Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Amazing lean startup resources

A year ago, there was no lean startup movement. The term was known by maybe a few dozen people. Being an evangelist for these ideas earned me a regular diet of funny looks and patronizing comments. At that time, my wildest dreams did not include even a fraction of what's happened since.

I continue to believe that the explosion of interest in the lean startup has very little to do with me. Rather, I see it as a reflection of a worldwide openness to new ideas about entrepreneurship. Recent economic events, technological change, and the rapid diffusion of information about the old models have combined to help us all realize just how important entrepreneurship is - and just how little we really know about it.

Beyond my own efforts on this blog (and more), there is now an amazing variety of resources for lean startup practitioners. For those that are following me on Twitter, you've probably seen many of these. But I wanted to create a centralized directory. If you are attempting to apply lean startup ideas in your own business - you are not alone.

The Lean Startup Wiki (hosted by long-time lean startup pbWorks) contains a number of resources, including links to case studies, meetups, tools, and people who have volunteered to help. It's a wiki, feel free to consume and enhance it.

Rich Collins organized the Lean Startup Circle mailing list, the most robust discussion forum for lean startup ideas anywhere, with over two thousands members already. For the many entrepreneurs that send me cold emails asking for me to review a business plan or answer a strategic dilemma: I'm much more likely to answer if you've already tried getting an answer on the mailing list. You'll probably get a better result, anyway.

The #leanstartup hashtag on twitter has become a firehose of information, but seems to feature great new links almost every day. I also use it to collect feedback from all my talks and presentations, so it's a great place to find out what real people think about the ideas.

Rich also organized the first Lean Startup Meetup right here in San Francisco. The SF Meetup now has over five hundred members, and has spawned many other meetup events. There's probably one in a city near you. Some of the most active: SF, New York, DC, Chicago - but there are many more listed here. I also recommend SKMurphy's excellent Bootstrappers Breakfast series, which is now in multiple cities. Not coincidentally, they were one of the first organizations to host me as a speaker.

If you want to create or join a meetup near you, just leave a note in the appropriate section of the meetup directory. There are efforts underway in more than a dozen cities to start a regular meeting. If you need a first speaker, I'm happy to join by skype.

There are also an impressive array of bloggers writing about these ideas. When I first started blogging, the startup blogging mafia immediately came to meet me and find out who I was: Dave McClure, Andrew Chen, Sean Ellis and Venture Hacks. My success is due in no small part to their early and enthusiastic endorsement. And Steve Blank (a long-time mentor) has made the leap to blogging in impressive fashion.

Yet beyond these usual suspects are a huge number of up-and-coming bloggers, most of whom are practicing entrepreneurs willing to share their lean startup stories. Some of my favorites: Ash Maurya (whose Achieving Flow in a Lean Startup was one of my favorite posts of 2009), Brant Cooper, CindyAlvarez, Laura Klein, Kevin Dewalt, Giff Constable - and I must be missing many more. Have a favorite who I overlooked? Please share in a comment.

Last, I've tried to keep this blog updated with events, slides, audio, video and books that are helpful as well. 

Did I miss anything? Please feel free to use the comments on this post to share any and all resources you've found helpful. Most of all, thank you for your continuing support. Together we can change our  industry for the better.
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