StartupLessonsLearned2011 at San-Francisco, 23rd of May 2011

#sllconf on Twitter,, Local Simulcasts, TwitterStreamGraphs, Collecta, flickr

Own objectives

  1. meet again Lean Startup people in Paris
  2. be involved and focused
  3. re-evaluate current ideas

Attended activities

Eric Ries: State of the Lean Startup Movement

  • to check
    • HBS MVP fund + launching tech ventures
    • BYU rsearch project
    • +=ref
  • mission of improving the success rate
  • lean startup principles
  • following the last talk watched (cf ...)
  • recall of not "can it be done?" but rather "should it be done?"
  • how many pivots can I still do?
  • pinpoints the assumptions
    • learn by transforming them to facts

What are the lessons learned from my past projects? ROI despite failures?

See WithoutNotesSeptember10#EricRies, WithoutNotesApril11#EricRies, WithoutNotesMarch11#EricRies and several others. Back to the Menu

Mitch Kapor, KEI - A Conversation with Mitch Kapor and Eric Ries

  • explaining why it worked when it did is not easy
  • difficulty of keeping up with growth
  • innovatoin as punctuated equilibrium
  • which feature will early adopter really appreciate and share around?
  • no middle ground for entrepreneurs too
    • being part of the solution or part of the problem
    • negative externalities including environment degradation taken into account
  • lean startup as a process innovation
    • managing decreasing risk by learning for the minimum cost
    • conferring an "unfair advantage"
  • "You only know if you are right or crazy in retrospect."

See TheFutureOfIdeas#MitchKapor. Back to the Menu

Votizen Case Study: How and When to Pivot

  • quick review of finance and chances of success
    • including a (nearly depressing) variance vs "classical engineer position" e.g. at Google
  • "create your own reality"
    • cf Pygmalion gift
    • lean mitigate own reality distortion field
  • lean as converting market risk to technical risk
  • pivot the statement of your BM
    • consequence of learning about your business, not just your product
  • vision-driven, not testing-driven
  • own example of iteration through 1.0 (1.1 tweaking) 2.0 3.0 4.0
    • using AARRR metrics
  • when? when you have to bounce out of the local maximum
  • how? understand the pain that is driving people to act
    • but don't flail
    • still have to learn
      • see also the Swiss AI researcher robotic ML algo discovered recently
  • seek funding for tech risk rather than market risk

See Seedea:Utopiahanalysis/Politicsoldandnew (potentially add @Votizen there too)

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Wealthfront Case Study: Continuous Deployment in an SEC-Regulated Environment

  • democratizing money managers
    • through aggregation?
  • continuous deployment, not continuous feature adding
  • screenshot of their deployment manager
  • 5 essentials (but through a loop)
    1. Culture, everybody in the company owns the quality of the code base
    2. TDD
    3. Continuous integration
    4. Immune system (with the "production pager")
    5. Continuous deployment
  • tests and test coverage have to be of quality too
    • one has to have confidence in the "green light"
  • consider starting by a small system, add pieces step by step

See Cashing (Caching?) added to Financing? before.

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Brad Smith, Intuit - A Conversation With Intuit CEO Brad Smith and Eric Ries

  • the rougher the prototype the better you are
  • checking for regulations on projects
  • asking the right questions at the right time
  • run experiments as a whole culture
    • not personal, the point is the outcome
  • build Just-In-Time not just in case
  • "a genius with a thousands helper does not scale"
  • love metric
    • "what is the #1 reason the person is hiring the product?"
      • mention of Clay Christensen
  • have a management and business model that scale

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Food on the Table One Year Later: From the Concierge Minimum Viable Product to a Scalable Business

  • grow efforts based on justified needs
  • learn first, code last
    • use paper prototype, mockups, ...
    • leaps of knowledge by talking to customers

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Case Study: "BigCo Lessons Learned - IGN Entertainment"

  • experiments culture as a bet factory
  • also with SC2 replays sponsoring

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Case Study: "The Epic Pivot - Herokuís Story"

  • conditional pathflow for production and... testing for who are the "real" users in the "end-user" targeted market
    • increasingly different
  • early success can lock on the wrong (non scalable or out of the vision?) product
    • mainly just attention
      • which should be cherished to be later on converted
  • pivot
    • from Heroku Garden to current Heroku platform

See Ruby#Heroku Back to the Menu

Design + Lean Startup = Lean UX (Case Studies: Cooper, TheLadders, LUXr NYC, SideReel)

  • understanding a person, what they need, ...
  • similarities between the UX process and the customer development process
    • flow as think/make/check
  • test in pennies, spend in dollars
    • reduce the amount of time between try and feedback linked to goals (e.g. conversion)
  • nice slide on old way (long curve of risk going up) / new way (sawtooth)
  • moving from deliverable to experience


See recently watched WithoutNotesMay11#MaryCzerwinski

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The rest will be added once recordings will be watched (had to sleep, sorry Steve :(

Steve Blank

  • ?

See WithoutNotesMay10#SteveBlank with the first mention of Startup Lessons Learned WithoutNotesJanuary11#SteveBlank, WithoutNotesSeptember10#SteveBlank, TheFourStepsToTheEpiphany Back to the Menu

Dropbox Case Study: Epic Scale One Year Later

  • ?

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Hearsay Case Study: Agile Practices Applied to Sales and Marketing

  • ?

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Case Study: IMVU, One Year Later

  • ?

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Groupon Case Study: Using Lean Startup Principles to Manage Hypergrowth

  • ?

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Closing Remarks

  • ?

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Overall remarks and conclusions

  • ironically nearly nobody from the Camping?
  • this event and all the other Dojo, Meetups, ... maybe show that being in the physical hub still matters even at the age of the Internet and "simultcasts"
  • between market studies, customer development, designer research it seems it to be all about theory of mind

Back to the Menu

Other reviews or coverage

  • nothing yet

To do

  1. improve Template
  2. add map data
  3. integrate
    1. BusinessModelGeneration, LeanThinking, TheArtOfLeanSoftwareDevelopment, VentureCapitalAndTheFinanceOfInnovation, ...
      1. TheTinkerersAccomplice on the importance of tinkering in nature too
    2. LeanStartupEtBusinessModel, LeanStartupEtBusinessModelDecembre10, MBE01#SerieStart, ...
    3. WithoutNotesSeptember10#AshMaurya
  4. official sites
  5. related Quora topics
  6. check
    1. consider it for Seedea:Oimp/CloudArbitrage
  7. share LeanUX to Mao, eventually to @Cybunk