Eric Ries is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and author recognized for pioneering the lean startup movement, a new-business strategy which directs startup companies to allocate their resources as efficiently as possible. He is also a well-known blogger within the technology entrepreneur community.
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This is Eric Ries. I’m an entrepreneur and the author of The Lean Startup. I’m writing a new book — two actually. The first one is a field guide for implementing Lean Startup principles called The Leader’s Guide, and it's available only through a Kickstarter campaign (21 days to go!). The second (working title: The Startup Way) is an official follow up to The Lean Startup, and will be released in in 2017.
My campaign is also an experiment designed to see how I can collaborate with all of you as part of my research process for The Startup Way. I wanted my new book to be researched, written and published in a way that is consistent with the methodology I believe in--and Kickstarter provides a platform for an even deeper level of collaboration with my readers. I'm also supporting a community for backers after the campaign so that they can share their stories, lessons, and experiences with me and with each other.
I'm really excited about the collaborative aspect of the campaign, and look forward to get the conversation going here on reddit.
Victoria from reddit is helping me out today with getting started today. AMA!
Photo proof: http://imgur.com/pwtO4Gp
EDIT: Thanks everyone for the questions! Appreciate the thoughtful comments. This was a ton of fun and hope to do it again sometime.
I'm a huge fan of the Lean Startup methodology, however I've talked with others about it and the one thing that comes up is building an MVP vs a Prototype. Generally I feel that that an MVP, while not feature complete, should still be robust and as bug free as possible, whereas with a prototype its acceptable to have bugs or to lack basic security considerations. Do you feel that there is a difference between the two, or are they essentially the same thing?
This is actually a hard question to answer. The reason is that the definition of a bug is defined by the customer. How do you know that your MVP is bug free if customers aren't using it? It's a common engineering assumption that we know what quality means and we can judge it for ourselves. But the truth is that if you don't know who the customer is, you don't know what quality means.
So, although I do try to make sure that an MVP is free of technical defects, I don't think it's possible to make it bug-free. The good news is that - at least in software - bugs are relatively harmless. If customers encounter them, you can fix them. Now that I work a lot with industrial, energy, and healthcare teams, we have to deal with this at a much deeper level. As my friends at GE like to say, nobody wants to fly on a minimum viable engine.
Hey Eric, thanks for this AMA, and thanks for your book. It's quite amazing!
My question is: lots of business universities are incorporating entrepreneurship in their curriculum. Would you recommend studying entrepreneurship (as well as other business core) academically or just winging it and learning from experience?
I've been really excited to see the addition of real entrepreneurship curriculum to schools and especially business schools. I got to play an extremely small part in the revamp of the HBS curriculum that now requires every MBA to work on a startup as part of their degree.'
But the truth is that I think the bigger impact of those changes will be on non-entrepreneurs. Think of all the people who affect the startup ecosystem: bankers, corp dev, policy makers, general managers, PE/VC, etc. For them to actually understand a little bit about startups is going to be a big positive change.
In terms of your own education, I am a big believer in a general liberal arts education. That's what's helped me the most (thanks mom!). We live in a golden age of information about startups out there on books and blogs. There's plenty you can learn without formal schooling in business. Plus, YCombinator exists.
Not Eric, but don't forgot you're not just iterating on a product, but the set of initial requirements/assumptions guiding its development. You can do the entire build/test/learn loop via a CAD model, or a 3d printed sub-component etc and then feedback those learnings into your requirements.
Well said. A key part of MVPs is to help discover what the technical specifications really are. It's amazing how often the technical specs get easier once you have real customer experiments going.
Hi Eric, your interview session at sxsw was one of the highlights of interactive for me.
My main question coming out of it was this. Can you give any concrete examples of using lean startup methods in larger companies, and physical manufacturing? My friends and I were trying to imagine what a lean prototype of a diesel engine might look like? Or how that would work in practice? Interesting thought for sure.
Cory Nelson described just such an MVP here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkdsYTlEGfQ
Here's a way to think about it. Physical mass production has a huge number of steps required to achieve delivery at scale: engineering, material science, supply chain, quality, compliance, sourcing, etc etc
If you were just trying to build and sell one single engine, how much of that work is really required? You'd be amazed what engineers can come up with when you reframe the problem this way.
What advice can you offer startups that are NOT based in the valley?
TBH, I often have to give special advice to startups IN the valley. We're surrounded by unbelievable resources here but also a huge amount of hype and distraction. When in doubt, serve your customers and build something amazing. You can do that anywhere. The rest will follow.
Do you have any resources you can recommend specifically about applying lean startup principles to physical (tangible) products?
The resources are very deep for software/web products, but when you get into tangible products, I have a hard time applying the concepts of lean startup.
Thanks for the work you have done on this area. I really appreciate it!
my friends at Highway One (part of PCH) are amazing at this: http://highway1.io/team/
If you want to go deep in understanding the special issues around lean hardware as it relates to supply chain, distribution, and design they take entrepreneurs on an annual trip to Shenzhen which is amazing.
Oh, and look at that, we've just added a new reward (5-day trip to China with Highway One) just for lean hardware startups to the Kickstarter campaign. I doubt that's going to last very long.
How's the bank idea coming along?
You mean the Long-Term Stock Exchange?
Hey Eric! Thanks for doing this AMA. I am a huge fan of The Lean Startup.
I am a co-founder of a startup, and I have been working 100+ hour weeks. One of the things I have noticed is the large physical and emotionally toil that comes with the entrepreneurship life. It came to the point where I have given up relationships and friendships in order to run my company. Entrepreneurship, at least in my experience, is an incredibly lonely path.
A mentor once told me that, "Entrepreneurship is not about being happy. It is about waking up at night, with the hunger of wanting to change the world. If you want to be happy, go back to your job."
Would you agree with this statement, that entrepreneurship and happiness are often separate? And what advice would you give to entrepreneurs (or wantrepreneurs), to help them cope better with this path? Thank you!
First of all, thank you for the kind words and for sharing what you're going through.
I think that's pretty bad advice. Here's an easy way to tell: imagine going to work at a "normal" job, 9-5, very little responsibility, rote work same day in day out. Like the movie Office Space. Does that really sound like a recipe for happiness?
I think if you're the entrepreneurial type, you'll find much more fulfillment trying to make the world a better place through your startup. But here's the catch. Don't do a startup because you think you will make a lot of money or achieve fame and fortune. I always tried to pick projects that I felt were worthwhile - even if they totally failed.
And I'm not in the 100+ hour weeks camp, either. I think if your startup really requires that level of effort on a sustained basis (we've all pulled the occasional all-nighter, but what you're describing is different), something is probably wrong with your startup's strategy.
What advice would you have for nonprofit organizations who would like to benefit from the concepts of Lean Startup?
Check out the grassroots Lean Impact community: https://twitter.com/leanimpact
Most startups are unintentional not-for-profits. At least you have the benefit of being honest about it :)
It seems like very often, you talk about "humility", "empathy", and "respect". You also talk about the injustice of wasting the skills and effort of people. Is ethics at the core of the Lean Startup principles?
I like to think so. It's a strong core component (but seldom talked about in the mainstream press) of the Toyota Production System: respect for people.
I frankly wish more business books were held to this same ethical standard. The question that keeps me up at night is: how do you really know that the advice you're giving out will help other people? I mean sure, it worked for you, Mr or Mrs Author, but what about when read, translated, interpreted and put into practice?
That's what I'm most excited about with this campaign. We get to use The Leader's Guide and the online community to really test out these ideas and make sure that they work in the real world, even after being laundered through book form.
Is there any scientific evidence that supports "the lean startup methodology" is in any way superior to whatever people where doing before ?
Not yet. I really hope someone in academia will tackle this challenge in a rigorous way. So far all of my efforts to convince academics and foundations to work on it have produced little.
In the meantime, the best test of a startup idea is: do entrepreneurs find it helpful. And I don't mean just the famous ones whose public declarations are filtered through their PR teams. What about the thousands of entrepreneurs working in total obscurity all over the world? Like the ones on this map: http://lean-startup.meetup.com/
What was your lowest moment in life? And what steps did you take to get through it?
Let's startup failure. In the movies, all those people who told you "your idea will never work, doing a startup is a bad idea, you should finish school and get a normal job" - you get to back to them and make them realize how cool you are now that you're a big success.
In real life, you get to go back to them and say, "you were right. it didn't work." Man, that is seriously painful. Especially when you're an unbelievably arrogant kid, as I was when I did my first startup.
What did you have in mind for a study? I run a university entrepreneurship center, teach Lean Launchpad, am old enough to remember how it used to be done, and have wondered the same thing myself.
I mentioned this briefly in the afterword to The Lean Startup.
Something awesome and hardcore like Principles of Lean Product Development ? :) http://www.amazon.com/The-Principles-Product-Development-Flow/dp/1935401009
one of my favorites: http://www.startuplessonslearned.com/2009/07/principles-of-product-development-flow.html
Hi! I am Doris! I came from years in the organic food industry and was servicing the real food bloggers via advertising and marketing. It is an industry that is now blossoming. I recruited about 700 bloggers into a network. I am working on an online project that will provide a solution to expensive organic, real food, products to consumers. Is Silicon Valley fearful in investing in food companies or food consumer model? My model involves group buying. Sequoia invested in Good Eggs and am wondering if it is ready to venture into other food model. Andrew Mason's Groupon is so tarnished but I learned a lot of good points from that model. Maybe flash sales is not dead if Zulily is a billion dollar company? Fab gained traction but founder got greedy. Why aren't there a lot more investments into food tech? Are we lacking the brains? I thought 'you control the food, you control the people' -- why no confidence in investing in food? -doris-
Food is a big category out here right now - I'm a big Good Eggs fan but also Sprig, Bento, Instacart, etc.
whats the most exciting startup you've seen in social media / social analytics?
Too many to count: KISSmetrics, Mixpanel, Tapylitics, Yozio, Sharethrough, and so many more. (Warning: i'm an investor in some of these)
How much time did you take to plan your Kickstarter Campaign?
How many people were on your team?
What types of folks were they?...marketing, pr, fellow co-collaborators..
It was definitely a team effort. For timeline, let me consult the archive. On 10/20 last year I emailed Fred Wilson when I first had the idea for the campaign. Next thing I know I'm talking to Yancey from Kickstarter. I started to put the team together but we didn't start working on it in earnest until December last year.
The core team is listed on the Kickstarter page. It definitely requires a mix of logistics, editorial, and marketing skills. It's been a very fun project.
What's the strangest startup idea you've heard? (feel free to redact to keep the identities of the odd)
You gotta hand it to the guys at Martin Jetpack: http://www.martinjetpack.com/
I was on a tour of New Zealand years ago when I got to meet them. I had worked on a virtual jetpack years earlier in my career (gotta love virtual worlds) and so we had a great conversation about UI and controls for flying one. I assumed it was a total pipe dream but what do you know they had an IPO this year: http://www.businessinsider.com/martin-aircraft-ipo-2015-2
What are your thoughts about people using public libraries as places to help foster collaboration, resources, and information for entrepreneurs and others getting into small business, and to help facilitate innovation?
I don't claim any special knowledge here, but sounds like a great idea. I have the most fond memories of my local public library (hello, Mission Hills SDPL branch in San Diego) growing up. I'd hate to see them become just a temporary warehouse for ink smeared on dead trees.
Hi Eric! What is your method in meeting and creating a network of useful people around you?
I'm a pretty poor networker, since I'm an introvert and have a hard time keeping track of people I've met only a few times. I rely on friends and colleagues who are much better connectors than I ever will be and I ask them for help.
How many entrepreneurs have you guided personally? Who are they?
Gosh, probably too many to count at this point. A sampling of them are listed on my AngelList profile, but I'm not sure where else: https://angel.co/ericries
Do you plan on writing about how to combine the biggest three Lean like philosophies into one framework? I'm talking about Lean Product Design, Lean Startup, and Agile software development. You touched on it briefly in Lean Startup, however I think that with the spread of Agile this is something that will need to be addressed to prevent confusion among practitioners.
I'm doing my best. One of things I'm most excited about in the Kickstarter campaign is it lets me write a book that's more detailed than a typical "airport business book" and can get into the nitty-gritty of development methodologies. All that material got cut from The Lean Startup.
Do you think that the lean Startup principles can be applied to an established incumbent business in decline...and it can be turned around?
Yes. This has been a big part of my work the past few years and I will try to address it in the book.
Maybe you can Meerkat when your writing sometime too... oh wait
How do you recommend getting through the lows of entrepreneurship? The rough days where you don't know whether it will work or not?
Do work that you are proud of even if you fail. Think about how you're being of service to your customers each and every day. And be honest with yourself: is the work I'm doing really provably creating value? If the answer is yes, it's hard to get too down.
I see you do a lot of angel investing. Can you recommend a good approach or methodology for investing in startups? Is there a lean investment methodology? :)
I only invest as a hobby. I've had a pretty consistently bad track record of picking winners in my career. I turned down chances to work at pre-IPO Google and Facebook, for example.
Now, I do think it's possible to build a lean investment methodology. It's based on what I call "innovation accounting" in the book.
I don't know how much detail to get into now, but it has to do with learning to value a startup and what it's learning from first principles, rather than based on comparables or external sources. Once you can do that, you can then assess how much each MVP or pivot is really worth in net present value terms. I think it's a much more meritocratic way to allocate resources.
Thank you for taking the time for doing this!
I've been working on my start-up for 6 months now, tested our first MVP with great results but now I am facing huge differences on vision and approach with my business partner. I suppose this is a fairly normal situation. I was wondering if you have any advice for founders struggling to align on a single vision?
Man, I wish I could have all the hours of my life back that I spent arguing about vision with my cofounders. We finally - after years of wasting time - figured out that we need to focus on a concept called "synthesis" between our vision and what reality can accept. So any time we have a disagreement, let's get out of opinion land and try and formulate an empirical test. In other words: can we run an experiment that might help us figure out which direction is better.
Now a lot of people call these questions vision questions, but I later learned to call them strategy questions. The vision is the destination, the strategy is the route. A pivot is a change in strategy without a change in vision. If your cofounders truly don't agree on the vision - why are you building a company together?
Most cofounder disagreements, even the "vision" ones are really about strategy.
The idea of a new "tech bubble" is getting buzz these days,
what do you think about it?
Winter is Coming
What is your opinion of equity crowdfunding (AngelList, Funder's Club, Crowdcube, etc)? Will this eventually disrupt VC funds and they're 2 and 20 economics? Or are they simply bringing FFFs and angel investing online?
I'm not convinced. (And to be clear, I don't consider AL or FC crowdfunding really). True crowdfunding would be something like Kickstarter where every backer gets equity. I'm just too worried about the possibilities for fraud. We have a hard enough time with fraudulent Kickstarter and IGG campaigns. I think our grandparents were wise when they built the current securities regulations and while I do think some rules are antiquated and some need reform, I'm not ready to knock down the foundations quite yet.
Okay multi-part question from a Meerkatter. What time do you get up the morning, do you have some crazy polyphasic sleep routine, and whats the first thing you do?
I have a 1-year-old son at home (hi, Gabriel!) and so I do have crazy sleep, but nothing I would call a routine. I am emphatically NOT a morning person and would be happy to sleep in every day. Wish I had a more clever answer, but first thing I do is check my email on my phone. My inbox is a disaster area so I never know what I'm going to find there.
What are your favorite user acquisition hacks, stories or techniques that you've heard about? Any particularly funny or ingenious hacks?
I still like Manuel Rosso's story of getting early customers in the parking lot of a Whole Foods (told in The Lean Startup).
What do you say to people who have an idea but want to hire someone to do all the work?
At what point in your journey did you realize people need a follow up book to assist them in executing Lean Startup principles?
Same as when I knew it was time to write The Lean Startup in the first place: when I was being asked the same really hard questions over and over again, and when I knew the answers.
What are the top n things that you see most business and start-ups do wrong or not well that you hope to change through your work so most businesses get them right and become more effective?
I don't know how to answer this question in anything less than book length.
What is your process for writing a book like The Lean Startup and The Leader's Guide?
The writing itself is totally conventional: just get up in the morning and force myself to put words on the page, one excruciating day at a time.
But the real work happens outside the writing process: in testing and refining the ideas. For that, you need real-world experimentation. For TLS, I did a ton of that in workshops and in travel. For the new book, I'm hoping to use the Leader's Guide as a new form of experiment to supplement.
Hi Eric, I'm a huge fan of The Lean Startup. I work at a company that creates video games. How would you respond to someone who says video games are more like art than a traditional product or service so not all Lean Startup methods can be applied to video games?
If they want to do art for art's sake, they should quit your company and go live the bohemian life making artisanal video games by hand. Oh, what's that they say, they want to have an impact, change the world, and become rich and famous through their art? Well, in that case, step into my office. Whatever you believe is going to work, whatever impact you believe your games will have, what can it hurt to double-check via experimentation?
Do you have any recommendations, reading or resources for folks trying to build 2 sided marketplaces?
Tom Eisenmann is the expert: http://platformsandnetworks.blogspot.com/
Where aren't you being listened to right now? With even healthcare and government getting into it, is there still "mission territory" out there?
Tons! The thing that few people understand is just how vast the "mainstream" of business is. Every day I meet people who've never heard of Lean Startup - but I also meet people who haven't heard of disruptive innovation!
Hey Eric! I'm a backer of your project already. What can the community do to best help you with the research and production of the books?
TBH, the most important thing is to help get more people to back the campaign. I know I'm supposed to say something less commercial than that, but that's what we really need. The campaign only runs this one time, and the greater the sample size of companies in it, the more likely we learn what we need.
I'm especially keen for people who are not "the usual suspects" to join the campaign, to help diversify the stories we can tell.
Hi Eric. Let's say we're running a SaaS web application business. Do you believe that everything should be A/B tested? For example, what if it's just minor convenience features, UI improvements, or cosmetic changes that may not directly affect conversion or attrition rates, but just generally contribute to a more pleasant user experience? Couldn't a more pleasant experience could possibly affect churn rate in the long-term, but can't be tied back to any particular change?
If your testing tools are sufficiently easy to use, why not use them as a matter of routine? At least to make sure you're not having an adverse side effect.
And once you're doing that, why not use cohort analysis to watch what happens over the long-term to the people in your experimental group to double check that the effects are real?
And if you're testing tools are not that easy to use, why are you shooting yourself in the foot? I wrote about this years ago: http://www.startuplessonslearned.com/2008/09/one-line-split-test-or-how-to-ab-all.html
Insofar as you can tell (only published <4 years ago, survivorship bias, observer effect, etc) has the Lean Startup (book or wider movement) had a measurable impact increasing startup success rate or reducing wasted VC dollars?
I can only go by the anecdotal evidence that I hear from entrepreneurs themselves. It's extremely hard to assess its impact in aggregate. See my other answer about academia for more.
Being as busy as you are...how do you find the time to write!?
It's really hard. I almost never have time to blog anymore. I will have to dramatically cut back on speaking and consulting in order to write the book.
Hi Eric, thanks for doing this!
I'm in the middle of developing a business idea for a start-up (all by myself). Do you have any recommendations on how you could find a co-founder or at least at this time, someone to work as a sounding board to my idea and help me go in the right direction?
Also, in your opinion, which are the most important items that a business plan should have? Should you even have one when you are working on developing the idea for the MVP?
I don't have any better advice to offer on cofounder issues than the many essays of Paul Graham. Maybe start here: http://www.paulgraham.com/before.html
For the business plan, ditch the fiction-writing part of it and focus on the spreadsheet. And not the output of the spreadsheet, the inputs. What are the customer behaviors that drive the business model? Each of those is a leap of faith assumption you can test with an MVP.
The Lean startup has many themes in common with Steve Blank's 'Four Steps to Epiphany'. You attended a class at Berkeley's Haas business school taught by Blank. How much of your insights and success to you attribute to Blank?
Steve was an early investor and board member in IMVU, where I was a founder. As a condition of his investing, he asked us to audit a new class on something called "customer development" he was teaching at UC Berkeley Haas school of business. My cofounder and I schlepped down there from Palo Alto a handful of times to hear what he had to say. I also ordered the original badly-edited and badly-printed version of "Four Steps" and devoured every page. I'll always be grateful to him not just for his ideas but for his mentorship.
I read the Lean Startup and was very excited about the techniques. Then I read more about lean (non "start-up"). An it really looks like you just took those principles and made it in a marketing pitch.
I don't see where you improved on Lean (TPS). Can you share where you added?
Is a SixSigma Start-up in the works?
Ouch. I also get the criticism that there's no real "lean" in lean startup. The people I've worked closely with with a real lean background, including folks at Toyota and the Lean Enterprise Institute have been very influential in my thinking about this.
The short version is that traditional lean is focused on determining the most efficient way to build what the customer wants. Lean Statup is focused on the most efficient way to find out what the customer wants in the first place.
No plans to offer colored belts in Lean Startup.
Thank you! Check out your local Lean Startup Meetup, wherever you are in the world: http://lean-startup.meetup.com/
If you want the Deluxe leader's guide, consider the Two-Pizza Team bundle, which includes it plus two actual pizzas. We'll see about adding more. What do you mean Leadership+Kickstarter bundle?
Of the various offshoots of the Lean Startup methodology (as represented by the breadth of O'Reilly's series: http://shop.oreilly.com/category/series/lean.do) which was most unexpected and took you most by surprise?
A forthcoming look at Lean Churches (I'm not kidding). Here's a sneak preview: http://www.slideshare.net/LeanStartupConf/ken-howard-final-9th
what are your tougths about creating a start up alone?
I've never tried it. It's hard enough with a team, I can't imagine how hard it would be to do solo.
Explain how you decide how much to invest in a startup - what motivates you to put more or less into it?
I try to stick to a consistent and small check size for the initial investment. I try really hard not to pay attention to "social proof" or even know what other investors are doing.
I'm a scientist working on a project looking at the equivalent to lean start up practice in running and developing scientific studies, eg. lean start up for science. I would love to know your thoughts on this and if you have much experience with scientists using agile lean methods for basic science discovery?
I think there's huge potential here. One great example is Emerald Therapeutics from the Lean Startup Conference a few years ago: http://www.slideshare.net/LeanStartupConf/experimenting-on-experimentsbringing-lean-startup-to-scientific-research
So then, Who was you biggest inspiration to become an entrepreneur? was it a gradual process you felt gravitated towards, or did you think that you could follow in someones footsteps?
I wish I had a better answer to this, but the honest answer is it was 1999 and the dot-com bubble was in full effect and I got swept up in the mania.
Thank you for doing this AmA. It's brilliant how inspiring your thoughts are and how much companies and lives you have changed. However; What inspires and drives you to get out of bed every day?
Whenever I am uncertain about the work I'm doing, I try to visualize someone just starting out on their startup journey, like I was a few years ago. If I can help them waste a little bit less of their life building stuff that nobody wants, then I think about all the good they can do with that extra time.
I missed your session at SXSW. TLDR on what you've learned in the years since writing The Lean Startup?
We need to focus more attention on what kind of company we're trying to build, not just how to get started.
Hey Eric, thanks for doing this. Also, great to meet you a few weeks ago at SXSW.
If you could go back and add one chapter to the Lean Startup what would it be about and why?
I'd be more likely to try and remove a chapter. There's so many people who still don't get the basic concepts and I feel a great responsibility to try and make everything I write and say clearer to avoid misconceptions and misinterpretation.
Hey Eric. Thanks for participating. I'm always keen to hear from entrepreneurs about that initial idea that sticks out above the others and the point you decide to test it out. When does an idea or trail of thought for you become 'this could work' and you start to test it out? (Greig Cranfield - Founder//Product Manager @yudoozy)
For me it's always been a visceral thing. What's something you simply can't stop working on?
What is your reaction to how well the Kickstarter campaign is going?
I feel deeply humbled and honored by the outpouring of support.
Hi Eric, what was your biggest startup failure and what did you learn from it?
I'm going to share something I'm still embarrassed about. Check out this article from 1999: http://www.yaleherald.com/archive/xxviii/1999.11.18/features/exclusive.html
If that doesn't sound like the most ignorant entrepreneur you've ever heard... Suffice to say it was a great learning experience, once I got over the embarrassment.
My biggest problem so far is finding others that I can collaborate with and bounce ideas back and forth. How did you develop your strong network before the book? how did you find your mentors?
I was lucky, frankly. As a CS major from a good school with a failed startup under my belt, I had a lot of job offers in Silicon Valley and I tried to apprentice myself to the best entrepreneurs I could find. I tried to make myself useful to people I thought could mentor me and who appreciated my skills.
What's the closest to a silicon valley ecosystem you have seen around the world?
The obvious answers are pretty much right: new york, austin, london, etc. I was just in Amsterdam and was very impressed to see how far that ecosystem has developed in just a few years.
We're still at the very beginning of this transformation in how companies and cities think about economic development. I think there is a lot of room for new startup hubs to be built and thrive.
Hi Eric, I'm a french student who achieves his thesis on design thinking and lean startups, I appreciate your works and I eagerly awaits the next !
My question is : Design thinking applied to startups, fad or real opportunity ?
Great idea. Sometimes goes by the moniker "Lean UX" as in http://www.amazon.com/Lean-UX-Applying-Principles-Experience/dp/1449311652 and http://www.amazon.com/UX-Lean-Startups-Experience-Research/dp/1449334911/ref=pd_sim_b_9?ie=UTF8&refRID=0ZY6P3SYWTKC77QXRKS6
Do you think marketers have hijacked LeanStartup to push their own products and consulting etc? For ex: DevOps consultants.
That kind of stuff does happen, but I don't especially think the DevOps community is guilty of it.
What's your current ringtone and background picture on your phone?
I use the Apple default ringtone. years ago I decided to stop fighting software company defaults, and almost never customize settings on anything I use. I go through computers and phones so frequently now that I don't trust that the settings will be remembered through upgrades, etc. So I learn to adapt myself to the defaults.
Years ago, when I was briefly advising a startup called CoolIris I used their app to change my phone background to a Mondrian painting. Somehow Apple has managed to keep that setting through all the years of upgrades.