Monday, November 26, 2012

KQED Forum + conference update + a chance to win tickets

I've done a seemingly endless stream of TV, radio, podcasts, webinars, hangouts in the past year. And I've mostly refrained from posting about them here, but today I'm making an exception. Plus, I have very cool conference updates (our full conference program + more than 300 simulcast locations!) and a chance to win free tickets, if you keep reading.

KQED Forum: LIVE at 10am PST this Wednesday Nov 28
When I first moved to Silicon Valley, I used to have a pretty short commute. But in Menlo Park, every commute is highly variable, no matter how short, and so I often found myself sitting in traffic, bored, and eager to get to my desk to work on whatever engineering problem I was obsessed with.

So every day I found myself listening to NPR, and that's when I discovered a local program on our public radio station KQED called Forum. It's a wide-ranging call-in show that covers just about every topic you can imagine. The host is seemingly-omniscient Michael Krasny who somehow manages to ask in-depth questions on every conceivable topic. The show airs for two hours in the morning and then is rebroadcast late at night.

Maybe it's just the obsessive engineer part of myself, but pretty soon I found myself managing my schedule so that I could listen to Forum on my commute both ways. It helped that the timeline worked well for my engineering sleep schedule (since the morning block of 9-11am gave me plenty of time to drag myself out of bed) and the late-night rebroadcast gave me an excuse to sometimes stop working and actually go back home.

So this week will be a bit of a full-circle moment for me, as I'll be taking your questions live on the air from 10-11AM PST on Wednesday, November 28th on KQED Forum. We'll be discussing the Lean Startup movement, the upcoming conference, and whatever else you decide you want to ask about.

There are several ways to tune in:
  • In the Bay Area, tune your radio to 88.5 FM or 89.3 FM
  • Forum is also broadcast on Sirius XM satellite radio (channel 135 NPR Talk)
I know for many of you 10AM is not the common time you're sitting by the radio with nothing better to do than call into a live radio show. And, in fact, in my years of listening to Forum, I've never called in with a question, either. But I'd like you to make an exception on Wednesday.

I hope you'll call in and ask questions
Just as so many of you flooded the Commonwealth Club with your energy and questions when I spoke there, this is another chance to influence mainstream institutions so that the will take Lean Startup - and the whole startup movement - more seriously. Remember, radio programs get no realtime analytics, no click maps, no funnel reports. The main way they know which topics are of interest to listeners is by who calls in.

Call in lines are 866-SF-FORUM (866-733-6786) or 415-863-2476 if you live in SF. You can also email questions during the show at

Win free conference tickets
During the show, tweet your questions (or your favorite quotes from the show). Be sure to include the @KQEDForum twitter handle (so we know how to find you). Throughout the hour (from 10am-11am) we'll be picking people to win free tickets to the Lean Startup Conference on December 3.

Massive conference update
So about that conference: We’ve been announcing bit and pieces of the schedule, and today we’re pleased to publish the full program, below, including speakers, mentors, workshops, startup site visits and Ignite: Lean Startup. We are already on track to sell out all the tickets before the conference (indeed, the Platinum Pass is no longer available). No, this is not a marketing gimmick; we've already had to reduce the size of the stage (and eliminate my personal gold-plated green room) in order to make more seats available. If you’re considering joining us and you haven’t yet bought a ticket, today—right now—is the time to register.

The main day of the conference, December 3, includes more than 30 speakers. Some of them are entrepreneurship superstars like Steve Blank, Marc Andreessen, Drew Houston, Leah Busque, Scott Cook and Dave Binetti. Others are new voices in putting Lean Startup techniques to use and have great case studies to share. They include people like GE SVP and CMO Beth Comstock on bringing Lean Startup to a massive corporation. And Red Room founder/CEO Ivory Madison on popular metrics that everyone should stop using. And Sincerely’s Matt Brezina on the secrets of developing mobile apps quickly. And Tendai Charisika on creative ways to get out of the building. And LitMotors’ Danny Kim on the importance of testing the market before testing the technology—for a new kind of car. (By the way, Danny’s bringing a prototype of the vehicle right into the conference ballroom.)

Once Monday’s talks have inspired your startup spirit, you can go straight to the source and visit some of the hottest young companies in San Francisco. On Tuesday, December 4, Gold and Platinum Pass holders can visit the headquarters of several of San Francisco’s hottest young companies—Airbnb, Rally, Sharethrough, Twilio. You’ll see the physical spaces of innovation, get a feel for what makes the teams there tick, and meet up with other entrepreneurs looking to create something new and big.

Gold and Platinum Pass holders can also attend deep-dive workshops on December 4. Choose from half-day and full-day sessions with the great teachers and Lean Startup experts who have helped build this movement. (You can, of course, mix and match workshops and site visits, attending workshops in the morning and site visits in the afternoon, or vice versa.)

Finally, because we had so many great speaking candidates for the conference, we’ve added another segment of talks. On Sunday, December 2nd, the conference now kicks off with an evening event, Ignite: Lean Startup. Fifteen entrepreneurs will give short, fast-paced presentations. How fast? The speakers slides advance automatically every 15 seconds. The premise of Ignite is that of the Lean Startup itself: that the unexpected will happen. And when it does, it will be energizing, even fun. Note that Ignite is free for conference attendees, but seats are limited, and you must sign up in advance. We also have a small number of tickets for the general public.

Conference Schedule, December 3

9:00-10:00 Early Morning Talks
  • Eric Ries, Opening Remarks
  • Dianne Tavenner, Summit Public Schools, Running Short Experiments During a Long Product Cycle
  • Tendai Charasika, EnterpriseCorp, Ten Ways to Get Out of the Building
  • Eric Ries + Tereza Nemessanyi, High Ridge Group, Honestly Now, What is Innovation Accounting?
  • Beth Comstock of GE, in conversation with Eric Ries, Bringing Lean Startup to Life at One of the World’s Biggest Companies
  • Jessica Scorpio, Getaround, Prototyping to Validate a Big Idea at Getaround
  • Danny Kim, LitMotors, Fast, Cheap and In Control: Testing the Market for a New Kind of Car
  • Lane Halley, Carbon Five, I (Heart) Ugly
  • Matt Brezina, Sincerely, Secrets of Rapid Mobile App Development
11:30-1:00 Late Morning Talks
  • Ron J. Williams, Knodes, On the Way to Lean Startup: Curvy and Working it Out
  • Andres Glusman, Meetup, Failure is Great and Other Myths About Adopting Lean Startup
  • Evan Henshaw-Plath, Neo, How Engineers Embrace Lean Startup
  • Sam McAfee,, How Engineers Embrace Lean Startup
  • Melissa Sedano, BloomBoard, How Engineers Embrace Lean Startup
  • Jocelyn Wyatt,, We Went to West Africa and Learned Our Key Assumptions Were Wrong
  • Adam Goldstein,, Moving Fast While Caring About Design at Hipmunk
  • Justin Wilcox, Customer Development Labs, Testing MVPs with Crowdfunding
  • Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora of Back to the Roots, Making Decisions By Ignoring Sales Metrics
  • Stephanie Hay, FastCustomer, Lean Content: Testing Marketing Copy (Instead of Spinning Your Wheels)
  • Steve Blank, 10,000 Startups
2:20-3:45 Early Afternoon Talks
  • George Bilbrey, Return Path, Inc., Running a Lean Startup Sales Process
  • Ivory Madison, Red Room, Bonfire of the Vanity Metrics: Numbers You’re Still Using and Shouldn’t
  • Ash Maurya, Spark59, Innovation Accounting in Practice
  • Leah Busque, TaskRabbit, Lean Marketing
  • Dan Milstein, Wingu, How to Run a 5 Whys (With Humans, Not Robots)
  • Robert Fan, Sharethrough, The Challenge of Sustaining Disruptive Innovation When You Meet Success
  • Scott Cook and Carol Howe of Intuit, Creating a Culture of Experimentation: Ideas and Best Practices
4:15-5:15 Late Afternoon Talks
  • Drew Houston, Dropbox, One Year Later: Dropbox Answers Your Questions
  • Charles Hudson, SoftTech VC, Making the Call on a Platform Pivot
  • Dave Binetti, Votizen, One Year Later: Lessons from Votizen
  • Marc Andreessen of Andreessen Horowitz in conversation with Eric Ries
  • Eric Ries, Closing Remarks
5:15-6:15 Reception at the InterContinental

Mentors available December 3
  • Kent Beck, Facebook
  • Suneel Gupta, Groupon
  • Tom Eisenmann, Harvard Business School
  • Mark Cook, Quri
  • Whitney Johnson, Rose Park Advisors
  • Joel Yanowitz, Innovation Associates
  • Wayne Sutton, Pitch To
  • Elaine Wherry, Meebo
  • Farb Nivi, Grockit
  • Hiten Shah, KISSmetrics
  • Nicole Tucker-Smith, LessonCast Learning
  • Cindy Alvarez, Yammer
  • Stuart Kearney, Slant
  • Matthew L. Scullin, Alphabet Energy, Inc.
  • Netia McCray, Mbadika
  • Khalid Smith, LessonCast Learning
  • Christie George, New Media Ventures
  • Trevor Owens, Lean Startup Machine
  • Grace Ng, Lean Startup Machine
Workshop Schedule, December 4

9:00a – 12:30p

  • Jeff Gothelf, Josh Seiden and Giff Constable, Neo, with guest speakers: Ismail Elshareef,; David Bland, BigVisible; Stacey Gutman, American Express OPEN; and Bill Scott, Paypal, Lean Startup in the Enterprise
  • Kelly Goto, Goto Media, Build Successful (and Sane) Iterative Apps
  • Alistair Croll, Solve for Interesting, and Ben Yoskovitz, GoInstant, Lean Analytics: Using Data to Build a Better Startup Faster
  • Janice Fraser, LUXr, and Laura Klein, Users Know, Validate Your Learning Engines, Part 1 (this is a full-day workshop)
            2:00 – 5:30p

  • Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits, Drumbi, The Lean Entrepreneur: Embrace the Unknown to Go Big
  • Sean Murphy, SKMuprhy Inc, and Scott Sambucci, SalesQualia, Engineering Your Sales Process
  • Janice Fraser, LUXr, and Laura Klein, Users Know, Validate Your Learning Engines, Part 2 (this is a full-day workshop)
Startup Site Visits, December 4
We’ll post the exact schedule on our site in the next day or two. The companies we’ll visit are:
Ignite: Lean Startup, December 2, 8p

  • Arthur Bart-Williams, Canogle, It’s Not What You Think (Leap of Faith Assumptions)
  • David Bland, Big Visible, Lean Startup in the Enterprise
  • John Bradberry, ReadyFounder Services, The Psychology of Pivoting
  • Joe Dunn, Cloudbreak, When You Are the Disruptee
  • Kelly Eidson, Moveline, What I Wish I Knew
  • Mark Graban, Parallels Between Lean Startups and Lean Hospitals
  • Diana Kander, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Diagnosing Customer Problems
  • Beth Morgan, Marketing Nerdistry, Lean Your Marketing
  • Kendall QuiƱones, Sparkative, The I of the Storm
  • Adria Richards, SendGrid, Why Every Startup Employee Should Learn to Code
  • Kuty Shalev, Clevertech, New York Port Authority Goes Lean
  • Arin Sime, AgilityFeat, Just Deploy It
  • Tutti Taygerly, Substantial, Building a Lean Mean Design Team
  • Navarrow Wright, Interactive One, Why Big Media Companies Should Go Lean
  • Ana Yoerg, Rumgr, Lean Startup Approach to PR
Or be one of the 10,000+ joining a conference simulcast
This blog post is too long already, so I'll keep this brief. But this is actually the biggest news, and the thing I'm most excited about. Hundreds of locations around the world - from Birmingham to Bucharest - will host a simulcast of the complete December 3 program. Most of these programs are free, and a bunch are starting to sell out. In all cases RSVPs are required. So if you can't travel to San Francisco for the conference, please stop by our Livestream page and see if there's a location near you (spoiler alert: there is).
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