Monday, August 31, 2015

Five case studies you'll see at the Lean Startup Conference 2015

The following is a guest post by Kirsten Cluthe and Ritika Puri from The Lean Startup Conference team
Wondering what’s new in the Lean Startup community? With hundred of thousands of global practitioners, the supply of ideas and best practices is endless. What’s more challenging is finding the right information that will influence positive change within your organization.

Every year, our team conducts more than 500 customer development calls to understand what challenges the community is facing. We come across some interesting stories from people who are really making things happen. Here are some of our favorites:

1. Product Hunt, an 18-month old startup, has evolved from a basic idea into a thriving online community.
Entrepreneur Ryan Hoover transformed an email list experiment into a venture-funded startup community with tens of thousands of active members. 

It all started with a small group of founders and product enthusiasts who self-aggregated into an online community. With positive feedback from his peers, Hoover decided to transform his email list into a website. Over Thanksgiving weekend in 2013, right after launching his email list experiment, he built Product Hunt’s first website mockup with his team. Today, that MVP has evolved into a thriving online community with more than $7M in funding.

Though Ryan is now running one of the hottest startups around, he’s a down to earth guy with some great ideas on how to get things going. Check out his post on how he launched Product Hunt, a story captured in tweets, emails, and photos.

2. Telepathic, a new technology startup, is bringing A/B testing to the world of mass-market fiction and storytelling.
Entrepreneur Prerna Gupta believes that there’s a billion-dollar opportunity in bringing “Lean” principles to the development and distribution of mass-market fiction, and in presenting stories as a mobile-first experience. Her goal? She wants to disrupt Hollywood with the Lean Startup method.

Prerna began her startup journey after leaving a job as a management consultant, and launched Yaari, a youth-oriented social network in India. Since then, she’s applied her business and technology skills to build apps like Songify; and after a period of time wandering the world with her husband, arrived at the idea for her new business.

Prerna's vision is to share stories across multiple platforms, including apps, video, and virtual reality. It's Lean Startup storytelling for the Snapchat generation. Read about Prerna’s journey here.

3. ReadyTalk, a 15-year-old web conferencing software company, launched an internal startup.
ReadyTalk became interested in Lean Startup principles to develop new lines of business. Along the way, the company faced many of the same challenges that Lean Startup practitioners experience: balancing new customers and product lines with existing ones.

After attending the 2014 Lean Startup Conference with 6 of her team members, intrapreneur and product strategist Andrea Hill realized that ReadyTalk needed to hold its emerging business lines to a different standard of success. She shares: “We now use metrics like cost-per-learning and validation velocity to show progress since traditional things like ROI weren’t applicable.”

With this approach to establishing and tracking milestones, ReadyTalk launched its beta of in March 2015.

4. Dun & Bradstreet, a 174 year old financial services company, has spent the last year building an experiment-driven marketing operation.
Dun & Bradstreet is undergoing a big cultural shift. One of their major initiatives is to launch marketing programs that engage customers in a fresh, new way. As part of this process, the company’s CMO Rishi Dave, is encouraging teams to launch campaigns faster. He shares: “It’s not about being perfect— it’s about being perfect enough to start gathering data.”

He’s encouraging his teams to get confident with this gap and recognize that the present is always a stepping stone towards a new opportunity. Dave is at the helm of an experimentation story in the making. He shares: “You need to test your way through this process until you find that crucial connection point.”

5. The United States Digital Service, a federal government agency, is building a ‘stealth startup.’
At the 2014 Lean Startup Conference, Todd Park, former CTO of the United States and current advisor to the White House, concluded his panel discussion with the following sentence: “come work for us.” 

Three Lean Startup Conference attendees have taken him up on his offer, and that number is growing (we’ve heard that they’re very, very happy). They’re working to build a 21st century government, and improving on processes that typically burden government workers. Their mission is to drive efficiency, transparency, and savings. You can read more about 18F here.

Want more of these stories?

Come hear about them live at the 2015 Lean Startup Conference. All of the people mentioned in this post (and many more) will be speaking at the conference, and they’re excited to meet you. Get the details here.

Do you have a cool Lean Startup story to share? Tweet us @leanstartup, and we might feature you in a blog post, too!

Monday, July 6, 2015

The dog ate my homework

A quick update for those of you following the Kickstarter campaign to launch my new book The Leader's Guide (and good news for those of you who missed out):

For those of you who backed the campaign:

Keep an eye out for an email which includes a link to a very short survey where you can confirm your shipping information and purchase additional items. (It will only take about a minute of your time -- and filling it out will help us ship your books and bonuses as soon as they're ready.)

For those of you who wanted to back the campaign but had problems making a pledge:

If this happened to you, I have some good news. Thanks to our fulfillment partner BackerKit, you can still be part of the campaign and receive a copy of the book and other rewards for two more weeks. Please note: the deadline is Monday, July 20.  Here’s a link to our store.

For everyone:

A reminder: this really is your last chance to get The Leader's Guide, be part of the backer-only community we've set up as part of the campaign, and upgrade your pledge. Because of my agreement with my publisher, The Leader’s Guide will never be sold in stores. We’re very excited that BackerKit has made it possible for us to extend our deadline to July 20 for those of you who missed out or who want additional copies or other rewards.

Thanks so much for your support!


Friday, June 26, 2015

Intuit Labs Takeover

This week, the Lean Startup took over the blog on Intuit Labs with original stories centered around experimentation as a method for investigating all parts of a business or product idea. The week’s posts included case studies, tips, Q&As, startup stories, and more.

We started on Monday with a conversation between me and Intuit’s own Ben Blank. Ben and I talk about spotting next-generation leaders, how there are no tricks or tools for innovators, and giving corporate innovation teams permission to experiment. We also posted Lean Startup 101, in case you’re looking for a refresher or an explainer to send to friends or colleagues.

On Tuesday, we interviewed Amanda Krantz of Dohje, an early-stage startup, to talk about experimenting with product development. Krantz is in the middle of the swirling, changing truth about Dohje’s value to customers, and we get real some real boots-on-the-ground insight into what experimentation looks like at a young company. Alongside that case study is Daina Burnes Linton’s story about her startup, Fashion Metric, and running multiple tests without building a single thing—even when they really wanted to.

Wednesday’s theme was testing an idea through marketing experiments, and experts Anita Newton, Alistair Croll, and Cindy Alvarez gave us their best tips on how to do that. All three emphasize the need for creating a solid, constrained hypothesis, so we also put together a short piece on writing one.

Thursday brought stories from three startups—PayrollHero, Munchery, and Tough Mudder—about how they’ve experimented with their business models to get to where they are today. And there’s a Q&A with me exploring a startup at an impasse, where I talk about usability testing and two-sided markets.

Today, we’ve got an edited Q&A with Back To The Roots, who have experimented with all parts of their business—from distribution channels to community engagement, product to retail sales. Posted with that is Dan Milstein’s talk about identifying your biggest risk, and being scared of working on the wrong thing when you’re in a startup—since good luck and hard work are actually not the keys to success.

I wanted to share these Lean Startup stories with you to hopefully inspire you and give you some ideas for experimenting with your own business or product idea. Head over to Intuit Labs to see all the posts.

For more stories like these, come join us at The Lean Startup Conference 2015.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Speak at The Lean Startup Conference 2015

What follows is a guest post by Kirsten Cluthe, the new Editorial Director of The Lean Startup Conference. Kirsten is leading our program development and speaker selection -- curating a four day, multi-tracked, 2000-person event. With a career that’s spanned from the music industry to General Electric to the Olympics, Kirsten brings deep event programming experience to the Lean Startup team.

As the editorial director for this year’s conference, I look forward to bringing the latest thinking on Lean Startup practices to the global community. Over the last few weeks, I’ve had the chance to speak directly with advisors, faculty, team members, and customers to learn about key challenges in applying Lean Startup, as well as opportunities to educate and provide practical advice where it's needed most.

We want this year’s conference to be more valuable than ever, but we also aim to make it simpler to navigate, the content more exceptional, and more straightforward. Sessions will balance between hard hitting keynotes and interactive workshops. Yes, you’ll be inspired, but you’ll also have a chance to work through your business challenges while you’re with us. Topics like how to scale, how to create a culture of innovation, how to inspire leadership, finding the right product/market fit and more, delivered from people who are actually doing the work. We want you to learn, solve, and return to work with ideas and tools that you can apply immediately.
Last week we announced the first round of entrepreneurs and practitioners confirmed to speak at the 2015 Lean Startup Conference. Now, we turn to you. We’re reaching into the Lean Startup community to find hidden gems--the stories we don't know (yet).
Lean Startup methods are being applied by people around the globe, in startups and established companies, non-profit and civic organizations, and there are many stories to be told. We’re passionate about bringing fresh ideas to the community, and we encourage you to apply as a speaker--especially if you haven’t had the chance to speak from the Lean Startup stage.

What we’re looking for

Our goal is to bring the most interesting, relevant, and impactful stories to the conference. We’re looking for practitioners who are doing the real work. That’s where you come in. As a speaker, you’ll have the opportunity to share your advice, insight, failures, and successes in order to help and benefit from the Lean Startup community.

Now in its 6th year, the conference has evolved from entrepreneurs-helping-entrepreneurs to something much larger and more powerful--a global community of businesses helping each other grow. This year, we’ll stick to the key themes you’re already familiar with, such as Innovation Accounting, Experimentation, Reducing Risk, and Lean Impact; but, we’re expanding our focus to include examples of how the Lean Startup method is changing the way we do business, and what the future of that might look like. Topic categories such as Leadership Development, Change Management, Marketing, Design, and Data Science and more, will be on the agenda.

What is your Lean Startup story?

If you have a Lean Startup experience to share, regardless of whether you’ve ever spoken publicly or not, we encourage you to propose a talk via our application form. You’ll submit your idea in the form of a short video, but don’t worry--iPhone video capture is just as good as broadcast quality. We only ask that you make sure the sound is good, so we can hear you. Here’s an example of a CFP we loved.

Here are some basics to keep in mind as you put your proposal together:
  • You don’t need to be a Lean Startup all-star. You just need a good story, useful tips, advice, or practical applications to share.
  • The core of your proposal should be around one of the questions posed in the CFP form. Keep it simple and focused.
  • Do your best to deliver your pitch in the proposal video as you would on stage. Though there’s still time to practice, stage presence matters.
  • Your presentation can be in the form of a case study, an interactive session, a list of lessons learned, or a discussion -- whichever format you think delivers the most punch. Let us know.

Conference attendees are entrepreneurs of all kinds--venture backed, bootstrappers, even entrepreneurs in corporate and government settings. We are seeking talks aimed at all segments of our audience:
  • Bootstrappers and startups
  • Corporate intrapreneurs
  • Educators
  • Government innovators
  • Non-profit and social impact leaders
  • Developers

Just as our audience is incredibly diverse, we are looking for speaker candidates from all over the world and from all walks of life, regardless of gender, race, or age.

So, why apply? Because the community needs you, and your work deserves to be celebrated.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Lean Startup Conference 2015

A massive rain storm blew through San Francisco in the middle of last year’s Lean Startup Conference. We woke up to a city-wide power outage, and Day Two of the conference had stopped before it started. No lights, no wifi, and no A/V.

What could have been a disaster evolved into a valuable, unplanned MVP: attendees embraced the three hours of darkness, while we organized unconference sessions and Q&A discussions, and gathered people in windowed rooms for impromptu meetings.

These community-led experiences were so much fun -- and became a source of such serendipitous, fruitful connections -- that we’ve decided to iterate on the idea for the 2015 conference and make it a core part of our program.

Why You Should Join Us in 2015

Since 2011, The Lean Startup has helped countless ventures transform ideas into thriving businesses. The movement has inspired a powerful community that includes leaders from enterprise organizations, government agencies, nonprofits, and early stage startups.

Like previous years, the 2015 conference will feature 100+ expert speakers on topics ranging from corporate entrepreneurship to analytics, product development, engineering, sales, marketing, and design. Our ‘power outage MVP’ has inspired us to offer five new reasons why you should attend the conference (again) this year:

  1. We’re hosting more meetups, peer discussions, and expert Q&A sessions.
  2. We’ll be delivering more in-depth case studies and advanced lessons in experimentation, measurement, team enablement, MVPs, and innovation accounting than ever before.
  3. We’re creating hands-on sessions with leaders who are tackling the same challenges as you. Share your toughest problems, and we’ll help you solve them.
  4. We’re creating opportunities for startup and corporate leaders to collaborate and connect with each other.
  5. We’re hosting the conference one month earlier this year to avoid a big storm (lesson learned) and well before your holiday travels.

Whether you’re attending for the first time or the sixth, we’ll make sure you meet great people, tackle your biggest business challenges, learn, and have a blast. You’ll go home with actionable takeaways to implement—immediately—with your team.

Get Involved

The 2015 conference will be held from November 16th-19th at historic Fort Mason in San Francisco. Register today to take advantage of our Spring sale prices. Prices increase on June 30th.

Follow us on Twitter or join our mailing list for updates on our speaker lineup, upcoming webcasts, and community initiatives.

Attendee Stories

Check out some of our favorite attendee stories from 2014:

“I went to the Lean Startup Conference because we were having challenges figuring out how to apply the principles in practice and were getting sidetracked with many different ideas and various ‘shiny objects’ that distracted us from engaging with customers. During the conference I took lots of notes on customer conversations through the sessions, asked tons of questions during the after-hours 1-on-1 sessions with experts, and received direct feedback from Eric Ries on the final day of the conference. Since then we've been able to have hour-long conversations with more than 20 of our customers, have designed scripts that allow any member of our team to have a quality conversation, and have designed three new products that came directly from customer feedback and are proving popular in initial testing.”

-Emmanuel Eleyae, co-founder at Satin Lined Caps (SLAPS)

“The Lean Startup Conference has been instrumental to helping my team, one unit within a large organization, stay innovative. I’ve had my team attend the past three years, and we plan to attend again in 2015. There were two big lessons that we learned in 2014. The first was to remember the real reason that our customers come to us—and to add tools for our internal teams to build upon our core product faster. The second was to remember that we’ll never really innovate if we don’t keep trying new things and its my job to protect the new by creating a culture of experimentation.”

- Darin Foster, director of product at Disney

“Our firm specializes in product development. We are also on staff at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business as project coaches for the Product Development and Market Research Course. We work in the medical device and industrial sectors, and our clients have expressed dissatisfaction with the traditional phased and gated approach. My business partner, Kathy Morrissey, and I went on a search for a more flexible and lean approach to getting product to market quicker. Specific challenges for our firm is the cultural piece of implementing these types of practices in a large company. We attended in 2013, and we enjoyed it so much that we attended again in 2014.  Our favorite sessions in 2014 included a session on leading by asking questions, in addition to a panel discussion on the challenge of implementing Lean Startup within large, complex organizations like GE. We’ll be back in 2015!”

- Mary Drotar, co-founder at Strategy 2 Market

Monday, April 13, 2015

Getting feedback from customers when security is an issue

This is the second of several early excerpts I'll be sharing from The Leader's Guide, a 4-color, 250-page, hardcover and digital book which will be offered exclusively through Kickstarter--according to my agreement with my publisher, Crown, the book can never be sold in stores. As usual, I'm leaving out important details like company names in order to respect their privacy while the book is still in early draft form.

The campaign ends on Wednesday, April 15--learn more about it here.

In its early days, REDACTED faced a challenge that will be familiar to many entrepreneurs: They wanted to build a product that the world has never seen before. But nothing like this product existed: just an idea. 

They knew the enterprise customers they were seeking would be highly interested in security and would never log onto a test site that was still in Beta and give up their data. The founders needed to find a different way to gather early feedback.


The importance of running experiments to learn more about customer behavior is one of the core principles of the Lean Startup. 

But what happens when you’re working in an industry where security and secrecy are vital—and customers aren’t exactly knocking on your door to participate in your tests?

I coached one team from REDACTED working on building a complex new technology for a market that is generally very secretive. Because they assumed customers would be unwilling to talk with them, the company was building their technology around market research.

Though the team was initially reluctant to set up meetings before they had a true understanding of what the final product would look like, eventually they agreed that talking to customers was important.

“Going out to sell the first MVP was daunting,” said one of the project leads, REDACTED.

“But once they got the hang of floating their MVPs with customers, these conversations were no longer daunting, they were really a lot of fun,” REDACTED said of his team. “The customer was really opening up and engaged in the process... It was really surprising the number of customers that opened up in a market that’s technically very secretive and very closemouthed.”

The team learned from their meetings was that their initial plan to invest millions of dollars and several years into developing REDACTED would have been a complete failure. Not because their idea wasn’t any good, but because they were engaging the customer much too late in their sales process.

“Ultimately, [our initial strategy] would have been a disaster,” said REDACTED, the team’s engineering leader.  “We would have had this great new product with all this development effort and... we wouldn’t have been able to sell [it].”

“It’s really a big deal,” he said. “In many cases, we’ve got people that are putting together product specifications for us that have 20-25 years of experience in the industry. Inherently, you develop leap of faith assumptions in that time period based on your knowledge of the market, your interactions with customers. But things can change and before you know it, you’ll be displaced, or customers will gravitate towards the next shiny object without ever telling you.

“Being able to challenge ourselves and look at that and ask ourselves ‘What can I do differently to validate our own assumptions, our own hypotheses?’ is really critical for us to become more open, more agile, and more innovative.”

Unlike many tech companies who can easily gather information about users who come to their websites, the company I mentioned earlier in this section had a journey that probably looked more like that of companies building hardware. 

Customers often would not be able to talk much about their work, so founder REDACTED had to get creative. He’d meet with potential partners who often wouldn't even tell him their exact roles. He’d present a demo of the prototype and ask customers if it would be useful. They’d tell him no, and so he’d ask them how they worked. 

They’d give him what information they could, he’d “code furiously” for two weeks, then share the prototype. He'd usually discover that while 95% of what he’d created was still useless, perhaps 5% was usable. 

Today, REDACTED is one of the most successful startups in the REDACTED space.

When you’re in those early stages of launching a product the world has never seen, REDACTED explained, all that matters is feedback. It doesn’t matter how you get feedback, it doesn’t matter if the people you seek don’t end up customers. 

“You need something to put constraints on what you’re building,” he said.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Excerpt from the Introduction to The Leader's Guide

This is the first of several early excerpts I'll be sharing from The Leader's Guide, a 4-color, 250-page, hardcover and digital book which will be offered exclusively through Kickstarter--according to my agreement with my publisher, Crown, the book can never be sold in stores. As usual, I'm leaving out important details like company names in order to respect their privacy while the book is still in early draft form. 

The campaign ends on Wednesday, April 15--learn more about it here.

MVP's help you discover "what really matters"

The technology research and development team of REDACTED faced a challenge that will be familiar to anyone whose products are subject to rigorous reliability and safety testing.

They were charged with discovering and developing state-of-the-art technology for their REDACTED line--and yet, during the research process, the team has historically had no contact with the customer whatsoever. 

Instead, they would rely on focus groups and market research before handing off their findings to a separate design team. As a result, the team would not get feedback on their new technology until their REDACTED hit the market--a full three years after their work began.

“This is a big concern for us,” said REDACTED. They suspected that if they could do customer development throughout the development process, they could come up with a much better product. “This is what led us initially to the Lean Startup,” he added.

“We were like, ‘Yes, this is awesome,” said another team member. “We should do Lean Startup and it will solve all our problems.”

Of course, as they soon discovered, it was a little more complicated that that.


What became clear was that if they wanted to create better technological solutions, they would need to provide a real service to customers by reaching out to customers with a MVP.

The idea, at first, seemed crazy. The team’s role, after all, was research and development. They had backgrounds in REDACTED. They weren’t salespeople. They didn’t even talk to customers.

But creating technology in a vacuum and waiting three or four years was not a sustainable strategy, so we put our heads together to figure out an MVP that would allow them to understand how customers interacted with their technology. 

Rather than spend years building a new product line that included the new technology they crafted a de-featured version using a tablet computer that could be rigged up to a preexisting product for testing purposes.

Once they had built the prototype, they needed customers to test out the MVP. Because they were an R&D group, they had no experience with this kind of engagement. And so, when they ran a Craigslist ad to invite people to come in and complain about their current driving experience, they didn’t expect many people would respond.

Within an hour, 300 people signed up. 

They brought 30 people in for interviews--an exciting experience that dispelled many misconceptions about “what truly mattered.”

The learning didn’t stop there. Because they couldn’t sell directly to customers they said to five of the 30 participants: Take the prototype, and at the end of a month we’ll give you a choice. If you like using it, you can keep it. If not, we’ll give you $100 dollars. 

Fast-forward a month: 60% of those who tried it wanted to keep it; 40% of those people said they’d refer it to someone else. 

The team felt good about the results and were hoping that their metrics would convince upper management to apply Lean Startup principles throughout the organization. Instead, they realized their journey was just beginning.

The top managers all wanted to know: “Why does this matter for us?” They didn’t yet understand how these learnings could be applied to the mainstream product development process. 

They could see the potential, however. They were impressed with the way the R&D team had improved user experience when it came to individual features, and so they charged the team with figuring out how to connect the learnings and the process to the mainstream product group.

After they began running experiments came the hardest part of their journey thus far: staying focused. They’d frequently fall into the old innovator’s habit: building whatever felt good without testing our their ideas. Documenting their experiments was boring, but it kept them focused and on track.

They also kept in touch with other members of the Lean Startup community, finding that other entrepreneurs were eager to share cheaper ways to learn and test. Thanks to that guidance, their team began mapping out different kinds of low-cost experiments and customer interviews. They came up with a wide variety of tests based on the following criteria:

“What was the maximum amount of learning we could get in the shortest amount of time?"

Running the Lean Startup at their large organization has not been easy. But by testing new technology long before the entire new product is build, they’ve been able to increase their certainty that they’re building something customers will want and use, and they’ve demonstrated to senior management that there are ways to test out new ideas long before millions of dollars have been invested on research and development.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Last week to get The Leader's Guide

You may have heard, I'm writing a new book. And I'm doing it in an unorthodox way, by offering an MVP via Kickstarter. It's called The Leader's Guide, and this week is your last chance to get it (no, really).

The Kickstarter campaign has been in full-gear for the last three weeks, and we're heading into the last week. I’m grateful and excited for the support and the positive feedback so far. Although it's fun to look at the vanity metrics of how much money we've raised and how many backers have joined the community, the real purpose of this campaign is to share ideas.

I’ve tried to keep blog posts about the campaign to a minimum. If you want to follow the week-by-week progress, you can do so over at our Updates page. One thing I do want to address, for those who haven’t been paying close attention: The Leader’s Guide will only be available via Kickstarter, and only for 7 more days.

I’ve had a lot of questions about this, so I want to clear up a few things. First of all, I know that “limited time offers” are often used as a gimmick to get people to buy things. This is not one of those times. We will literally be making one print run of The Leader’s Guide and then won’t print any more. This campaign is an experiment designed to collaborate with all of you as part of the research process for my next book. I want to capture the experiences, stories, and learnings of those who support this campaign as you put these ideas to use.

I am doing this experiment with the support of my publisher, Crown. As part of my publishing contract, I’ve agreed that The Leader’s Guide cannot be sold in stores or any other retail channel. So I’m not joking around with this: if you want to be a part of this experiment and receive a copy of The Leader’s Guide, this is the only chance to do it.

This week, I’ll be posting a series of early excerpts from The Leader’s Guide to give you a taste of what to expect. Since these excerpts are early and not-fully-baked you’ll parts of them “REDACTED” leaving out key details of companies, names and products that I'm not yet comfortable sharing. These details will be revealed by the time the book is published--and, rest assured, many more examples, exercises and tools will be included. But I wanted to give you a first look, even though this material is rough.

Thanks again for coming on this journey with me.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Kickstarter news -- and a Reddit AMA

Thank you - thank you - thank you! 

You've helped make the first week of my Kickstarter campaign a success—we've blown through our funding goal and are scrambling to add new backer rewards to replace the ones you've all sold out. (Read the detailed update here).

I wanted to share some news and updates about stretch goals, bonus rewards, and you can Ask Me Anything at 5:30 EST today (Wednesday, March 25th) on Reddit.

New rewards

Our rewards are running out! Since many have already sold out, we’ve added a few new ones: a special reward for Kickstarter creators including a mini digital book and a call with our campaign team, as well as a package called “I want everything” which includes many of the most highly-requested rewards in one package.

Stretch goals

We hit our first stretch goal of 3000 backers last Friday! Thanks to our corporate sponsor, Pivotal Software, everyone who backed the campaign is eligible to attend one of 11 LG workshops in cities around the world. Workshop content will be developed by Pivotal’s Janice and Jason Fraser, based on the The Leaders’ Guide, with input from me.

And we added a new stretch goal today. When we hit 4000 backers, every backer of the campaign will receive access to the Lean Content course, created by award-winning filmmaker Ondi Timoner and me. 

The Leader’s Guide in the News

We’ve received some excellent press, including pieces on Vox, The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and Inc. Our vanity metrics are strong. I especially liked Vox's "Lean Startup explained" approach:
It's become a cliché for an executive at a large company to promise to run it like a startup. Yet in his influential 2011 book The Lean Startup, startup founder and business guru Eric Ries argued that businesses of any size and age — and perhaps even nonprofit organizations and governments — can still learn a lot from management methods pioneered in Silicon Valley.
On Monday, Ries began work on his next book project. Fittingly, he started it off with a Kickstarter campaign. The campaign achieved its $135,000 fundraising goal on Tuesday, and by Thursday morning Ries had more than $170,000 in pledges.
"I'm a believer that this is the future of publishing," Ries told me on Monday shortly after the campaign began. For Ries, the Kickstarter campaign isn't just about raising money; it's also a way to solicit feedback from his future readers. Pledgers will be able to participate in a closed online community for aspiring entrepreneurs. Ries wants to learn what they want from the book and — more important — gather examples of real-world business successes and failures that he can incorporate into the book.
Ries' big idea is that the key to success for a startup — or any organization trying to innovate — is to learn quickly and act on the knowledge gained. While that might sound obvious, doing it often requires people to do many things that are counterintuitive.

Reddit AMA

Ask me anything! Check out my Reddit AMA tomorrow at 5:30 EST tomorrow (Wednesday, March 25th) here.

I’m updating the campaign page several times a week with news and rewards as well as behind-the-scenes looks into the campaign itself. You can check it out here.