Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Lean Startup Workshop - now an O'Reilly Master Class

My rate of posting has been much lower lately, and this is mostly due to preparations for the upcoming Lean Startup Workshop on May 29. I have a lot of good news to report on this front.

First of all, I'm excited to announce that the workshop is now an O'Reilly Master Class, and we have added a second date on June 18. Most importantly, thanks to O'Reilly, we now have more capacity, including a few additional seats to the previously-sold-out May 29 date. You can register for both dates on the new official signup page.

What will be covered in the full-day program? Take a look:

This full-day Master Class focuses on how to build a startup from the ground up to focus on customers, markets, and speed of iteration. Using examples drawn from his own experiences in the startup hub of Silicon Valley, Eric Ries unravels the myths and misconceptions that guide most startups, and paints a picture of a new way forward for the industry. Unlike other incubator-led programs, this workshop is open to anyone who wants to learn, and it does not require companies take investment or give out equity.

Through case studies, exercises, and discussions, Eric Ries will guide entrepreneurs of all stripes through the key areas that determine success for startups: product, engineering, QA, marketing, and business strategy. This workshop presents a new methodology that will allow you to bring new products -- and companies -- to life.

At the end of the workshop, you will have new insight into how to evaluate the strengths and shortcomings of your company, as well as a clear plan of action to bring lean-startup thinking back home. Rather than abstract principles, you'll learn to directly problem-solve.

You can click here to learn more.

The response so far has been nothing short of overwhelming, and I want to especially thank those of you who participated in the survey and customer validation exercise that helped shape this event. I'm working on a future post where I'll share the details of how I used customer development to shape both the content and packaging of this event, so look for that soon.

For now, I'd like to ask a favor. Given that this is my first effort in a joint partnership, I'd like to ask you to help spread the word about the Master Class. Would you be willing to link to the Master Class info page from your blog? Twitter about it or post it to a social media site? Most importantly, if you know a high-quality entrepreneur who you think would add to the conversation, would you be willing to try and convince them to attend? I'd also welcome nominations over email, if you have someone you think is a good fit for the event. Please feel free to send along your comments or questions about the workshop itself.

Lastly, some people have asked about discounted rates for those that can't afford the tuition fee. Others have asked about sponsorship opportunities at the workshop. We're not going to have any form of advertising, but I am considering trying to offer a scholarship program to worthy entrepreneurs, just as we did for the Web 2.0 Expo. If you'd be interested in sponsoring a scholarship, or applying for one, would you get in touch or leave a comment on this post? If there's enough interest, I'll do my best to screen the applicants and recognize the donors.

Thank you all for your continued support, and hope to see you at an event soon.


  1. Eric-

    I rarely comment on blogs, but I wanted to thank you for your efforts to disseminate the lean start-up techniques to build better companies that deliver products or services that people want. I am glad that you and Steve Blank are formalizing the short-hand that successful start-ups have either intuitively known or (in most cases) stumbled upon. After having read your posts, I now look at the GREAT advice my mentors gave me and even the latest blog (which is a recap of some of his best posts) from Mark Cuban and can see customer development and power of rapid deployment in action. I would love to attend one of the Lean Start-up Workshops, but unfortunately that would be difficult for me to do so financially. I closed down my first business last November and I am bootstrapping the second one currently. Cash is tight. I would definitely be interested any scholarship opportunities that might be made available. I'm open to being the coffee and snack technician :-) On another note, I live in Atlanta and believe that we have a strong enough start-up community that would greatly benefit from your lessons learned. I have contacts within the university and entrepreneurial communities and would be happy to help you set up something if interested. Let me know. Keep doing what you are doing. It is valuable.

  2. Are you considering doing online workshops at all? I watched the O'Reilly webinar and would love to see more.

    Unfortunately, I'm a student in Australia so the possibility of travelling to the US isn't too feasible or affordable.

  3. I joined a financial services tech startup in 1999. We attempted to use Waterfall and market ourselves as B2C.

    It was a disaster.

    We changed our model to B2B and adopted Agile around 2002. This shift allowed us to crank out working software quickly as a service. A few years later we had 80% market share and had revolutionized the space.

    Having lived through this, I wholeheartedly agree that if we had not had enough runway, adopted an agile/lean approach or had patience from our investors it would have failed miserably.

    Until now, I've never seen anyone articulate that approach so succinctly.

    Keep up the good work Eric.

  4. A badge for the workshop would be nice. Could easily add it to our blogs.

  5. Eric,
    Thank you for your outstanding efforts bringing this workshop to life!

  6. Hi Eric:

    I think what you're doing is great. Unfortunately, I cannot attend your event even though I think it would be very valuable. It's simply too expensive. You may not realize it, but there is a disconnect between the lean startup practices you promote and what you expect lean startups to pay for your advice. Sadly, I think you've priced out those who could most benefit most from your gospel--the lean startups.

  7. Just got word that we have an extra seat open for the May 29th workshop, and to celebrate I got a one-time-use discount code that you can use to claim it if you're fast enough: TWEET1. Save $400.

    You can claim the code here: