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September 3, 2019
We recently hosted a conversation between Chris Cochella, Executive Business Coach at Sequoia Group, and Adam Berk, Lean Startup Co. Faculty Member, about the value and application of mental models for extremely uncertain Lean Startup situations. In Chris and Adam’s conversation, they discuss: - What is a mental model and how can they help you? - What is first conclusion bias and how can it help and/or hurt you? - Three critical mental models that can help the Lean Startup entrepreneur subvert the first conclusion bias. And much, much more… Lean Startup methods are intended to reduce uncertainty in a highly uncertain environment. Warren Buffett likes to say, “I don’t look to jump over 7-foot bars, I look around for 1-foot bars that I can step over.” As entrepreneurs, we are looking to lower the height of the uncertainty hurdle while making decisions and moving forward. Another way to look at this approach is to create a situation where: heads, I win; tails, I don’t lose much. The Lean Startup approach is all about using all available tools to reduce the hurdle height and increase the likelihood of winning. It’s about stacking the odds in your favor. Lean Startup is a toolbox full of mental models to stop and interrupt the waste caused by simplistic, fast, and easy “first order thinking” like cognitive biases. Applying Lean Startup mental models helps to provide deliberate, valuable “second order thinking” to the entrepreneur and intrapreneur that will help reduce uncertainty. While many people are familiar with mental models, we will highlight the value and application of mental models for extremely uncertain Lean Startup situations. Email us: education@leanstartup.co Follow Lean Startup Co. @leanstartup https://leanstartup.co/education
July 25, 2019
We recently hosted a conversation between Brock Blake, Founder & CEO of Lendio, and Marilyn Gorman, Lean Startup Co. Faculty Lead, focused on the decision to pivot one successful company into another that served a completely different niche of the market while embracing the importance of accountability. In Brock and Marilyn’s conversation, they discuss: - How Brock got started in the world of entrepreneurship and decided which problem to focus on. - How a pivot from his first idea eventually led to Lendio. - The “be the CEO of your job” mentality and how this builds accountability for Lendio employees. And much, much more… Brock Blake stumbled into the world of entrepreneurship when he was still attending college at BYU. He was studying finance and won an entrepreneurship competition that awarded him $50,000 to start a business. The only problem was that he didn’t exactly know what he wanted to do, much less how to go about launching into the business world. Instead of diving in headfirst into the first idea or opportunity that presented itself, Brock decided to learn about the business of going into business. If he was going to be successful, he knew he needed to know how to be an entrepreneur. So he did his own market research and spoke to business owners in different areas of the market to know what it was like. In doing that research, he recognized a common thread between all the businesses: they needed capital. “I realized...that this was a big market, a big opportunity and a big pain that I thought we could solve.” Empowered with the idea of helping businesses get on their feet, Brock launched his first business, Funding Utah (which would evolve to be Funding Universe) — which helped connect entrepreneurs to venture capitalists and angel investors. But the reality is that only one or two percent of entrepreneurs have the type of company that can or will raise money through investors. Most businesses are main street businesses, like restaurants, retail shops, landscapers or construction companies that need small business loans. “It’s not great to have a business where [you’re turning away] 98% of your customers because they’re not going to raise money,” Brock says. So instead of staying focused on a small equity-seeking segment of the market, they decided to pivot and focus on the larger, loan-seeking 98%. And thus, Lendio — a company focused on helping small business owners get access to capital — was born. Email us: education@leanstartup.co Follow Lean Startup Co. @leanstartup https://leanstartup.co/education
June 5, 2019
We recently hosted a conversation between Maryana Iskander, CEO at Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, and Ann Mei Chang, Executive Director of Lean Impact at Lean Startup Co., focused on the pioneering work of Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator in South Africa and their efforts to tackle the global youth unemployment crisis. In Maryana and Ann Mei’s conversation, they discuss: - How Harambee focused their efforts on solving problems for two customers - young people looking for a job and businesses needing to hire. - How they used data to guide their problem solving efforts and what some of the key learnings were. - Their efforts to scale their work to Rwanda and what the key challenges have been. And much, much more… South Africa has a big problem on its hands. Even though they make up less than 1% of the world’s population, they have one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the world. It’s a problem that’s compounded over time. Every year, nearly two-thirds of young people who enter the job market end up unemployed, resulting in a population of between six and nine million unemployed young people. It’s a problem not easily solved. It’s not just a matter of not having enough jobs or a lack of the right type of education — although, those are big problems. But even at the most basic level, there are barriers to entry that are just now being recognized. Things like not having the resources to properly look for a job or enough money to afford transportation to an interview are factors that haven’t traditionally been considered in the past. But when businesses began to recognize their difficulties in finding young people to fill open positions, they got together to try to find a solution. Their efforts led to the creation of Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator. Today, the award-winning non-profit uses data and innovation to bridge the gap between employers and unemployed young people as they work to solve the global youth unemployment crisis. Email us: education@leanstartup.co Follow Lean Startup Co. @leanstartup https://leanstartup.co/education
May 30, 2019
We recently hosted a conversation between Claire Lee, Head of Early Stage at Silicon Valley Bank, Liz Curtis, CEO & Founder at Table + Teaspoon, and CJ Legare, Lean Startup Co. Chief of Staff, about the realities facing female entrepreneurs today. In Claire, Liz, and CJ’s conversation, they discuss: - Why Liz decided to start Table + Teaspoon, a “Rent the Runway, but for table settings.” - What Claire calls the “Single Digit Club” and what we can do to change it. - The importance that mentors have played in both Liz and Claire’s career. And much, much more… Liz Curtis didn’t always intend to be an entrepreneur, least of all in the world of entertaining. In fact, she was studying to become a lawyer when she started Table + Teaspoon — a blog that featured decorating ideas, entertaining tips and recipes. The blog was initially just a creative outlet for Liz as she pursued her career as a corporate litigator, but eventually, it became a much bigger idea that she launched into a business. In 2013, while she was still practicing law, Liz decided she wanted to build something “rather than tearing things apart,” the latter of which she felt she was doing as a lawyer. Liz pivoted on her career and started interviewing with startups to do something — anything — to hop aboard their rocket ship. But after verbally agreeing to join a startup about to launch their new app, she “realized that she’d rather build her own rocket ship.” So in 2013, she left law behind and started looking at what tech-enabled solutions were needed in the entertaining space, a huge market lacking any innovation and thus ripe for disruption. After getting her hands dirty and exploring a little bit of everything in the industry — catering, interior design, flowers, weddings — she landed on her current business model which she describes as “Rent the Runway, but for table settings.” The bootstrapped idea launched as a prototype in the Fall of 2016, went nationwide in 2017, and late last year she started raising her seed money, which, according to Liz, “is the hardest thing I’ve done in my life, including taking the California bar exam.” Email us: education@leanstartup.co Follow Lean Startup Co. @leanstartup https://leanstartup.co/education
May 9, 2019
We recently hosted a conversation between Bec Evans, Co-founder of Prolifiko and author of "How to Have a Happy Hustle", and Elliot Susel, Lean Startup Co. Faculty Member, focused on the similarities between the world of writing and publishing and the world of startups. In Bec and Elliot’s conversation, they discuss: - The traditional, old-school practices of the publishing industry and why change is needed. - How Bec utilized a Lean Startup approach to writing her new book. - Current innovations happening in the publishing world and what the future of publishing looks like. And much, much more… There are few industries as steeped in traditional, old-school practices as publishing. Many of the major publishing houses have been around for tens (if not hundreds) of years and still haven’t really changed their business structures or publishing methods. But for Bec Evans, that just means there’s a lot of potential for things to become a bit more interesting. Bec has spent her entire career working in and around the world of writing and publishing. She was managing a writer’s retreat when she had an idea for an app that would help writers complete their writing projects. By digging into the idea, she became interested in Lean Startup techniques — specifically what it would be like to work in a fast, iterative way — and began working on the app Prolifiko, a productivity tool for writers that helps them start and finish their writing projects. But, she still needed to pay the rent, so Bec took a job working for a publisher. The company knew about her side hustle and got excited about the technology and the different things Bec was trying, so they created a new role for her in their company: Head of Innovation. Email us: education@leanstartup.co Follow Lean Startup Co. @leanstartup https://leanstartup.co/education
April 25, 2019
We recently hosted a conversation between Julie Legault and Justin Pahara, Co-Founders of Amino Labs, and Hisham Ibrahim, Lean Startup Co. Faculty Member, focused on building a product designed to bring biotechnology — an area of science typically only accessible to experts in the field — to non-experts and beginners. In Julie, Justin, and Hisham’s conversation, they discuss: - How they discovered the problem with bringing biotechnology to beginners and how that led to the creation of Amino Labs. - The iterative process they used to build a product that served their customer’s need, not their want. - How they wrote a book about genetic engineering for beginners using an iterative process. And much, much more… When Julie Legault was a masters student at the MIT Media Lab, she was encouraged to try new things and to do things she wouldn’t normally do. So when Justin Pahara’s first startup, Synbiota, put on a workshop about a new technology called synthetic biology, Julie gave it a try. For her, it was a game changer. “I just discovered something amazing and I can make projects with this,” she remembers thinking. She and her fellow grad students got really interested in synthetic biology and all of its applications, so they tried to utilize their new knowledge in MIT’s biotech lab. But that’s where Julie recognized a big problem in the biotech space — there was a huge barrier to entry. If you weren’t an expert, it was very difficult to learn or gain any type of experience in it. Initially embarrassed by her inexperience, Julie turned the idea that there are no tools that allow beginners to get interested in biotechnology into her graduate thesis. She got overwhelmingly positive feedback, so she kept moving forward with the idea. Eventually, it led her to getting back in touch with Justin for his help and expertise in the area. Together, they founded Amino Labs, a company that builds hardware and provides experiences that makes bioengineering accessible to children and non-scientists. Email us: education@leanstartup.co Follow Lean Startup Co. @leanstartup https://leanstartup.co/education
April 18, 2019
We recently hosted a conversation between Chris Cochella, Founder & Co-Owner at Brackitz, and Marilyn Gorman, Lean Startup Co. Faculty Lead, focused on how the desire to find better engineering toys for his son turned into an idea to create a toy to help promote STEAM learning in young children. In Chris and Marilyn’s conversation, they discuss: - What problem drove Chris to start Brackitz. - The process Chris went through to test his early assumptions with his customers (teachers and students). - The importance of letting your curiosity fuel you. And much, much more… Like many new product beginnings, the idea behind Brackitz came out of a personal need. After he started a science program at his kids’ elementary school, Chris Cochella, founder and co-owner of Brackitz toys, realized that there wasn’t a lot of hands-on science or engineering tools available for young children. To Chris, this was a problem. Right now, the National Science Foundation says that the declining interest in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) is a national concern. As Chris was looking more into the issue, he discovered that spatial play and spatial reasoning is a very strong predictor of STEAM related things, including degree attainment and math skill development in children ages three to four. In a world where kids are increasingly on digital devices, how do we get them to willingly put those devices down and start playing more with their hands? Email us: education@leanstartup.co Follow Lean Startup Co. @leanstartup https://leanstartup.co/education
April 11, 2019
We recently hosted a webcast conversation between Dante Vitagliano, Political Consultant at Pinnacle Campaign Strategies, and Marilyn Gorman, Lean Startup Co. Faculty Lead, focused on how Lean Startup can be used to run political campaigns. In Dante and Marilyn’s conversation, they discuss: - The similarities between startups and running political campaigns. - The 3 major phases in the political process where using a Lean Startup approach can help campaigners. - How to do experimentation and learning inside a political campaign. And much, much more… When it comes to political campaigns, Dante Vitagliano wants to build a better business model. When he and his partners started Pinnacle Campaign Strategies, they set out to solve some of the problems they consistently saw happening in political campaigns. To Dante, applying the Lean Startup methodology to their campaign efforts made sense. “There are so many similarities between the startup landscape and what we as [...] campaign professionals face on the day-to-day,” he says. Email us: education@leanstartup.co Follow Lean Startup Co. @leanstartup https://leanstartup.co/education
March 28, 2019
We recently hosted a webcast conversation between Pete Oliver-Krueger, Agile, Lean, and Teal Managing Consultant; Jim Damato, Agile Specialist; and Heather McGough, Lean Startup Co. CEO & Co-Founder focused on how Lean Startup is applied in politics. In Pete, Jim, and Heather’s conversation, they discuss: - Why it’s so important to apply Lean Startup in the political arena and how it can be done. - The key lessons learned from Jim’s former startup, TruthinessCheck, which used crowdsourcing to do fact checking. - The future of innovation in politics. And much, much more… Email us: education@leanstartup.co Follow Lean Startup Co. @leanstartup https://leanstartup.co/education
March 21, 2019
We recently hosted a webcast conversation between Jason VandeBoom, CEO and Founder of ActiveCampaign, and Hisham Ibrahim, Lean Startup Co. Faculty Member, focused on the importance of leaning into your customers and learning from them in order to grow your business. In Jason and Hisham’s conversation, they discuss: - The importance of letting customer feedback guide the product development - How to scale up while staying close to your customers - The key lessons learned as Jason looks back on the startup story of ActiveCampaign And much, much more… When Jason VandeBoom launched ActiveCampaign in 2003, he wasn’t trying to start a business or grow a company. He was just trying to make some money to pay for college. All of his customers were small businesses and they all started wanting the same thing: to communicate with their customers. At the time, the options for small businesses to implement something like this was somewhat limited. Instead of building one-off tools and products for each company, Jason decided to create a contact management package and sell that instead. “[I had] no idea of what that could be,” Jason says, “and then as someone bought it, I just glued onto them to learn as much as I could.” In fact, for a while, Jason says he didn’t even care about the revenue he was generating. Rather, “all I cared about was the interesting work and ensuring I was providing a ton of value.” His focus on listening to the customers helped him learn a lot about what customers needed and how to add to ActiveCampaign’s product catalogue. So much so that by the end of the first decade his company was up to eight products, all of which impacted a piece of the customer experience. “We learned a lot about each piece,” Jason says, “but the tool didn’t actually matter as much as moving data throughout their entire experience and making that feel like a unified experience.” Email us: education@leanstartup.co Follow Lean Startup Co. @leanstartup https://leanstartup.co/education
March 5, 2019
We recently hosted the first episode of a six-part webcast series we’re doing with Silicon Valley Bank. In episode one, Elliot Susel, Lean Startup Co. Faculty Member, spoke with Theron McCollough, Managing Director of Silicon Valley Bank’s Early Stage Practice about the 2019 Startup Outlook US Report they just released. You can read the report here: https://bit.svb.com/2GzYO4e In Theron and Elliot’s conversation, they discuss: - The challenges that companies are facing in finding and hiring talent - The growing number of women in leadership positions - Why some startups are finding it easier to raise funds - The most promising new technology sectors And much, much more… In 2004, Theron McCollough joined a startup and never looked back. He has remained in the startup space ever since. Now, as the Managing Director of the Early Stage Practice at Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), his main job is “just helping startups.” He gets to connect companies and people together and help make the introductions that specifically match with what startup founders are building. “It’s what makes me wake up every day,” Theron says, “and I’m excited to come to work.” In his role at Silicon Valley Bank, one of the things Theron gets to work on is the Startup Outlook Report they release every year. The 2019 report was just released, and Theron was able to share some insights about what the report says about the startup world right now. Email us: education@leanstartup.co Follow Lean Startup Co. @leanstartup https://leanstartup.co/education
February 21, 2019
We recently hosted a webcast conversation between Giovanni Rotondo, Film Composer & Editor In Chief at Film Scoring Tips, and Marilyn Gorman, Lean Startup Co. Faculty Lead, on how Lean Startup methodologies directly translates into working in the world of music and composition. In Giovanni and Marilyn’s conversation, they discuss: - How Giovanni discovered The Lean Startup and began applying it to his work composing music scores - How he applied the MVP concept to a Minimum Viable Cue - How he uses A/B testing to submit work to directors And much, much more… As a film and television composer, Giovanni Rotondo is not in a line of work traditionally associated with startups or Lean Startup initiatives. That all began to change when he joined a startup in London called The Rattle. “[The Rattle] is [both] a career incubator for artists and a startup incubator for musical startups,” Giovanni explains. Initially, he joined as an artist, but Giovanni was intrigued and inspired by the startup culture and started having ideas of his own that applied to the world of music. He shared his idea with the co-owner and co-founder of The Rattle, Chris Howard. Chris suggested the book The Lean Startup to Giovanni. As he was reading it, Giovanni could feel the connection between the startup world and his occupation. “I really [dove] into my mind to see how to apply these concepts to my work,” Giovanni says, “and...I found quite a few ways.” Email us: education@leanstartup.co Follow Lean Startup Co. @leanstartup https://leanstartup.co/education
January 31, 2019
We recently hosted a webcast conversation where Elliot Susel, Lean Startup Co. Faculty Member, spoke with Aaron Levy, Founder and CEO of Raise The Bar about the need for better leaders, unlocking potential, and psychological safety in today's shifting marketplace. In Aaron and Elliot’s conversation, they discuss: - How leaders are made and not born, meaning good leadership is a trainable skill. - The iteration process Aaron went through to develop a product focused on leadership development. - Why an environment of emotional safety is so important and how to create this in your workplace. And much, much, more… Aaron Levy has always been intrigued by human behavior. Specifically why, when we [as humans] know better, why don’t we do better? “People don’t go from knowledge to action,” Aaron says, “and that’s always baffled me.” This observation and led Aaron to study the science of behavior change and how it applied to the world around him. In work and in life, he constantly observed and studied people, both leaders whom he had an opportunity to work with and his friends — that is to say, millennials — who were figuring out their career paths in their respective industries. The latter group led him to notice a curious trend; no matter how much money they were making or how cool their company or office culture was, his friends were all either thinking about leaving their jobs or had left already. After speaking with as many of these people as he could, Aaron got down to the “why?” of it all: that individuals aren’t achieving their best potential despite the fact that both they and their companies want them to excel and succeed. So even though there was an aligned vision between company and employer, there was a big gap, and it all came down to leadership. “The core point of leverage in any organization is your manager,” Aaron says, “and unfortunately most managers suck.” Email us: education@leanstartup.co Follow Lean Startup Co. @leanstartup https://leanstartup.co/education
January 24, 2019
We recently hosted a webcast conversation between Jessica Korthuis, Founder and Chief Brand Strategist at SOHUIS, and Elliot Susel, Lean Startup Co. Faculty Member, to discuss how you can incorporate lean into your marketing and brand strategy. In Jessica and Elliot’s conversation, they discuss: - What companies should do before making the decision to rebrand. - Tools and exercises that can help you execute a successful brand strategy. - How to validate the brand strategy you implemented actually worked. And much, much more… Jessica Korthuis started her first company with her husband after her corporate dream job was eliminated. She didn’t have a ton of experience helping entrepreneurs brand themselves but she had a lot of experience in marketing communications and a can-do spirit. “We built this super-crappy website and then poof, we just started our first agency,” Jessica said. The agency grew organically to include such clients as TED Women, Red Bull and Stanford University, but was completely bootstrapped. “It was this absolutely scrappy thing,” Jessica said. Through the local business ecosystem in Orlando, Florida she learned about Lean Startup, which is where she got involved in helping entrepreneurs brand themselves using Lean Startup tools. Jessica admitted that she was naive at that early stage of her business, but that was both a strength and a weakness. On the one hand, she said, it helped not to know how much work was in front of them, but it was also scary. Her biggest takeaway from starting with so little knowledge is that sometimes the best thing to do is to, “Just start.” Once she was deeper into the process, Jessica saw the value in Lean Startup methods and began to use it, suggesting founders should learn who your early adopters are going to be and determine your minimum viable product (MVP) as early as possible, but “Don’t try to slay the dragon all at once,” she said. Email us: education@leanstartup.co Follow Lean Startup Co. @leanstartup https://leanstartup.co/education
January 17, 2019
We recently hosted a webcast conversation between Lean Startup Co. Faculty Member Elliot Susel, and Aviv Stern, Chief Data Officer at Social Point, a gaming company, to discuss using lean analytics in mobile game development. Don’t have time for the full webcast now? Catch the webcast highlights and tips from their conversation in our companion blog below. Aviv got started working for Fortune 100 companies in a corporate environment in data back when data analytics was called “business intelligence,” he said. No matter what you call it, Aviv said the goal of analytics is finding a way to use data to benefit a business. Aviv praised the Lean Startup method for being intrinsically data driven, a good selling point when you’re trying to convince founders or a small product team to invest in data analytics. “Each of the stages, like build, measure, learn, has integrated into it [a] data-intrinsic approach,” Aviv pointed out. Convincing product development teams to do A/B testing early on—in which you put out two versions of a product or service and see which version is better—can be a challenging battle, Aviv said, so Lean Startup is a great approach to take. Aviv came to Lean Startup after what he called a typical startup experience, “the failing kind” that was also educational. After bootstrapping a data science app for about a year that “we were sure was going to change the world” only to have it fail, it led Aviv to ask how they were developing solutions. “That’s how I found myself really shifting the approach I had…to be much more lean, really focusing very early on validating,” he said. Email us: education@leanstartup.co Follow Lean Startup Co. @leanstartup https://leanstartup.co/education
December 20, 2018
We recently hosted a webcast conversation between Kris Newcomer, Executive Director at The Firefly Sisterhood, and Marilyn Gorman, Lean Startup Co. Faculty Lead, on using Lean Startup methods to launch a successful non-profit as well as make positive changes outside of the business world. In Kris and Marilyn’s conversation, they discuss: - How Kris found The Lean Startup book and then used it to launch The Firefly Sisterhood nonprofit. - How the methodology helped her move forward and make decisions despite not knowing all the information. - How they used “Pivot or Persevere” as they were building their organization. And much, much more… Kris Newcomer is the first to admit that she became the Executive Director of Firefly Sisterhood — a non-profit organization that connects women recently diagnosed with breast cancer with inspirational survivors — by being in the right place at the right time. The idea for the non-profit originally came from an internal competition at General Mills called “The Big Bold Idea.” Yoplait, a brand under General Mills, has always done work with breast cancer, so they pitched an idea called (at the time) “Big Sister, Bigger Sister” which won the contest. But after they got the money to actually begin to build the project, they realized that the idea was too big for them to do it justice internally. That’s when Kris got involved. “I was working for another non-profit and got a call...and [was] asked if I could talk about starting a non-profit.” Those talks eventually led to her being offered the role of founding executive director of the project. Email us: education@leanstartup.co Follow Lean Startup Co. @leanstartup https://leanstartup.co/education
November 30, 2018
We recently hosted the third webcast episode of a mini-series we’re doing with Rhapsody Venture Partners on Lean Startup in the hard sciences where we spoke with Jason Whaley from Rhapsody and Chris Thoen, former CTO of Givaudan, the world’s largest flavor and fragrance company and former Managing Director of Open Innovation at Procter & Gamble. They spoke with Lean Startup Co. faculty member Hisham Ibrahim. In Hisham, Chris, and Jason’s conversation, they discuss: - How to bring the small startup mentality to big corporations - The importance of ambidexterity in leaders so they can maintain the right balance between managing the core business and continuing to innovate - The importance of open innovation in order for companies to grow in today's fast-paced marketplace And much, much more... Chris Thoen spent nearly the entirety of his 32-year career working in science and innovation, and he’s done so while deftly balancing between working for large corporations and small startups - often finding ways to work with both types of companies at the same time. When he was fresh out of college, Chris’ first job was at a small biotech startup in Belgium. It was not only a good transition from University life to professional life, but it was a great introduction to how young companies can really work. But after a few years, he wanted more of a challenge and the ability to continually innovate on new ideas, which led him to his next job at Procter & Gamble. “Essentially every six months you [were] on a new project,” Chris recalls, “You’re doing something different, they’re stretching you as a scientist, or potentially as a manager.” The fast-paced nature of the company suited Chris and he spent the next couple of decades of his career working on projects - big and small - for the company. One of the highlights of his career was working on what he describes as essentially a “startup within the corporation” called Clay Street. For 12 weeks, he and 11 other colleagues from different functions of the organization, worked exclusively on a single project. It’s something that Chris still thinks about fondly. “It was so empowering, so aspirational,” he says. From there Chris went on to lead Procter & Gamble’s Connect and Develop Program - or what he calls their “open innovation program” - where he worked to stretch targets and figure out how to go outside of their own company walls to make new things happen. Most recently, he was the leader of science and technology at Givaudan, the world’s leading flavor and fragrance house. While he was there, he became a founding partner of MassChallenge Switzerland, an accelerator that takes no equity and helps startups hone their business and prepare their pitches for investors. Because, according to Chris, it’s important for large companies to find ways to ensure they continue to re-innovate and reinvigorate themselves with new ideas. “We wanted to link with startup communities to get that stimulus...that boost of energy for our own management team to really see….how other people develop new ideas and novel propositions and how you could work together to bring those ideas to the market.” Email us: education@leanstartup.co Follow Lean Startup Co. @leanstartup https://leanstartup.co/education
November 8, 2018
We recently hosted a webcast conversation between Mark Graban, Author, Professional Speaker, and Consultant, and Marilyn Gorman, Faculty Lead at Lean Startup Co., focused on the importance of metrics and how visualizing data can help foster better learning and more improvement for your organization. In Marilyn and Mark’s conversation, they discuss: - Why you shouldn’t react equally to every uptick or downturn in a business metric. - How to distinguish between signal and noise in metrics and respond accordingly, which includes not overreacting. - How to use “Process Behavior Charts” to make better management decisions. And much, much more... The Lean Startup Conference 2018 is sold out but you can still catch all the keynote talks with our free live stream (Nov 14-16). Sign up here: https://lsp.formstack.com/forms/livestream_registration_2018 For the past twenty years, Mark Graban, author of the book "Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More" and senior advisor to the software company KaiNexus, has been paying attention to how companies and startups use and react to metrics. “Everybody’s got goals and objectives and targets and the action or reaction — or maybe overreaction — that occurs every time there’s an up and down in metrics,” he says, “people feel like they’re taking action, but it might not always be the right action.” Mark believes that it’s important for companies of all sizes — from startups to big corporations — to take a step back and evaluate how they look at metrics. It can be easy for a company to look at the numbers and react to every uptick, downturn or minor change — something Mark likes to call the “noise” in a metric. But he thinks it’s important for companies and individuals to determine whether or not that noise is a meaningful signal or just a standard fluctuation around an average that doesn’t need to be addressed. But, Mark emphasizes, it doesn’t have to be complicated. A lot of companies use metrics to hyper-focus on growth, but what they should be using them for is better learning. Email us: education@leanstartup.co Follow Lean Startup Co. @leanstartup https://leanstartup.co/education
November 1, 2018
We recently hosted a conversation between Lars Lofgren, Senior Director of Growth at I Will Teach You To Be Rich, and Elliot Susel, Faculty Member at Lean Startup Co., about implementing lean product development into your organization and how to choose the right value proposition. In Lars and Elliot’s conversation, they discuss: - How Lars moved the company from a rigid waterfall product development process to a more lean approach. - Why the most important part of the product development process is choosing the right value proposition. - How to choose the right value proposition through customer interviews, surveys, and AB testing. And much, much more… When Lars came on to I Will Teach You To Be Rich, the company was engaged in a waterfall approach to product development where they released a bunch of courses at once and hoped they’d make “a bunch of money,” he said. The process had some hits, but just as many misses, and he knew it was time to make some changes. As his role shifted from generating new leads to product development, he realized that it was important to drive new products to maintain the growth of the company but the process had to be significantly refined toward a lean approach. “I didn’t throw out the entire process,” he explained, “but I did throw out huge chunks of it. Now I’d say 80% of the cycle is completely different even than a year ago.” Email us: education@leanstartup.co Follow Lean Startup Co. @leanstartup https://leanstartup.co/education
October 25, 2018
Our Lean Startup Conference is just a few weeks away, and this week we were lucky enough to host a conversation with one of our keynote speakers, Noam Wasserman, author of the bestselling book The Founder’s Dilemmas, and the author of the new book Life Is a Startup. Noam spoke with Lean Startup Co. Faculty Member, Elliot Susel, about the overlap in founder and life lessons and the importance of proactively tackling those issues in our business and personal lives. In Elliot and Noam’s conversation, they discuss: - Why focusing on people decisions is just as important as product. - Key business lessons we can learn from founders and how we can apply those same lessons to our personal lives. - The importance of doing research well. And much, much more… It was still early in his career when Noam Wasserman recognized the importance of focusing on the people around you. He was just starting out as an engineer when he noticed a pattern. “If we focused on anyone besides ourselves….it was the customers, and a key thing is we then neglected to think about the team we’re building with.” Around the same time, Noam came across an article about venture capitalists by Bill Solomon. In the article, Bill found that 65% of startups that failed did so not because of product issues, but because of people problems and tensions between founders. The importance of that statistic stuck with him. In his own experiences as a founder, Noam realized the significance of understanding the people part of the business. Because when it comes to startups, people are just as important as product. In his shift to academia, Noam continued the pursuit of understanding the key areas where founders make fateful decisions — including people decisions — and how they can make better decisions to increase their chances of success. Email us: education@leanstartup.co Follow Lean Startup Co. @leanstartup https://leanstartup.co/education
October 18, 2018
We recently hosted a webcast conversation between Sonali Shetty, Entrepreneur & Founder of Kova Digital and Elliot Susel, Faculty Member at Lean Startup Co., focused on innovation and why it’s so important to speak to your customers early and often. In Elliot and Sonali’s conversation, they discuss: - The three major types of innovation. - The importance of making it someone’s job in your company to work on innovation. - Why it’s important to speak to your customers early and often to learn about what they want and need. And much, much more… About ten years ago, Sonali Shetty recognized an approaching shift in the way companies could interact with their customers. Apple had just opened the app store, social media was on the rise, and Facebook had opened up their API to third party app developers. All of a sudden, companies could now directly communicate with their customers and client base. It was a new frontier. “I wanted to...educate [startups and corporations] on what this change meant for them and how they needed to prepare for it,” Shetty says. So Kova Digital was launched. At the time, they were a third-party app developer on Facebook. But the digital world took off quickly, and very soon the landscape evolved. Products weren’t just limited to apps, but mobile, web, and IoT came along, as well as algorithms and machine learning. But all this didn’t change Shetty’s focus, it just expanded the ways in which Kova Digital could help their customer base. Shetty likes using the Deng Xioping analogy of crossing a river by feeling the stones. Your goal of crossing the river remains your focus, but you’re feeling your way as you go, stepping on the stones that provide the most solid footing and make the most sense. “We always wanted to be a product innovation company, but we pivoted and modified in the best Lean Startup tradition in terms of what that means,” she says. Email us: education@leanstartup.co Follow Lean Startup Co. @leanstartup https://leanstartup.co/education
October 4, 2018
We recently hosted a webcast conversation between Matt Candler, Founder & CEO of 4.0 Schools, and Marilyn Gorman, Faculty Lead at Lean Startup Co., about how lean principles are being used in education. In Marilyn and Matt’s conversation, they discuss: - How early assumptions about what your customers want can hurt your credibility and waste time. - Why it’s important to know the problem you are trying to solve, and then having the courage to experiment in a small way. - The importance of building something for a customer segment rather than a one-size-fits all product for everyone. And much, much more... Seven years ago, 4.0 Schools founder and CEO Matt Candler set out to change the future of schooling. As a lifelong educator, he recognized that innovations in education were few and far between and that the people who were best able to come up with new, groundbreaking ways to reach and teach the students, parents, and members of our communities, were the educators themselves. So 4.0 Schools was created and launched in order to fund and guide educational entrepreneurs and help them launch new charter public schools in the south east. Unfortunately, their efforts didn’t churn out the changes in the system they were hoping to see. “Many of those schools when they first were created were not very different,” says Matt, “they were evolutionary or iterative at best.” But around the same time, a few of Matt’s colleagues asked if they could run an experiment on the side. They wanted to work with teachers in New Orleans (where 4.0 Schools is based) who weren’t ready to quit teaching or launch a new school, but still wanted to try something new. What Matt and his colleagues discovered was a gap between the people who have innovative ideas about the future of school and their ability to do anything about it. So in just the second year of their organization, 4.0 Schools completely changed focus from expensive, year-long fellowships for educational entrepreneurs, to helping craft pilot programs for educators who want to make a difference. Email us: education@leanstartup.co Follow Lean Startup Co. @leanstartup https://leanstartup.co/education
September 27, 2018
We recently hosted a conversation between Mikael Cho, Co-Founder & CEO of Unsplash, and Elliot Susel, Faculty Member at Lean Startup Co., about how Unsplash put community at the center of their product. In Elliot and Mikael’s conversation, they discuss: - How starting with something small and high quality can lead to something much bigger. - How to encourage your community to participate in your product design. - Why it’s important to make “being useful” your first priority instead of making money. - The importance of trusting your intuition but also seeking feedback. - And much, much more... Co-Founder & CEO of the photo-sharing startup, Unsplash, Mikael Cho, spoke with Lean Startup Co. faculty member, Elliot Susel, about how a simple problem with photo access filled the needs of a community of photo lovers. The most successful startups often tap into an unfulfilled need that nobody has gotten around to filling. Unsplash did just that in the photography space. Mikael, who comes from the design industry, saw a problem that needed solving before he ever planned to start a company from the solution. When building the website for his design business, Crew, Mikael quickly realized that finding good photos that didn’t cost a lot of money was “a really crappy process.” He wanted a way to remove the licenses from photos so users could have access to high quality photos without paying a lot or jumping through hoops. The easiest solution was just to take them, themselves. They hired a photographer. Left with a bunch of unused photos after the shoot, Mikael wanted to use them to create a photo-finding experience that would be the opposite of his own bad one. “We made the ideal experience for someone who wanted to use photos, and we could use our own,” he said. With a $9 domain name for Unsplash and a Tumblr theme for $19, they threw up a simple website in three hours with one goal: to upload ten new photos every ten days for anyone who wanted to use them. From there they used public Dropbox links hooked up to a MailChimp newsletter and a Google Docs sign up form. Their website was so simple Mikael says they were actually embarrassed by it and didn’t plan to share it too widely. The only bit of advertising they did was to post a link to Unsplash on Hacker News, a site where they’d never had much success, so if it flopped, it would be no big deal. Instead, what followed, Mikael calls a “happy accident”: tens of thousands of people signed up on their Google Doc and began accessing the photos. Email us: education@leanstartup.co Follow Lean Startup Co. @leanstartup https://leanstartup.co/education
September 20, 2018
We recently hosted the second episode on a mini-series we’re doing with Rhapsody Venture Partners on Lean Startup in the hard sciences where we spoke with Jason Whaley, General Partner at Rhapsody and Jeff Uhrig, CEO of Sirrus. Rhapsody is a venture capital firm that specializes in startups in the hard sciences, and Sirrus is a Cincinnati-based developer of novel chemicals that will reduce the time, energy requirements and environmental footprint of many manufacturing processes. They spoke with Lean Startup Co. faculty member, Hisham Ibrahim about how they were able to take smart steps to successfully build - and sell - Sirrus in just five years and how believing in themselves is an important part of the process. Email us: education@leanstartup.co Follow Lean Startup Co. @leanstartup https://leanstartup.co/education
September 13, 2018
We recently hosted a conversation between Jensen and Elliot focused on taking the leap from a big company to launching a start-up and the differences between those two company cultures. In 2014, Jensen Harris had a conversation with Kieran Snyder about their mutual dissatisfaction with writing software. “Here we are, 40 years into the post typewriter era, and still, all the software [we have] to write [does] the same thing a typewriter did,” he says. So, sixteen years into his career at Microsoft, Jensen Harris decided it was time to set out and try something new: launch his own startup. “Although I loved much of what I was doing...I felt like it was time to make a change,” he says. So Jensen and Kieran decided to go for it. They quit their big corporate jobs and set out to raise seed money for Textio - augmented writing software that uncovers meaningful patterns in language to help you know how your words are going to work and guides you to stronger communication in your writing. “It’s the biggest advance in writing since the computer,” Jensen says. Now three and a half years into their venture, Textio co-founder and CTO Jensen Harris spoke with Lean Startup Co. faculty member Elliot Susel in a recent webcast about the differences between working for big companies and startups and taking chances to further your career. Email us: education@leanstartup.co Follow Lean Startup Co. @leanstartup https://leanstartup.co/education
September 7, 2018
We recently hosted a conversation between Hisham, Aidan, and Carsten about how Lean Startup is applied in the hard sciences. This is part one of a new mini-series we’re doing with Rhapsody Venture Partners. Our first conversation focuses on the startup, Hazel Technologies. Carsten Boers is Managing Partner of Rhapsody Venture Partners, and Aidan Mouat is Co-Founder and CEO of Hazel Technologies. Their two companies meet at the intersection between science and entrepreneurship. Rhapsody is a venture capital firm that specializes in startups in the hard sciences, and Hazel Technologies makes products that improve the shelf life and quality of produce when stored. They spoke with Lean Startup Co. faculty member, Hisham Ibrahim about how they work together as “a well-oiled machine,” as Carsten puts it, and the lessons that have emerged from the process. Email us: education@leanstartup.co Follow Lean Startup Co. @leanstartup https://leanstartup.co/education/
October 7, 2017
Gone are the days when Lean Startup was used only by two guys in a garage. The methods have gone mainstream and are being practiced in industries across the globe. To date, our Lean Startup Co. Education Program Faculty have coached more than 30 teams from intelligence agencies including the NSA and NGA. In this webcast, hear from Erin Bugg of the NSA, their Lean Startup Co. coach Marilyn Gorman, and Co-Founder of Lean Startup Co., Heather McGough, who discuss the transformation of the Agency culture around the pillar of innovation. Topics include: getting stakeholder buy-in and challenges in facing bureaucracy, making decisions at speed underpinned by data, delivering value to customers, translating the method across disciplines, and more. Email us: education@leanstartup.CO Follow Lean Startup Co. @leanstartup Follow Department of Defense @DeptofDefense Heather McGough can be reached on Twitter @UrbanitySF www.leanstartup.co/education
September 5, 2017
Lean Startup Week 2016 Highlights by Lean Startup
September 5, 2017
We all want to make product decisions backed by good data. But you can’t just A/B test your way to success: Whether you’re just incubating a new project and starting from zero, or you’re spinning wheels feeling mired in too much noise, learn how to leverage empathetic design to find and focus on needs your customers care about – and build exceptional products. Tom Nguyen, Principal at Adobe and co-creator of Adobe Spark, shares real-world examples and actionable best practices to help you apply constraints, powerful stories, and a growth mindset to align your team and spark success for your organization.
September 5, 2017
Michael Perry, founder of the innovative virtual employee Kit, grew his business from a small team housed in a 200-sq ft space (in the back of a law firm) to a company acquired by Shopify. He leads a dynamic presentation about what it’s been like on both sides of the table.
September 5, 2017
What happens when a small group of mavericks decide to launch an unauthorized version of Lean Startup inside a huge multinational firm like Cisco? Over 1,100 new organic-growth ideas, including a surprise Shark Tank-like ending. Presented by Steve Liguori, (Founder Liguori Innovation and former GE Exec Director of Global Innovation) with Alex Goryachev (Cisco Senior Director Innovation Strategy and Programs) and Oseas Ramirez Assad (Cisco Senior Manager, Business Development and Innovation Enablement.)
September 5, 2017
Future-thinking companies are operationalizing diversity of thought and redefining how they harness and retain talent. In this panel, guest speakers from Upwork, Code2040, and Andela debate and discuss the changing work environment with Lean Startup’s Melissa Moore, as well as what they’ve learned as they’ve built their organizations from the ground up. They’ll cover some of the key issues surrounding the future of the workplace, from hiring on-demand talent to providing an environment that allows employees to share their views, opinions, and authentic selves.
September 5, 2017
The decisions that we make in a given day are driven by numerous cognitive biases designed to save us time and energy. Often, these mental shortcuts serve us well, but occasionally, they lead us astray and drive us to make poor decisions — and this is particularly true about our health. Jawbone’s Kelvin Kwong will discuss the psychology behind decision making and how his team applies behavioral science research to build a product that changes how we move, sleep, and eat.
September 5, 2017
Lean Change CEO Michel Gelobter leads a panel discussion on what it means to run a non-profit organization or agency of social change with a Lean Startup foundation.
September 5, 2017
Charles Hudson is an entrepreneur who recently founded his own VC firm. He’ll provide real world perspective on what it means to source funding for your business. He’ll also talk about how his firm, which often invests in very early stage ideas, approaches working with startups.
September 5, 2017
Automation, innovative management practices, and real-time communication tools are creating new models for skilled work. Every professional relies on software to structure and assist their work, and as that software becomes more intelligent it will gradually play a larger role in day-to-day tasks. Eventually, AI-powered platforms will facilitate complex work (from taxes to lawsuits) as easily as Uber calls a cab. Roger Dickey, the founder and CEO of freelance developer platform Gigster, will discuss how marketplaces and intelligent software can combine to improve and accelerate professional work, while making it more fulfilling, more profitable, and more accessible.
September 5, 2017
Despite all the moaning and groaning about how difficult it is to bring about constructive change in large organizations, it can and does happen. We tell three true stories of such successful change, all of which were propelled, at least in part, in design thinking methods taught at the Stanford d.school. And none of which were instigated by top executives. The stories that we will tell, dissect, and discuss with the audience are about the San Francisco Opera, JetBlue Airways, and a social services agency called the Golden Gate Regional Center. Each of these interventions resulted in enduring changes that reduce hassles and enhance dignity and delight for employees and customers.
September 5, 2017
Over the last 10+ years we have seen a number of large enterprises experiencing (near) Kodak moment and struggling to drive growth as they navigate through long term disruption to their business. In this talk Sonja will share learnings from award winning innovation program at Pearson and will outline how principles and practices of Lean Product Lifecycle and active portfolio management can help companies navigate disruption, increase innovation and transform their portfolios and why mindset, leadership and cultural changes are key to success.
September 5, 2017
The attitude of the team that will work on a startup project is a critical first success factor, way before finding the product/market fit. Through a quick experiment and sharing an analysis of key startup activities, Philippe will demonstrate the value of some specific soft skills of any startup team.
September 5, 2017
When Salesforce set out to re-design our Core Products, we faced a daunting challenge. To move fast, a cross-functional team worked closely together to define, design, test, and iterate. We will talk about what this collaboration entailed, and lessons learned for design thinking & doing at enterprise scale. Guest speakers: Pratima Arora, Shawna Wolverton, and David Colby (Salesforce).
September 5, 2017
Lean Startup is often characterized as a scientific methodology, while the innovation process requires creative leaps of imagination. How do you reconcile these two worlds, let alone get them to exist in harmony? The intersection of these two concepts is the Grand Unifying Theory of product development. Stuart Eccles, co-founder of innovation studio Made by Many, will show you how to use Lean Startup to go beyond the testing of ideas and into the active generation of them.
September 5, 2017
Susana Jurado Apruzzese, an innovator at Telefonica R&D, will outline the main challenges large organizations face when they apply Lean Startup. She’ll share key tips for speeding up the innovation process and doing more with less while staying focused on company strategy, customers, and the market.
September 5, 2017
Join Kolonial.no’s Karl Munthe-Kaas as he shares the story of the online grocery he co-founded. Launched three years ago, Kolonial.no has achieved unparalleled growth in an underserved segment of the Norwegian e-commerce market. By using an aggressive Lean Startup approach, the company has grown to become the largest full assortment online grocer in Norway.
September 5, 2017
Mark Raheja, founding partner of organizational design firm August, discusses what it means to build and lead a team in an era of startups, digital nomads, and a gig economy.
September 5, 2017
Lindsey Gray, senior director of the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute, leads a discussion with successful startup founders—Christina Stembel, founder of Farmgirl Flowers and Huda Idrees, founder of healthcare startup Dot Health.
September 5, 2017
How do you create meaningful relationships with your most loyal customers? By measuring and learning about their needs in order to build the right product. For B2C, one of the best ways to measure in the early days of product development is by using social analytics. The data collected can help you understand your target better, deliver the right message, and develop a tailored experience.
September 5, 2017
In this opening presentation, Viv Goldstein, director of Innovation Acceleration and co-founder of FastWorks at GE, pulls back the curtain on how she and her team led a 124-year-old company through a revolutionary culture change.
September 5, 2017
Eric sits down with Lean Startup Labs faculty member Phil Dillard to discuss the state of Lean Startup, what every organization should be thinking about as it moves into the next decade and beyond, and the influence a long term innovation strategy has on the way products get built today.
September 5, 2017
Conference emcee Thuy Vu has a fireside chat with Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Michelle Lee about driving innovation in the US and why Lean Startup is a critical methodology for entrepreneurs and organizations.
September 5, 2017
Hillary Hartley joins us to deliver an update on how 18F is applying Lean Startup to innovate and change government, and the key lessons that any organization can learn from their examples.
September 5, 2017
Across industries, the ability to grow your business without overinvesting resources is of utmost importance. Nonprofits face a unique challenge in being forced to run a lean ship without the safety net of VC money. The Sama team has turned constraints in resources into lessons on being mindful in how they run and build their business. Wendy Gonzalez, SVP & Managing Director of Samasource, explains how to apply nonprofit tactics to ensure the long-term success of your company, regardless of your funding source or the type of business you run.
September 5, 2017
Looking to save your team countless hours and dollars? To get unstuck? Learn how the design sprint can give you a superpower: the ability to build and test nearly any idea in just 40 hours. The sprint—a five-day process for answering critical business questions through designing, prototyping, and testing ideas—is a “greatest hits” of battle-tested business processes any team can use. Sharing this shortcut to learning and innovation is Jake Knapp, creator of Google Ventures’ sprint process, co-creator of Google Hangouts, and author of The New York Times bestseller Sprint.
September 5, 2017
As Tren Griffin will explain, the entrepreneurs founding startups with the biggest impact are missionaries who are laser focused on implementing the insight at the core of their business. Mercenaries are driven by monetary rewards and fame. Mercenaries seldom have the necessary desire to change the world, a desire that would otherwise enable them to persevere through hardship and create a world-changing business.
September 5, 2017
Matthew Brimer is a social entrepreneur, community builder, and general mischief instigator with a penchant for turning experiments into businesses and art projects into global movements. He’ll share his entrepreneurial journey and lessons learned from building GoCrossCampus, General Assembly, the global Daybreaker dance party series, and beyond.
September 5, 2017
The years you spend creating a startup is often time filled with regret, joy, pain and — hopefully someday—success. In this presentation, Rand Fishkin, founder and former CEO of Moz, will talk about how his company, which started as a personal blog while he was deeply in debt, evolved into a $40m+ revenue/year software business. Rand won’t pull punches or hide the truth. Instead he’ll offer an unvarnished, transparent look inside the hardest and rarely-talked-about aspects of building a company.
September 5, 2017
Melinda Jacobs, co-founder of Lucent Sky, gathers sales and product feedback from customers on three continents. She’ll describe the impact cultural customs and norms have on how feedback and customer development take place, with a focus on how to adapt Lean methodologies into diverse cultural settings.
September 5, 2017
“I feel great when I’m treated badly,” said no one ever. People are the nucleus of any successful business. Breather Co-Founder and CCO, Caterina Rizzi, talks about why your business is nothing without the people who use your product and why treating them like it’s their birthday is the secret sauce to a strong, relatable and memorable experience. At Breather, they’ve built empathy, humility and service into their core brand values and have found that the more you give, the more you get.
September 5, 2017
Design Thinking–with its focus on user outcomes, constant reinvention and empowered teams–has revitalized product development at IBM. In this Ignite Talk, you’ll see how IBM Design Thinking fueled the creation of a breakthrough new collaboration product giving IBM Watson intelligence to everyday professionals.
September 5, 2017
IBM is on a mission to create a sustainable culture of design and to bring a human-centered focus to its thousands of products and services. Since 2013, the company has hired over 1,100 designers to work alongside engineers and business leaders across the company. In this multidisciplinary setting, how does the Lean Startup approach interplay with design thinking? How can teams bridge the gap between user experience insights and real business opportunities? Phil Gilbert, General Manager of IBM Design, will discuss how IBM’s approach to continuous innovation at a global scale is transforming the way the company works.
September 5, 2017
Jason Fried, co-founder & CEO of Basecamp, joins us to talk about leading business teams in a way that supports the Lean Startup practice – collaborative, productive, efficient.
September 5, 2017
Design has the power to shape how we think and feel. It’s also the tangible manifestation of intention. Conversely, how we create and what we design are the culmination of who we are as individuals coming together to make something for others. In this talk, Irene Au, Design Partner at Khosla Ventures, explores how our inner state manifests in design, and why the best thing we can do to become better designers may be to work on ourselves.
September 5, 2017
When Lean-curious companies get stalled implementing the practice, they’ll often cite organizational complexities, politics, and dependencies as insurmountable obstacles. The methodology can be scaled, though — not just as culture and philosophy, but as tactical process. In this practical presentation offering detailed case studies, Jeff Gothelf (author of Lean UX and the upcoming Sense and Respond) will share several methods for scaling Lean Startup techniques in large organizations. Jeff will cover knowledge management, intra-team dependencies, infrastructure requirements, and several other elements of ensuring successful Lean Startup practices in companies of any size.
September 5, 2017
Your company culture comes to life in your company meetings. How you plan, run, and follow-through on your team sessions impacts almost every aspect of how your people work together. Mamie Kanfer Stewart, founder and CEO of Meeteor, describes how to align your meeting practices with a Lean Startup mindset to support a culture of innovation and collaboration.
September 5, 2017
Kara Goldin, founder of the multi-million dollar company Hint Water, shares the story behind Hint’s phenomenal growth. She’ll explain how she’s managed to turn her business into a social mission, what she’s learned from Silicon Valley, and she’ll share advice for entrepreneurs.
September 5, 2017
Sam Parr is founder of Hustle Con Media, one of the fastest growing media companies in the U.S. Sam joins Lean Startup Co. contributing editor Jennifer Maerz to talk about how he grew his brand to 3 million readers in eight months, and how he continues to push the boundaries through experimentation and relentless community development.
September 5, 2017
Guy Kawasaki, former chief evangelist of Apple, explains the lessons he learned from Steve Jobs and how they apply to startups.
September 5, 2017
Opening Remarks At Lean Startup Week 2016 | Eric Ries by Lean Startup
September 5, 2017
Just Not Sorry is an international sensation used by people in over 200 countries. Its creator, Tami Reiss, attributes the company’s incredible growth to the Lean principles they employed when building the Gmail plug-in. Learn how they validated their idea, defined their MVP, and iterated their way to success during development and after launch in everything from the name and functionality to the tweets and landing page messaging.
September 5, 2017
For most people, local government is something you don’t think about unless there’s an emergency. But civic organizations touch more lives than local businesses. So why then do so many local governments get stymied by organizational cultures that publicly punish mistakes and reward safety instead of following any semblance of modern business practices? Kelly McAdoo shares the story of how the City of Hayward, California has applied Lean Startup to improve resident satisfaction, empower employees, and prioritize scarce resources while also providing the ability to measure the impact of their actions on the community.
September 5, 2017
Creating space for innovation to thrive in an existing business is challenging but possible with communication and patience, not unlike raising children. Learn how BabyCenter’s Beth Sordi has led her team to seek out, test, and validate new business models using testing dashboards, two-factor tests, and well-constructed consumer interactions without disturbing her company’s core business.
September 5, 2017
Infusing Lean Startup into a large organization is hard. This lightning talk with Travelport Labs’ design manager Nicole Shephard highlights the screw-ups, successes, and insights gleaned from years spent testing and refining a Lean Startup-centered innovation program at the $2B travel technology company.
September 5, 2017
By running a Lean hackathon for underprivileged communities in Guam and DC, Lean Mobile Apps was able to maximize visibility for their idea. By tapping into their team resources to implement no-nonsense strategies with measurable results, they brought in relevant users—who then provided solid data that appealed to would-be investors and sponsors.
September 5, 2017
Learn how Macy’s, a 150-year-old retail giant, went from testing one Lean team to funding 22 Lean teams in two years. The retailer’s journey is one of eating its own dog food – continuously testing, learning, and using build-measure-learn cycles, customer feedback, and business results to make believers out of even the most skeptical stakeholders and partners. Cindy Peterson and Janel Wellborn will share their top ten learnings that you can apply to scaling Lean in a large enterprise.
September 5, 2017
The team behind a new product is the most important ingredient to its success. But how do you pick the right team? What do you look for? And if you are in a large enterprise looking to field multiple innovation teams, how do you maximize your chances for success? This talk looks at the lessons Janet Bumpas learned running selection processes for internal innovation efforts at large enterprise companies.
September 5, 2017
After the economic collapse of 2008 and a devastating writers strike, selling an original screenplay in Hollywood became a more difficult proposition than ever before. Dikran Ornekian and his partner Rylend Grant will talk about how this harsh environment pushed them into trying something different — testing their script ideas as short stories — and how this new approach opened more doors for them than any screenplay ever had.
September 5, 2017
Charu Manchanda Nair explains how her company pushed the frontier of personal diversity mapping using Lean Startup principles. #ignite
September 5, 2017
Magoosh, a company that creates web and mobile apps to help students prepare for standardized tests, embedded Lean Startup principles into its core values to great success. CEO Bhavin Parikh will provide a concrete example of how those values helped an individual on his team use Lean Startup to invalidate a feature hypothesis.
September 5, 2017
Hear how business leaders from multi-billion dollar organizations are getting outside their comfort zone to take part in a transformational experience and embrace Lean Startup practices and principles that leave a lasting impact on individuals and their organizations.
September 5, 2017
You have a vision for how your venture is going to change the world. But how do you align that big picture with the practical elements of running a business? Lynn Johnson will speak about the importance of creating a “Culture Code” as a framework for integrating your vision and values into every aspect of your day-to-day business operations.
September 1, 2017
Firmhouse has been one of the active founders of the Dutch Lean Startup movement. They’ve helped the majority of Dutch startup accelerators with education, mostly focused on experimentation. After startup acceleration programs were brought into the corporate paradigm, Firmhouse began helping enterprise organizations execute the same practices in vastly different contexts and under vastly different constraints. In this fireside chat, Janne Zengerink (ING) and Bob Jansen (Firmhouse) will discuss how experimentation changes from the startup to the corporate environment.
September 1, 2017
This talk will cover how innovators can track and measure success using the right tools and metrics. It will explore how teams in the trenches can track the success of their business models via the experiments they will be running, as well as how innovation accounting can be done at the management and strategy levels. Learn how leaders at management level can make ongoing investment decisions of whether to double-down or divest from specific innovation projects. At the strategy level, learn how company leaders can measure the impact of innovation on their company as whole. Practical tips and guides, as well as examples from several companies, will be provided.
September 1, 2017
Finnish telecommunications company Elisa has been on a transformational journey—particularly since 2006, and in regards to its digital business transformation, where the focus has been driven by customer insight instead of technological prowess. The first step was developing a program for broadly discovering customer frustrations and business opportunities therein. This evolved into a separate department for new services and markets, generating several new digital businesses. Even though agile methods took firm hold in the technology development, the business mindset was still more about trying to scale fast than fail fast. Telecom companies need to ensure technical quality and make big investments in mature business areas, which is often the opposite of rapid experimentation. At the moment, Elisa has pivoted development of its new international businesses into strategic domains, which rigorously follow the Lean Startup principles. This means dedicated startup teams and using innovation accounting to guide regular pivot or persevere meetings and funding decisions. This keynote will share key learnings from Elisa's adoption of the Lean Startup methodology.
September 1, 2017
Large organizations are often like containerships—big, reliable, and efficient, but they can’t turn quickly. They often see startups as fast speedboats—responsive and nimble operations. Janet Bumpas is the Managing Director for one of StartupBootcamp/Innoleaps' corporate accelerator programs. She works with corporate teams to transform them from containerships into speedboats. They learn to move fast, using Lean Startup principles to validate customer needs and risky assumptions with market-based data. In her talk, she’ll outline strategies for enterprise organizations to spark and sustain nimble innovation, including how to avoid the most common causes of stalling out in the process.
September 1, 2017
Starting a new business is hard enough, but creating a new technology has unique challenges. From how to deploy early funding, to hiring from a community that you trust, Laurence Kemball-Cook, founder and CEO of Pavegen, gives his insights into how applying Lean Startup principles helped his company become the global leader in harvesting energy and data from footfall.
September 1, 2017
The NYC Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications is undergoing a major shift, using new technologies and unconventional approaches to better serve City partners and the millions of New Yorkers who depend on them. This presentation will shed light on the ways that an enormous government organization is working to become more agile, responsive, and contemporary to better get the job done. Following the presentation, NY1’s Josh Robin will conduct an on-stage interview with Dominic to learn more about these challenges and successes.
September 1, 2017
UNICEF's Venture Fund is the first financial vehicle of its kind in the United Nations—allowing for $50-100K investments in open source technology companies in the countries where UNICEF works. Chris Fabian will discuss the importance of new approaches to solving the world's most pressing problems, and how creating prototypes and provocations to industry has helped situate UNICEF as a leader in identifying, financing, and scaling solutions that have never before been realized. More on the award-winning UNICEF Office of Innovation here: www.unicefstories.org and www.unicefinnovationfund.org.
September 1, 2017
Founded in 2005, Etsy has grown into a public company with over 1,000 employees. It's no longer a startup (in the traditional definition), but in many ways, Etsy still thinks and builds like one. This presentation will walk through examples of how Etsy takes Lean Startup approaches to smaller, startup-like products within the company, including how these smaller teams are formed, how their work is tested, and how they exist within the larger company ecosystem to allow for constant iteration and innovation by the brand. Included here will be tips for supporting internal startups within established companies.
September 1, 2017
How many startups does it take to launch a unicorn? 100? 1,000? How many internal startup teams do you need to replace your growth engine? Breakthrough innovation is the result of collaboration among a diverse group of people, all working in a different way. Organizations can’t just leave it up to a couple of hand-chosen innovation teams. In this talk, Brant Cooper will take you through a framework you can use to make entrepreneurial action the norm throughout your organization. It’s a bold initiative to launch 100 startups in 100 days. Brant will go through each of the impact levers to show you how you can roll out a similar initiative within your own organization, one that lays the groundwork for innovation transformation (even if you don’t actually get to 100 in 100 days!)
September 1, 2017
Nordstrom is in the process of modernizing its digital properties—web/mobile web/in-store digital/app—as well as redefining the design and processes across the UX organization. When Jyoti Shukla began supporting the UX team, she noticed a number of large scale, heavy processes in place that did not necessarily yield a direct return on investment, nor did they delight and excite the customer. Jyoti focused on leading the team to develop a lean approach in delivering software to exceed the expectations of Nordstrom customers. Although there are always big challenges with process change, there is a lot of excitement to move the needle using newer/leaner methods. Jyoti will discuss some of the peaks and valleys of the experience she has had at Nordstrom in using lean concepts to drive the UX organization.
September 1, 2017
The Innovation Stack: Five OD Practices to Unleash the Creative Potential of Lean Enterprise Teams Eventually, every successful business struggles to produce their next killer product or service. A strong business model might work miracles for decades, but it too will stumble in the face of perpetual shifts in technology and culture. Innovation paralysis in enterprise is no mystery – rather, it’s the direct consequence of how we’ve designed large organizations and their teams. During this talk, Mark Raheja will share classic (and, at times funny) examples of the five most common inhibitors to Lean Enterprise innovation, and introduce The Innovation Stack – a holistic set of five practices designed to jumpstart the innovative capacity of any team implementing Lean Startup.
September 1, 2017
Large companies employ a variety of methods to develop new products, services, and processes that are critical to their future. We typically refer to these as “innovation,” but what we really mean is growth. Continuous and sustainable growth requires repeatable, scalable business models that create long-term competitive advantages. Every large company has a track record for innovation, that’s how they became large in the first place. “Innovation Capital” is the combination of a company’s talent, ideas, and culture, leveraged by their institutional knowledge, and fused with a capacity for rapid data acquisition. When combined with a system of real-time innovation metrics, innovation portfolio management is informed by data, maximizing returns and market position. Launchpad Co-Founder and Executive Chairman Jim Hornthal will discuss the components of Innovation Capital, how to find and share your company's existing assets, and how to create a culture and process that maximizes use of Innovation Capital.
September 1, 2017
How do you make the culture change from traditional to Lean work? It requires changing behaviors and building new habits and competencies. In this breakout session, Cindy Alvarez will share strategies that Microsoft's Cloud & Enterprise division has employed to help its 8,000+ employees learn new skills, build new habits, and change behaviors. You'll learn the pros and cons of various approaches, what initial investments they required, and which situations they've worked best in. If your leadership is looking to you to recommend a Lean strategy, this session will help you make a recommendation that works best for your organization.
September 1, 2017
In this participatory, fishbowl-style panel, Lean Design experts discuss how Lean systems allow teams to more quickly iterate upon and scale their ideas. Panelists Courtney Hemphill (Carbon Five), Ken Skistimas (GE Digital), and Amy Neuman (Autodesk) will cover the process, infrastructure, and team configurations inherent to Lean Design. Expect solid takeaways on how to incorporate these practices into your organization, and the chance to ask questions of our panelists. Moderated by Amee Mungo (GoKart Labs).
September 1, 2017
Bionic CEO David Kidder sits down with Carey Kolaja, the Global Chief Product Officer of Citi Fintech, to discuss how this juggernaut of bank is changing the way it works and building disruptive fintech solutions like a startup. Kidder and Kolaja will delve into not just what Citi Fintech is focused on but how they built a program for growth that combines the Lean Startup methodology with growth boards, which manage the investment and support of new ideas so they aren't prematurely killed or (equally problematic) prematurely scaled.
September 1, 2017
Groups of attendees crowd the stage after every conference we host, hoping to get a minute with Eric to ask his advice. To help get as many of the questions plaguing your business or organization answered by Eric as possible, we’re hosting a “Office Hours with Eric Ries” in New York. For this 30-minute session moderated by Jason Ashlock, Eric will be available via Skype to answer your questions about applying Lean Startup with your teams. You’ll learn not only how to resolve your internal issues, but also hear more about the challenges your peers in related industries are struggling with too. You’ll be asking your questions via the simple audience interaction app Slido, making for easy upvoting when those really pressing queries roll in.
August 17, 2017
Partner Webcast: How Enterprise Companies Can Use Product Analytics to Move Fast When: Thursday, August 17 at 9am PT/noon ET Featuring: Justin Bauer, VP of Product at Amplitude Product leaders at enterprise companies face a variety of challenges to moving fast. They come up against issues such as a lack of urgency to learn, decision making formed by opinions instead of metrics, and a lack of accountability to and ownership of metrics. In the current “age of the customer,” making decisions and iterating quickly is critical to staying competitive. Justin Bauer, VP of Product at Amplitude, will discuss how leading product organizations are using product analytics to spur innovation and increase decision velocity. By decentralizing decision-making and using metrics to ensure alignment and accountability across large teams, enterprise companies can use product analytics to empower those closest to customers’ problems. Justin will be interviewed by David Binetti, a Senior Faculty member with Lean Startup Co. Corporate Education Program and a six-time entrepreneur.
August 16, 2017
In this webcast Jim Cook, the current CFO of Mozilla, discusses his influential experiences running many of the early Netflix experiments. There were challenges every day, and data collection was rigorous. He is interviewed by Lean Startup Co. Corporate Education Program faculty member, Hugh Molotsi. www.leanstartup.co.
August 10, 2017
Groups of attendees crowd the stage after every conference we host, hoping to get a minute with Eric to ask his advice. To help get as many of the questions plaguing your business or organization answered by Eric as possible, we hosted a “Live Q&A with Eric Ries” in London. For this 30-minute session, moderated by Dave Cunningham, Eric answered your questions via Skype about applying Lean Startup with your teams. He discussed not only how to resolve your internal issues, but also the challenges your peers in related industries are struggling with too.
May 18, 2017
For many established organizations, the problems are clear: disruption from more nimble startups, waterfall processes that waste time and resources, and a culture that rewards playing by inflexible rules over running customer-driven experiments. The solutions are less obvious. How do organizations launch and scale internal startups? How do you systemize intrapreneurship? How should you change the way you hold employees accountable to encourage continuous innovation? Our Lean Enterprise experts Tendayi Viki and Janet Bumpas have actionable solutions to these questions and many others haunting Lean Enterprise practitioners. In this webcast, which will be moderated by six-time entrepreneur David Binetti, Tendayi and Janet will share case studies and actionable takeaways and answer your burning questions.
April 6, 2017
In transforming the way they work, GE knew it was time to rethink the performance process. Old performance management systems don’t work in a fast-changing market. The old way restricts them and doesn’t allow for the innovation critical for companies to remain relevant today. Join us in learning how to redefine and rebuild your company’s culture during an interview with Marilyn Gorman, Senior Faculty for Lean Startup Co.’s Education Program, and Janice Semper the Culture Leader for General Electric.The Lean Startup approach goes beyond building products and can be a toolkit used for the entire company, fundamentally changing the way we work and think. Email us: education@leanstartup.CO Follow Lean Startup Co. @leanstartup Heather McGough can be reached on Twitter @UrbanitySF
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