I gave a short talk this morning with Ryan Lou on the Lean Processes that a startup can use. For me I looked back on the start of ShowMeDo in 2005 (and now) and how we iterated using email, google groups, surveys and lots of discovery by talking to users.
I then looked at how I wrote The Screencasting Handbook by putting up a landing page with a prototype chapter list followed by building an email list with mailchimp, surveying several times with surveymonkey and launching early with free and then discounted drafts which validated purchasing intent. Generally I host everything with WebFaction (they have auto-installers and simple SSH access, great for Python/Ruby/PHP etc).
Finally I spoke about our various ways of understanding user needs for our latest StrongSteam, particularly this time by focusing on Getting Out of the Building (lean startup parlance!) by heading to Silicon Valley and Vancouver over the last couple of weeks to actually meet potential clients, to talk through their needs.
Finally I gave some tips:
- Get involved in a mentorship group, here’s my guide to starting one
- Read Running Lean (well, read at least one of these 4 books if you’re unfamiliar with the area!)
- Read Nail It Then Scale It
- Read Pretotyping
- Read the Startup Owners Manual
- Keep working to minimise your uncertainly with the minimum amount of work (e.g. what can you do with 1 day of work to learn useful results, rather than months of coding?) – landing pages, surveys, talking to users etc are great ways to figure out why people might pay you for your offering
- Keep learning, keep talking to users, keep figuring out what they’ll pay for (be it with cash or with attention)
- Keep On Learning As Cheaply & Quickly As Possible
Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight, sign-up for Data Science tutorials in London. Historically Ian ran Mor Consulting. He also founded the image and text annotation API Annotate.io, co-authored SocialTies, programs Python, authored The Screencasting Handbook, lives in London and is a consumer of fine coffees.