Homework due for today
Legend: : Participation | : Early | : PDF | : Portfolio | : Zipped
- Study “The Lean Startup”, Chapters 1, 2 and 3. As you read please think about the following warmup questions:
- Ries has a particular definition of a startup. What conditions must be true for him to consider a project within an established company to be a “startup”?
- What kinds of uncertainty and risk does a startup encounter?
- What was the crux of the original IMVU product vision?
- What 1 or 2 important things from the reading did you not understand? And if you understood it all, then what 1 or 2 important things were most insightful/useful/valuable to you. Please make sure I can tell which is which!
- Deliverable: Submit your answers to these warmup questions in Latte, as a pdf . Warmup questions are always graded as “participation only” (), are due by 10am of the day of class () in the form of a pdf, with your name and homework number in the header ()
- Read: Inventor who gave his idea away and Students Inventing Programs to Streamline Their Colleges. Deliverable: Write a brief reflection, responding to one of these two articles – thoughts, disagreements, reflections
Interesting (but optional) reading
- Let’s talk about Paul Graham’s Well concept
- invert: x-axis people who want the product; y-axis how badly they want it
- Google: Immense crater
- Initial facebook: deep shallow well
- Vertical vs. Horizontal products
- Examples of highly horizontal products; examples of highly vertical products?
- Review homework and discuss the reading
Thoughts about Lean Startup
- Basically: identify the right product for the right customer
- “Lean” term stolen from “Lean Manufacturing” (Toyota et al)
- Some key characteristics:
- Small Batches vs. Large Batches
- Minimize WIP
- Changes in plan are expected and embraced
- “Pull” vs. Push
- Small self-managed teams
- Don’t try to plan everything from day one
- Instead, Iterate, iterate, iterate!
- Agile Software Development (next term :)
- Also based on the same principles
- And with the same objectives
- Lean Startup
- Yes, just another buzzword
- Some might say “there’s nothing new under the sun”
- Realize there are several ‘methodologies’ that people push
- The underlying principles are similar
- My own experience with the idea of Lean Startup
- Where did it come from
- Is it just Eric Ries self promotion?
- Why do I think it’s a good approach
- “Scientific method?”
- Some ideas that we’ll explore more in the next few weeks
- Validated Learning
- Hypotheses and assumptions
- Minimum Viable Product
- Customer Development
- Metrics and real-world data
- Everyone has a million ideas
- Few know how to turn the idea into a successful product or service
- Venture capitalists say: “It’s all about the team!”
- Execution is far more important than the idea
- The important role of “Domain Expertise” (what is that?)
- Discussion: What is your definition of ‘successful?’
- So: Don’t be so secretive!
- This is a classic trap!
- You (almost) always gain more from sharing your idea and getting feedback
- Keeping it secret usually only provides an imaginary competitive advantage
NB If your idea is so simple that a 10 minute description is enough to allow someone else to beat you.... then your idea wasn't really worth that much anyway!
- The Pilot Project
- Teams are determined. 5 students per. Term project will re-shuffle. Please sit together!
- Teams: have a discussion about the SBC product concept
- What do you want it to be?
- Be ambitious (but not unrealistic). Consider a “match making” service or a “marketplace”. Consider interesting/unique UI ideas. Consider a message-stream.
- You may play with and or extend the idea. Pivots from basic vision are perfectly fine!
- Discussion: Let’s practice. Some hypotheses for Student Buying Club?
- Samples: Types of hypotheses