Getting the most out of the Lean Startup Machine Workshop


I thoroughly enjoyed participating in this past weekend’s Lean Startup Machine held at The Fort.

My presentation from Saturday morning on Lean UX is posted here. It was my first time using the Reveal.JS so forgive some of my alignment snafu’s 🙂

LeanUX - Product Design in Real Time
Click to launch preso in new window

For those that don’t know, The Lean Startup Machine descended on DC this past weekend and I was excited to be among some of the DC entrepreneurs asked to help out as mentors.

Lean Canvas
Snapshot of one of the teams lean canvas.

I encourage everyone to experience the LSM Worksop once. It’s a phenomenal primer on lean, a great experience, and a great way to connect with your local startup community in a real and tangible way.

Here’s my cheat sheet for getting the most of out the weekend:

  1. Team selection is as much about personality as idea. It’s long hours and lots of debate; avoid obvious personality conflicts that will sidetrack progress.
  2. Get as detailed as possible with the problem definition. “People want to save money” is not a problem.
  3. Read up on Porter’s 5 forces analysis. This will help give you a framework for understanding how incumbents, new entrants, and substitutes are addressing the problem domain. (Also, I’ve just saved you $100k in MBA tuition ;))
  4. Embrace the tools and practice. Precious time is lost during the weekend setting up landing pages and collecting metrics. Get familiar with the resources ahead of time and come ready to use them.
  5. Not all customer types are available on the weekend. If your idea has corporate customers, remember that they may be hard to reach off business hours
  6. Relax! No one dies at LSM. This is primarily a bootcamp to share knowledge and learn a process. Come with an open mind and positive attitude and you’ll be well served.

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