Thursday, March 31

Liveblogging Eric Reis from The Learn Startup Methodology at NYU

All the academic research suggest that there are traits stubborn, charisma, reality distortion field, raw intelligence, salesmanship, ability to see things that are not there.

What Eric likes to call "Success theater"

Traits that make you likely to be successful as an entrepreneur -are almost diametrically opposed to the earlier effort. Perseverance myth: never hear the stories of the entrepreneurs that persevered into the ground.

Media Coverage - Always focus on the biggest, but they are outliers. Learn more from failure than success.

Learning is the most important part of entrepreneurship - to learn is to fail something. When you realize that you do not know something is not fun. Living in the RDF is a lot more fun than selling to the world.

Lean Startup - idea that you should get funding for the napkin idea is poor. The value is in the execution. The successful entrepreneur was the one that had silly ideas. They have a structured way in changing in the face of information, the pivot. VCs have seen the same movies.

Lean Startup like Lean Manufacturing
Originally programmers were taught waterfall process - now lean startup methodology is a systematic process to conduct scientific approach to the process of building new innovative companies. Integrate product, marketing, business, etc into one machine.

Broader concepts: iterative process - customer contact. Originally, an engineer's "role" was to build code, had their own vision and built it out. Not, it is about validated learning: strictly are we learning how to build a sustainable business. Continuous deployment for hypothesis testing.

Past experience at IMVU was our assumption of what customers wanted: try to get customers in to listen in focus groups. We would tell them what to do and solve our problems. It should have been a synthesis between our vision and the behaviors if what customers will do.

Experimenting on customers to see what was happening. Grand total budget of $5 a day. Independent controlled trial - our notion of what constitutes a great product, we were making the wrong product.

How did you change the product? We originally focused on optimization - customers were interested in using avatars in making new friends, not going to show this new "avatar" to their "real" friends. Editor assumption: the users wanted to be sure the app was "cool" before applying their social capital to showing it to other friends.

Most engineers/entrepreneurs don't want to admit to learning.

People are generally apathetic - when you have a small number of customers - the customers are willing to sort through the noise and as you pivot, they can either follow or disappear with limited impact. Minimum visible product - build measure learn pivot.

How do you create a business that relies on code?
Want to run a software company - need to learn how to code. Going to recruit a technical cofounder need to have a way to communicate. You can iterate yourself.

How do you get great people to work with me for free?

Vision / Strategy / Product - Changing product is not pivoting. Changing strategies is the pivot. When you start a company, you usually confuse the three.

Is Lean Startup Methodology essentially crowd sourcing?
Mistake : ship it and see what happens.
Need a commitment to iterate. Mechanism for determining innovation - when to pivot?
When things are working - you have a great growth.
Don't forget that metrics are people too. Metrics are humans - and you can find insights into understanding why the people were using the app.
How do you get the commitment to iterate? Cast a spell around the engineers so they stay in the reality distortion field and I stay in the reality. Being completely 100% transparent and share with the team and everyone is part of the discovery - then we can get people to be excited about the search.

MVPs hoe do you determine the most viable product? General purpose advice is not easy to answer. If you can not measure the people's response, then you do not have a viable product. What do I really need to learn and work back from that...

In pivoting - you never throw the entire old idea out. The good idea is always found in the experience of the "bad" idea.

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