I'm working hard trying to figure out how to bring the lean startup message to different audiences. I think the O'Reilly audience is particularly important, as so many entrepreneurs got their start in technology (as I did) from their worn-down copy of Programming Perl. So if you're a reader of this blog and also of Radar, what kinds of information from this blog would you want to see explained over there? What concepts, techniques, or stories do you think will resonate? Please drop a note in the comments if you have a few minutes to spare. Thanks!
Read the stories of successful startups and, if the founders are willing to be honest, you will see this pattern over and over again. They started out as digital cash for PDAs, but evolved into online payments for eBay. They started building BASIC interpreters, but evolved into the world's largest operating systems monopoly. They were shocked to discover their online games company was actually a photo-sharing site.
Each of these companies were fortunate to have enough time, resources, and patience to endure the multiple iterations it took to find a successful product and market. The premise of the lean startup is simple: if we can reduce the time between these major iterations, we can increase the odds of success.
And here's where working on something that matters to you more than money is critical. When you're committed to something larger than yourself, every minute counts. Hype and transient success won't keep you going. But the simple process of finding out whether or not your vision is right will. Because people who are dedicated to the truth are more likely to fail fast, learn, and try again.
Friday, March 20, 2009
I have a post up today on O'Reilly Radar about using lean startup principles to build companies that matter. I have been wanting to respond to Tim O'Reilly's "build stuff that matters" concept for some time, and I'm delighted to have the chance to do it on Radar. Here's an excerpt: