Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Lean Startup SXSW + bundle + tournament

Today's theme is "with a little help from my friends." You all know I am busy writing The Lean Startup Book. So none of what I am about to announce would have been possible without a tremendous amount of help.

A few months ago, I began planning an event at SXSW with my friends at 500 Startups (their glamorous frontman is Dave McClure but everyone knows Christen O'Brien does the real work). The original plan was to do our own standalone event. But when the organizers of SXSW got wind of it, they asked us to join forces with them and become an official part of the SXSW Interactive program. So we have put together a program that you do not want to miss. It will take place at the AT&T Center on March 12, 2011. If you have a SXSW badge, you'll get in for free, but please do RSVP on our plancast page (and help us become the most popular event in their awesome SXSW events guide).


We have an amazing agenda full of case studies lined up with amazing speakers:

David Binetti
Steve Blank
Bill Boebel
David Cancel
Jason Cohen
Sean Ellis
Janice Fraser
Andres Glusman
Stacey Higginbotham
Laura Klein
Pascal Louis-Perez
Dan Martell
Ash Maurya
Dave McClure
Ian McFarland
Farb Nivi
Eric Ries
Manuel Rosso
Robert Scoble
Hiten Shah
Jeff Smith
Wendy Tan White
Parker Thompson
check the complete list...

But that's not all, not by a long shot. You see, my friends at Appsumo were not content to let 500 Startups have all the glory. So I asked them to put together the mother of all bundles, to make sure that everyone who comes to our event at SXSW - and everyone who wishes they could come, too - has the tools they need to take these ideas and put them into action. So they created The Lean Startup Bundle for SXSW, and it's unbelievable. I asked a few more of my friends to help out, and they came through in a big way: twillio ($50 of credit), Pivotal Tracker (a full year of service), KISSmetrics ($100), Ask Your Target Market (3 months of 30 surveys per month), Sauce Labs (1000 minutes of testing), and over two dozen other companies. And things just snowballed from there. Jason Cohen's awesome hardcore WordPress hosting at WPEngine, $200 credit with Chargify, $1000 off at uTest. You'll get books, too: a preorder of my book, my Startup Lessons Learned ebooks, Ash Maurya's excellent Running Lean, and the Venture Hacks bible. But that is not remotely all. You will get a ticket to any Startup Weekend event anywhere in the world. You will get more than $5000 worth of stuff for only $99. You will get so much stuff that I challenge you - nay, I dare you - to try and use it all.

Actually, I really do dare you. You see, when my friends at Pivotal Labs got involved, they wanted to do more. Sure, you can come to our amazing SXSW event and get inspired. You can buy the Lean Startup Bundle and get everything you could possibly need to get started. But then what? The Lean Startup movement is all about doing, and so we wanted to give a reason to get started now. Maybe you already have a new startup, but maybe you've been thinking about that side project. Maybe you need a little nudge to get out of the building and start talking to customers?

Forget the nudge. We have put together a sledgehammer-sized tournament to see who can create something amazing while everyone else is just getting drunk at SXSW. I told you we'd make it worth your while, though. Perhaps you'd like a $50,000 investment from 500 Startups and a spot in the amazing 500 Startups Incubator? Or maybe you'd rather get the full Pivotal Labs treatment, along with a $50,000 investment from Band of Angels? There are seven prize packages you can win. Naturally, one includes a Microsoft Xbox and a Kinect.

We'll choose ten finalists, who will get mentoring from our all-star cast: including me, Hiten Shah, Dave McClure, Brad Feld, Ramit Sethi, Dharmesh Shah, Andrew Chen, and more. I'm just getting started: go ahead and look at the complete list of prizes. You have until the very end of SXSW (March 20th) to impress the judges and your peers. The SXSW Lean Startup Bundle is your entry ticket; you don't have to be at SXSW to be eligible.

I think we've managed to pack a lot of value into that $99 ticket, but I don't want anyone to feel excluded. Every time I offer something for sale here, I get emails from bootstrappers, students, and others who can't afford it. So - as they say on TV - wait, there's more. The first 100 people who come to our SXSW program will get a heavily discounted bundle from Appsumo (they'll be passing out cards). And if you can't be there, and you really can't afford the $99, there's still a way. Maybe you have a few friends who are planning on buying The Lean Startup Book when it comes out. Maybe you can give them a little nudge to preorder. If you can get 10 to do so, I will buy your bundle for you. Just go create your own URL using Facebook or Twitter. Get your friends to use that URL to preorder. You'll see a count of how many books you've sold. When that count hits 10 or more, email me your URL and your bundle's on me.

Special thanks to Dave McClure, Christen O'Brien, Noah Kagan, Parker Thompson, Ian McFarland and all of our many, many sponsors. You are all amazing.
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