Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New York Lean Startup Week

SXSW was amazing and exhausting. We'll have slides and video from our Lean Startup track posted soon. Don't forget to vote to help choose a Lean Startup SXSW Challenge winner. (You can follow the slide presentation on Slideshare here.) Next week, I travel to New York, where I'm especially excited to see the entrepreneurial renaissance that is in progress, first hand.

I am declaring next week to be officially Lean Startup Week in New York City. Here's why:

NYU, Tues. 3/29 6-9pm - Demo Competition & Interview with Eric Ries
NYU's Himelberg Speaker Series brought to you by the NYU Stern Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation with help from Tech@NYU
Columbia, Weds. 3/30 6-9pm - Discussion with Eric Ries, brought to you by the Columbia Venture Community
The Columbia Venture Community and the Columbia Journalism School are pleased to bring Eric Ries to campus on Wednesday, March 30th at 6pm for an evening of frank conversation.
 These events all have limited availability:
If you can't make it to one of those events, here are some upcoming opportunities on my speaking tour:
And you certainly will not want to miss the Startup Lessons Learned Conference 2011, which will take place on May 23 in San Francisco. That will be my last major public appearance for a while, as I'll need to take some time to recover before the book comes out. It will feature an amazing lineup, which we'll announce shortly.

Hope you can make it to one or more of these events. If so, be sure to come say hello.

(Special thanks to Trevor Owens for helping to organize my New York trip.)

Friday, March 11, 2011

SXSW updates

First of all, I want to start on a somber note. As everyone here at SXSW is waking up, an eight foot tsunami wave is about to hit my hometown of San Francisco. All signs point to a minor event, but our friends and colleagues in Japan have not been so fortunate. The earthquake and tsunami have caused untold devastation, destabilized nuclear power plants, and who knows what else. My prayers are with everyone who's been affected. I ask all of you who are reading to do what you can to help. Take it from George Takei:

The show must go on, so we're still working hard on an epic event on Saturday at the AT&T Center for SXSWi. I do need to clear one thing up, though. Apparently, my blog post yesterday caused some confusion. Unfortunately, buying the Appsumo Lean Startup SXSW Bundle will not get you into the SXSW event. Only SXSW badge holders will be able to get in. Believe me, we would love to have you there - but SXSW rules are very strict. We've had to negotiate to get our own event staff into the room. If you want to come, you will need a SXSWi badge.

If you are at SXSW, there is absolutely no excuse for missing out. Just ask Tim O'Reilly:

However, you do not need to be at SXSW to enter the Lean Startup SXSW tournament and win our crazy smorgasbord of equity investments and prizes. For example, wouldn't you like to attend this year's Startup Lessons Learned conference (sllconf 2011) as my personal guest and join our VIP speakers dinner the night before? So if you can't join us, don't feel bad. While all the talkers and drinkers are inside the building, you can get outside and make something incredible happen. We can't wait to see what you come up with.

At SXSW, I'll be on stage bright and early at 9:30AM. I hope to see you there. To help you fight off the  effects of your SXSW hangover, we'll have some bonuses waiting for you. The first 100 people to show up will get a 50% discount on the Appsumo Lean Startup SXSW bundle (and you thought we couldn't make the deal any better). Noah Kagan will also apparently be handing out tshirts, stickers, and other stuff while supplies last - he promises you'll like them, but he hasn't made me any such promise.

But what I'm most excited - and nervous - about is that my publisher is bringing an exclusive printed sneak peak of my new book, The Lean Startup. They'll be giving them away at the Lean Startup SXSW event as long as supplies last. Apart from a handful of test readers, this is the first time the manuscript will be available to the public. Did I mention my love/hate relationship with customer feedback? Come get your copy and send me your thoughts. I can't wait to hear what you think.

And if you happen to be at SXSW for any part of the event, do come say hello. It's always a thrill to meet people who read this blog. Thank you for your continuing and overwhelming support.

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 http://lean.st 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 lean.st 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.