Over the past few months, I have been engaged in another customer discovery exercise with passionate early adopters of the lean startup methodology. I am now ready to move into the customer validation phase. This idea is the brainchild of several venture-backed startups that participated in the lean startup workshops. I like it because it will allow companies that want to engage with me directly to also get support from their peers. Although it is expensive, it is significantly cheaper than my very limited consulting practice. So if you're a lean startup earlyvangelist, read on.
Here's the pitch: a group of 10 companies would meet once a month for six months to develop their capacity to run lean. Each company would enroll two leaders in the series, one on the technology side, one on the business side. These companies would be carefully screened for fit, readiness, and to ensure that competitors are not in the same group.
At each half-day meeting, we'd work as a group on a specific lean startup technique. In particular, we would cover customer development, continuous deployment, minimum viable product, and actionable metrics. In between sessions, this cohort of companies would have the opportunity to act as a learning community, sharing what they've learned and supporting one another as they try to put the techniques into practice. Each month, we'd hold each other accountable for making changes to our product, process, and team. I would also be available to the participants to answer questions one-on-one and act as an advisor to each company. This program would be by subscription only; each company would pay $3000/month. Each half-day session would be held in downtown San Francisco in the late afternoon; dinner is included.
Because of the cost and intensity of this program, it is designed for startups with significant venture backing or who have reached profitability. I continue to work on additional programs and products for bootstrapped and angel-backed startups, as well as for enterprise and future entrepreneurs. If you have thoughts about a product you'd like to see created, please feel free to drop me a line.
If you're interested in participating in the inaugural Lean Startup Cohort, please click Here to fill out an application.