Sunday, February 28, 2010

Kiwi lean startup + Australia next

Wrapping up a fabulous few weeks in New Zealand, where I had the privilege of attending some great events, like Kiwi Foo and Webstock; met some amazing entrepreneurs and inventors (yes, including a jet pack); and generally enjoyed a supportive and enthusiastic reception. I want to especially thank the dozens of Kiwis who acted as my guardians and escorts from place to place, even driving me around on the wrong side of the road

Every tourist will tell you that New Zealand is a beautiful country, and they are not kidding.

I would add that the people I met were extraordinarily welcoming, friendly, and humble. In fact, you have to learn to adjust to the humility. Quite a few Kiwis told me that they "didn't count" as entrepreneurs, even though they own their own business. Their supposed lack of ambition was belied by the many cool demos and startups I got to meet. If you're in Europe, for example, keep an eye out for the innovative YikeBike, a new kind of personal transport device. It was described to me as "what the Segway should have been." Overall, I came away from the experience optimistic about the potential of New Zealand to cultivate a significant startup hub. I look forward to seeing it happen. If anyone is interested, the Wellington Lean Startup Meetup is a good place to start.

Up next is an extremely brief stop in Australia. I'm particularly looking forward to inaugurating the Sydney Lean Startup meetup. We'll be kicking it off with an event featuring yours truly Monday March 1 at 6pm. If you're a Sydney entrepreneur, I hope you'll stop by. Last time I checked, there were still a few half-price tickets left. You can register here.

Most of the events I did here were private, so there aren't as many videos and slides available. For now, you'll have to make do with the slides from my keynote at Webstock:

Hopefully, video of that talk will be available soon. For a preview, you can check out this "backstage pass" interview, which was recorded at Kiwi Foo a few days before.

I also did a radio interview on Radio New Zealand's Nine to Noon program. You can hear me attempt to explain the ideas behind the lean startup to the general public in MP3 or Ogg.

Webstock generated a lot of follow-on commentary, including a number of reviews. For a good synopsis of my talk (and the other keynotes), check out Idealog's blog. I also recorded an interview with them, which should be in the next issue of their extremely cool-looking print magazine. Other write-ups: NZ Herald, gianouts, Te Ara, Public Address, Bibliophile, BIB. Also, if you're an event organizer, check out some of the innovative ways the Webstock team encouraged attendees to interact with each other and with the speakers. Highlights for me were the Webstock Game and Webstock Bingo.

Last, if you didn't get a chance to see it, be sure to check out this video of the closing performance for Webstock (which was also an award show called the ONYAs). It was mind-expanding:

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