand about Lean?
    • not a step-by-step guide -- it's a set of philosophies
    • not "cheap" or "bootstrapping" -- process efficiency
  • Potential mistakes:
    • Relying on the wrong set of tactics for the stage they're at
    • Over complication in systems (ie. continuous integration)
  • Should be about changing behaviour -- getting out and talking to customers
  • All about efficiency -- get the most for the least
  • Key Metric: Money -- Are people paying you for your product?
  • Key Question: How disappointed would you be if this product would be taken away tomorrow? 
    • 40%+ indicates not a fluke
  • Key Points:
    • Reduce assumptions
    • Identify riskiest parts first and evaluate
    • Don't afraid to be embarased
    • Find the shortest route to get in front of customer and get feedback
  • Lean applies to: unknown problems / unknown solutions
  • Hypothesis test: pull the plug and see if anyone cares!
  • When do you start charging? From day 1. ("free" is a customer acquisition tactic, not a business model)
  • Starting out: Is this a problem worth solving?
  • Make sure a hypothesis is falsifiable -- the scientific method
  • "Life is too short to build products nobody cares about." -- Ash
  • Adding features:
    • Unused features are waste
    • Creates technical debt
    • Start with "no"
  • How do you get feedback?
    • Initial hypothesis: pain is so great that they want to be involved in the process
    • Find your early adopters -- as visionary as you are (rare breed, hard to find)
    • People are always open to telling you about their problems ("tell me about your pain")
    • If you're not getting feedback, find out why -- not reachable? don't like forms, method of communication, type of question
And some miscellaneous notes:
Valuable stuff. Looking forward to more events like this one!

1 comment:

  1. This is a great summary, thanks Jason! So glad you liked the event!