Why is Using a Lean Startup Methodology Important?

Episode Summary


Today on Ask an Innovator we discuss the Lean Startup Methodology. We get into what is is, how to use it, and why it’s so dang important to us here at CIL.

We talk through company examples – who has used it and why? And what role the customer plays, how it could save you money, and how it ties into the way software should be developed.

Visit cityinnovationlabs.com/ask-an-innovator for some helpful links and the full transcript.

Helpful Reading on Lean Startup


Lean Startup by Eric Ries
The Startup Owner’s Manual
4 Steps to Ephiphany
A Guide to Lean Development
5 Ways You Can Use Lean Startup in Your Biz
The Skateboard Methodology – we discuss at 03:07

Iterative Software Development inspired by Lean Startup techniques
Software shouldn’t be built in one huge push, it should be built in iterations to gather feedback and move to collect revenue for the client faster.

Timestamps


Brief Overview of Lean Startup – 00:23
Why Lean Startup is important to us 01:40
Why use Lean Startup to build software? 02:59
What are all these acronyms? What is a product validation cone? 04:37
Can we implement the Lean Startup Methodology? Rewire your brain! – 09:54
Real-life companies that built an MVP 12:22
We don’t want to waste your money 16:22
How does customer discovery play into it? 18:59
Is there a reason not to build software this way? 20:30
What and WHO are early adopters? 22:04
5 Things to Learn 23:29

Lean Startup Methodology Full Transcript


Erin Srebinski: [00:00:16]  Hi, I’m Erin

Josh Barker: [00:00:18] and I’m Josh.

Erin Srebinski: [00:00:19] We’re from City Innovation Labs. Today we’re discussing Lean Startup. The methodology created by Eric Ries. We as a company, use it all the time. We’ve read the book. We swear by it internally and externally. So today that’s what we’re going to be talking about. So Josh, can you give me a brief overview of what the Lean Startup methodology is?

What is the Lean Startup Methodology?

Josh Barker: [00:00:37] Yeah, that’s a great question. Lean Startup, like you said, when I was out in Silicon Valley, they almost referred to it as their Bible. They constantly reference it. They constantly talk about it. Everything is in the context of Lean Startup. And so a lot of people say they’ve read lean startup or they know Lean Startup. I can kind of differentiate who has and who hasn’t because the Lean Startup methodology provides a very scientific approach to creating and managing startups.

A lot of people think, “Hey, it’s all luck.” There’s a huge portion of luck in there of hitting the right time at the right market fit. But, there is a very scientific way about going about how do you know if your product is going to be successful in the market without investing tons of time and energy ahead of time of building out fully your concept.

So it’s a way of figuring out if, you know, if there’s a product there, this is a term that lean startup uses a product-market fit (PMF). If there’s a product-market fit before it even enters into the market before you’re done with the product.

Why We Use Lean Startup

Erin Srebinski: [00:01:40] So why did we start using this at CIL? Like why do you feel like it’s important to our process?

Why do you feel like it’s important to build software this way? Dig into that a little bit.

Josh Barker: [00:01:49] Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. It’s a great question. It’s really what differentiates us, I would say from our competition, because, if you look in the marketplace of custom software development firms, they’re going to largely just do what you ask them to do.

So if you come to them and say, “Hey, I want you to build this piece of software,” they’re just going to go out and execute on it. Versus if you were to come to us, we’re very much collaborative, work with a lot of market enterprise companies that their problem is they have a lot of money to spend, but how do they spend it the most effective way?

So what we do is we help them go through the Lean Startup process and very incrementally take very small risks with them. Because building software is a risky endeavor. Taking very small risks and then testing it out. I’m using another term in Lean Startup, experiment. So we help run these rapid small experiments to see if there’s traction in the marketplace or traction within their target market and see how well they respond to it. And then we’re able to, you know, actually move forward with coding, that particular thing. So it really reduces the risk of building software by quite a bit.

Erin Srebinski: [00:02:59] Okay. So going through Lean Startup building software, what does that process actually look like? How does that change the process from beginning to end?

Building Software with Lean Startup

Josh Barker: [00:03:07] Yeah. Yeah. We use a Lean Startup methodology in conjunction with agile methodologies. A lot of custom software development firms will do that, but it looks different. They might go out and just build it. So what it’ll look like is them saying, “Hey, I want to go build this thing,” and they go build that thing for us.

We say, how can we narrow this down to the very minimum viable product? There’s another term from Lean Startup, a minimum viable product. How do we pare it down and deliver that piece to the market and get it in the hands of users as fast as possible? That’s something we help our customers understand and do rather than doing for example a six-month project.

A Customer says, “Build this.” We tell them it’s going to take six months. Instead of delivering the entire thing in six months, we divide it into small pieces where we say how can we deliver this? Another analogy we use is if you think in terms of transportation, a skateboard, scooter, motorcycle car analogy of dividing it down into very manageable pieces and delivering the core primary value to the market as fast as possible.

That way they can test the marketplace, it can even start capturing revenue faster. that’s how we kind of work with our clients on the Lean Startup.

Erin Srebinski: [00:04:20] Yeah. Generating revenue, usually a pretty important thing.

Josh Barker: [00:04:23] It is.

MVP Explained

Erin Srebinski: [00:04:23] Cool. So, okay. You mentioned MVP and we talked about MVT yesterday. Can you explain MVT, MVP, and what that process is, what that means? Dig into that too.

Josh Barker: [00:04:35] Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I call this the product validation cone. This is kind of my own creation, but these terms are industry standards. So at the, at the top, you’ve got kind of this minimum viable test.  So if you think about this, I use the word experiment before, when I was talking about the Lean Startup methodology.

In the book, go out and buy it. It’s highly recommended Eric Ries, but you talks about right running these experiments. And so what is an experiment?  I equate that to an MVT and the minimum viable test. How do you run these experiments and what do they look like?

So an example of one, I’m going to use it for my past. So, I was involved with a fitness startup. We were trying to solve the problem of 66% of gym memberships go unused. That’s a ridiculous amount, right? I mean, trying to get people into the gym. Yeah. That’s ridiculous. How do you, how do you do that and how do you go about solving that problem?

 Lean startup would stipulate, you go and form a bunch of hypothesis first. So, for us, one of the examples was. Well, I’m wondering if it’s a commitment issue or I’m wondering if it’s a convenience issue. So if you start going down these roads you then could formulate these ideas of saying, well, how can we test if it’s a convenience idea or how can we test if it’s a commitment idea.

So one example we did, we ran as an MVT was, we said, well, if it’s a convenience issue what if we were to offer online live streaming classes, where we connect a trainer with people that are in a class and rather than going out and spending this time building all this software, some core tenants of an MVT is little to no code really, really fast.

We’re talking in terms of days to implement, not weeks or months .  Fast to validate, fast to invalidate. So we said, why don’t we just create a Google hangout and invite people that want to see the trainer and do the exercise together and test it with existing technologies. So that would be an example of like an MVT, cause we’re testing a concept without building anything down the validation cone.

I said that was at the top of the validation cone, MVT. Is an MVP. So what is an MVP? A lot of people, if you look across the internet, you can search these terms. They’re going to have very wildly different opinions on what an MVP is. In my opinion, like what an MVP is. So MVT proves the value of what you’re trying to propose. An MVP proves the product.

So in other words, the implementation of the delivery mechanism of the value. So when you’re looking at an MVP that sometimes the lines are blurred, but mostly you’re trying to say you’ve got a better idea on the value that needs to be delivered and the people you’re delivering it to in an MVT.

Now you’re trying to think of what is the exact product idea. And so rather than going out and spending all this time, actually building the software, we there’s a little bit more to implementing an MVP than an MVT. But we do things like an example would be creating a rapid prototype. At CIL we create prototypes.

We would create wireframes, prototypes that actually are semi-functional. They somewhat work with conditional logic and you can bring that in front of a target market and get feedback and rapidly do that. Instead of building software in 12 months, we can build a prototype in a month or two, you know?

So that’s the example of the orders of magnitude simpler. That’s something like that. It’s so MVP. So an example of that is  giving some different ranges of you have a prototype, like we talked about. But Dropbox giving some real world scenarios. They even created a simple video of a fake product that they said, this is what we think is going to work in the market.

And they throw it in front of users and users were like, sign me up. That’s how they got beta. Right. So they’re like, Hey, I want them to do that. So, Kickstarter campaigns, those are MVPs testing out like is my product idea even before you build it, testing it. There’s one more, what I would call minimum marketable product, an MMP.

So if you do a Google search on MMP, that’s where you actually code it. So you’ve gone through the stages of creating multiple MVTs,  minimum viable tests to figure out what your MVP should look like. And you may have run one to three MVPs and figured out then, what is the MMP? In other words, what is the thing you’re actually coding?

And that’s where you heard the analogy of a scooter and a motorcycle and a car. So we help organizations say let’s first deliver the skateboard, the very basics of like getting it to market. And it doesn’t mean worse quality, that’s a fallacy. It means delivering the core value first and saving the bells and whistles for future versions.

So we help organizations get an MMP out to market as fast as possible, and that’s using actual code. So you can kind of see reducing risk along the way. As we talked about MVT MVP, and MMP so kind of down that funnel. 

Erin Srebinski: [00:09:37] Right. And you’re able to constantly iterate and you’re able to constantly test and get validation from the market. And so that way customers can save money and save time, because they’re constantly doing that instead of throwing it right into a coded product that no one wants to use.

Josh Barker: [00:09:51] That’s right. That’s exactly right.

How To Implement Lean Startup Methodology

Erin Srebinski: [00:09:54] If a company wants to implement Lean Startup and they want to experiment, how do they get started with that?  How do they come up with the right experiments? How do they come up with an MVT or an MVP? Do they need to go to the marketplace? How do they start doing that?

Josh Barker: [00:10:08] Yeah, it’s a great, great thought. So the other thing I’ll mention is that  a core tenant, like you mentioned, Erin of Lean Startup is a build, measure, learn cycle.

So you asked me how do companies implement this? Well, the easiest way is rather than taking these large bets that we normally would as humans, we have this idea. And the first thing we want to do is go build it. That’s such a knee jerk reaction. Like, I don’t know about you, Erin.

It is. Isn’t it? As an engineer, it’s so hard for me to go and hit the marketplace with an idea. I’m going to go build it. Instead of holding myself back and being like, okay, not a good idea to build it, but I could test it. How can I test it simpler than I could build it?

Really the first step, I would say, is education. Because to get a Lean Startup mindset, you need to rewire your brain. That’s why I wanted to hit on that of like, you kind of need to rethink things rather than saying, going build it knee jerk reaction. It would be, how do I test this without code?

How do I validate and invalidate this very, very quickly.  I would encourage people to get started. Go read the book, go read lean startup, go learn information about lean startup. We’d be happy to talk with you about lean startup. If you want to just run us by any ideas, we do a lot of pre project consulting.

Rewiring your brain is a big task, as you know.  It’s hard to carve out this new path that  you have to rethink through how you build software. So a lot of people it’s this build it and they will come approach and it’s very incremental and that’s not at all true.

You’re shaking your head. We know that at CIL, like that is not how you build software. So for us, it’s thinking through how do you build things in a small way? And I want to give some examples in the real world because I think it’s sometimes it’s hard to grasp without real examples. I want to use some real-world examples to help people think, how did other companies do this?

MVP Examples

Companies that we know.  One company, you know, we talked about Dropbox, right? So Dropbox ran that beta. Another company that comes to mind is Groupon. So. Love Groupon. Have you used Groupon, Erin? I’ve used Groupon all the time.

Erin Srebinski: [00:12:20] I’m in Chicago, everyone used Groupon.

Josh Barker: [00:12:22] Everyone uses Groupon. Yeah, exactly. So it’s a big thing now, but how Groupon started if you think about how would you start creating Groupon?  Well, I think a lot of us would go, well, we got to like create this site and they have dinner coupons. They’ve got experiences, products, I mean, you name it. Groupon now has it.

You can buy coupons. You can buy deals for buying certain items or experiences. So there’s a lot in Groupon if you take a look at the product itself today. Now, if you zoom out and you go, how do they start? How they started was actually very, very simple, they’re MVT or MVP they had multiple MVTs even before the MVP). What their MVP was they said, “Okay, well, what’s existing that we can utilize that we don’t have to spend very much engineering time.”

So they chose WordPress, just a blog that everyone knows. So they created a WordPress blog and what they did was they said, let’s start in our current area and let’s just go and put a deal a day. Like let’s go partner with local companies and that’s it. And so they just started a deal a day and it started to get traction.

So then they expanded to other areas and there were still using their WordPress blog. So. That’s how they very simply started. A lot of people are like, they think it’s so elaborate and there’s this secret sauce  they had a huge engineering team and it’s like, no, they were a startup.

You know? And another example I like to tell people about is Airbnb.

Erin Srebinski: [00:13:50] Oh my gosh, I was going to jump in and say that one. I love this story.

Josh Barker: [00:13:53] The Airbnb, I mean, all these startup stories, it gives me encouragement because I’m like, Oh man, that’s so you look at these companies are so successful and versus you go back and you’re like, wow they were really scrappy. Kind of like when we first started, you know, like they’re, it’s so encouraging. Yeah. Bootstrapped.

And so you look at Airbnb and Airbnb was just some guys that  one day, they said, you know what?  I wonder if there’d be people that would be interested in renting out people’s spaces in their apartments, and rather than going out and saying, let’s build this elaborate system that connects these people and it’s also to add to the complexity of this situation.

 It’s an idea that has something called the network effect of the value of the product itself is actually in the fact that there’s so many different options of renters connecting with like the people wanting to rent.  If there’s nothing there there’s no value. So that was another problem.

But how they started was they said, “Okay, we’re going to incrementally think of this first thing we’re going to do. We’re just going to rent out our own space and see if we can fill our own room, spare room and see if anyone wants it.” 

Erin Srebinski: [00:15:00] They used Craigslist.

Josh Barker: [00:15:01] Yeah. They used Craigslist. It was crazy. And then on top of that, they then said, instead of going, “Hey, that works, let’s go build something.” They said, “Well, let’s incrementally build, measure, learn. Let’s  incrementally  do this to the next step. So let’s go and just recruit five, 10 other of our friends and see if they would rent out a spare room in their place.”

We’ll manage everything. Like you said.  we’ll put it on Craigslist, we’ll do the whole thing and they did it. They rented it out to those people. So then they just kind of kept expanding their circle. Behind the scenes, they’re managing an MVP. They’re doing the concierge service of they’re managing everything on spreadsheets and all sorts of stuff.

And I think people think that they had all this elaborate technology from the start when really  it’s very rudimentary at the beginning.  it’s not very sophisticated at all. And so they just wanted to test the idea. Fail fast, that’s a core tenant. They wanted to fail fast and learn as fast as they could.

And so when they started to explain it, spend their circle, they added technology where it made sense. They incrementally grew rather than trying to build this elaborate system all at once.

Erin Srebinski: [00:16:13] Right. And you spend money a little smarter that way. Like you’re spending it on things that you actually need at this moment instead of throwing a bunch of money at it and praying that it works.

Saving Money with Lean Startip

Josh Barker: [00:16:22] Yes. That’s why our customers really resonate when we talk with them about Lean Startup and how we do software, because I always say to them, “We don’t want to waste your money.” Software’s expensive, we could take your money and be like, “Hey, we’ll build anything you want.”

We’re going to put ourselves in the shoes of our customers and go, how do we make sure we’re building things that people want and people will use?  That’s something that custom software development companies don’t really care about because they’re getting paid anyway.

They’re like, Hey, we’ll build it. You are responsible for making it work. We look at this as a partnership, your success is our success.

When you’re testing and validating, like getting into hands of customers, is there any other way to gather feedback? Like how do you, when you’re doing a project gather feedback for the client or are they responsible for that?

Like I said, it’s a partnership, so we do both.  When we’re working with a company, we’ll work with them, or we have a product team that will actually work together and do customer interviews. And this is part of Eric Ries, as well as just customer discovery.

If you were to look at Steve blank has a lot of good stuff on that. So maybe we can add some links Steve Blank and Eric Ries’ stuff. Customer discovery  of doing customer interviews and iterating on the product by bringing a prototype in the hands of users as early as possible.

So when we get started, for example, when we go prototype something, we don’t just go and say, “Hey, it’s going to take us one, two, three months to prototype this” then go show users. It’s a very weekly thing. It’s like week one, we’ll prototype. We’ll say, “Hey, here’s the plan, we’re going to prototype this core value.”

You, customer, partner with us and helping us connect with  who you believe your target market is. Let’s put it in front of them and get rapid, real time feedback that literally the next sprint, the next week worth of work, all of that feedback can be incorporated and that’s as early as possible.

Versus the old way of billing software was you’d get feedback at the end of a project, which is like 12 months later,  sometimes the market’s changed people’s opinions change, and it’s like, It’s not even relevant anymore. 

Erin Srebinski: [00:18:26] Now everyone has COVID-19.

Josh Barker: [00:18:28] That’s right, exactly. And the world has changed. So for us, it’s very important that we are in lock sync with our customers. So our customers are very integrated and involved in that process of getting feedback and we help guide them through that.

Erin Srebinski: [00:18:43] What I’m hearing is there’s a ton of work that goes into things before we even test, before we even build a prototype. We’re talking to customers, we’re talking to anyone and hoping to get some nuggets of information so that we can build the right thing, essentially.

Talking to Customers

Josh Barker: [00:18:59] And a lot of times when we talk with customers, we’ll just be very honest with them because we get a lot of people that come up and say, I’ve got an idea, right?

And ideas. People put a lot of stock in like ideas. They’re so protective over ideas, right? They’re like, this is my idea and you’re going to sign 10 NDAs. You’re gonna steal it. Yeah.  the value is all in the execution in that learning process and that’s where we educate customers to say, the idea is great, but now go to the market and get out of the building. That’s a core concept of Steve Blank. Get out of the building and go talk to users, go talk to customers. And so even before you build the thing, go talk to who you think would be a user, right? So spend a lot of your time talking to them and getting really close to their needs.

That’s how we build software.  As you said, upfront, there’s a lot of that discovery and understanding of what the market looks like. And another concept I want to hit on again with Lean Startup methodology is product-market fit. We’re very market-driven in our approach to building software.

So product market is where the needs of the market intersect with the product perfectly to where you have that fit, that alignment, that PMF that’s the shorthand term. You hear all the time they use as well as in Silicon Valley. They’re like, have you hit PMF? That’s what they’re talking about. PMF. It’s like, it’s a big thing. So many acronyms, so, EIEIO right?

Should we Always Build Software this Way?

Erin Srebinski: [00:20:30] All right. So this might be a loaded question, but is there ever a reason to not build software this way? To completely throw lean startup out the window and say, you know what, we’re just going to build it right now.

Josh Barker: [00:20:42] Yeah. Great question. From our opinion at CIL, there is absolutely no reasonable circumstance in which you would throw lean startup out the window. I mean the old way of building, it was like the field of dreams. Right? Like build it and they’ll come. And it’s like,  from a marketing perspective, from a market perspective, from all different perspectives, it’s way better to involve your customers, your future customers as early in the process as possible.

Early on in the process, we’ll even say, if you can find those early adopters. That’s really what you also want to do is find those early adopters. You can partner with them to create a pilot for them. And so what’s cool as we’ve experienced this, where we’re a month into software, like really in the development process going through lean startup, doing a prototype. And even in that prototyping stage, we’ve identified some of the early adopters and even getting them to pay early in the process where it’s like a prepayment or a sign up to say, would you be willing to pay an offering that value early on? kind of like a Kickstarter campaign.

You get a discount maybe for, if you pay up front now. We were able to do that with some customers. And that works really, really well. that’s lean startup. And that’s part of the process that  you’re not gonna see anywhere else, unless you employ lean startup techniques.

What is an Early Adopter?

Erin Srebinski: [00:22:04] Yeah. Eric Ries goes into how important early adopters are to your product,  how they can influence everything and you want to get them on your side real fast. So can you explain what an early adopter is? Just for people who might not know what that means?

Josh Barker: [00:22:18] Yes. Yes. Early adopters are those people that are on the cusp of  technology on the cusp of what you’re wanting to offer.

They’re the people that, I’m an early adopter, for sure. It’s like you get those people that are just like, give me that early beta even if it’s a mess, I’m going to give you early feedback cause I’m so excited on the value you’re about to deliver . They’re even okay with mistakes in your software. That that’s the beautiful thing about early adopters.

Erin Srebinski: [00:22:43] They like pointing out all the things. This is wrong, this is wrong.

Josh Barker: [00:22:47] Because they feel ownership. Yeah, that’s right. Yeah. They’re, they’re like, Oh, this is wrong. This is wrong. I will change this. They’re going to be your most active voices in the whole thing.

And so you don’t want to hit the mainstream folks first, you find your early adopters and build it for them. The rest eventually falls into place where you start to get this graph of early adopters. And then you’ll get that large swath of broad market that comes later after early adopters.

5 Takeaways from this Podcast

Erin Srebinski: [00:23:16] I love that.  So if you had to break it down into five things that people should do to start Lean Startup, there’s five things. These are the most important five things. What would those be?

Josh Barker: [00:23:29] Oh man. I know right  on the spot, I’ll say a couple of them in it.

The first step I talked about to kind of summarize some of our conversation was I would definitely say rewire your brain. That’s going to be the first one and to do that through education. So read up on Lean Startup, read up on Steve Blank. A lot of the stuff they have to offer.

Do Google searches on lean startup and even minimum viable product, minimum viable test, lean startup experiments. Do your own research and own your own research on this. But I mean, at the minimum I would read lean startup. Rewire your brain through education. Number two is, as you’re rewiring your brain, you’re gonna learn a lot of things.

I think some key takeaways to have are if you ask yourself, how do I have a lean startup mentality really? I would say to break things into smaller pieces. That’s a big core concept to say, break them into smaller pieces and start thinking about how can I test something prior to doing this?

Right? So, one of the things we do at CIL is we’ve got this mantra of, I don’t know where this even came from either. Erin knows this term, this phrase I use is “throw bad ideas at the wall.” I have no idea. We use that all the time. We’re like, I’m just gonna throw bad ideas at the wall. And so one of the things we value is experimentation in our organization.

So instead of debating the merits of, well we should do this. Oh, we should do that. And we have these healthy debates, but at the same time, a lot of times we’ll just end it on conversation by saying, let’s just try it. Let’s just go out and try it and see how it works. And if it doesn’t work, we’ll just pivot, we’ll change.

That’s another term pivot. So we’ll just change and we’ll learn a lot. We’ll do a retrospective. That’s another core tenant is make sure you’re learning.  another thing  is to rewire your brain in terms of what is success. I would say that’s another one to think about is what is success look like ?

A lot of people think success is in terms of revenue and while that is the ultimate metric earlier on, that’s a bad metric, right? So like, because if you’re a startup you’re not going to have revenue for a while. Like that’s going to be the honest truth. So like, how do you measure success and it’s speed of learnings.

So how fast are you learning? And so if you can increase that by doing these rapid experiments over and over and over again, these MVTs to learn and validate, and invalidate hypothesis and identify assumptions. That’s something to do early on identifying assumptions and what you’re proposing to the marketplace.

That is extremely important in order to run MVTs, to validate or invalidate assumptions. That’s where all the risks are. So if you can get really systematic about saying, here are all my assumptions . In other words, here are all the risks let’s de risk this entire thing by running MVTs. And then when you get to the point where you’ve de-risked a lot of it, because you’ve learned this works, this doesn’t, this works, this doesn’t, you then can start to form an MVP, which then ultimately leads to an MMP.

So to recap, I mean, I would say rewire your brain,  think in smaller pieces, right? Star thinking about things you can do to invalidate and validate prior to building anything. Um, start thinking about how can I de-risk, listing out my assumptions and starting to create hypothesis and experiments to validate invalidate them.

then just think in terms of speed, how fast can I run these? Right. Let’s run them very, very, very quickly. So, those are a couple of core tenants I would say  you could implement very, very quickly. So

Erin Srebinski: [00:27:06] yeah. The other theme that I’m hearing throughout that is like, you need to be willing to embrace change.  Yes. It doesn’t look like I thought it would, so we’re going to have to go over here and be willing to have the mindset where you can quickly shift  your perspective. Cause sometimes it’s hard to let go of the thing that you really wanted to do, but it just doesn’t resonate with the market.

Josh Barker: [00:27:25] Yes. Oh man. You just hit on something that’s huge and near and dear to my heart too, is don’t marry yourself to the solution.

Marry yourself to solving the problem. So like, what is the problem you want to solve? Yes. So, I mean, I’m guilty of that, of marrying myself to the solution versus like, “Hey, this is, yeah. I mean, it’s so hard not to, especially when it’s your idea.

You’re like, this is my brainchild. And then, you know, you’re like, well, my brainchild was wrong.

Erin Srebinski: [00:27:52] I’m 10 steps down that way.

Josh Barker: [00:27:55] Yes. Yes. that’s another thing is don’t be afraid.  redefining not only redefining success in terms of how fast you learn redefining failure, because people think that like, Hey, if you have this idea and you go down the road and you invalidate it, and like you said, you’re 10 steps down the road.

People would view that as failure normally, right outside of lean startup, they’d be like, “Oh, you failed.” And it’s like, no, the concept of lean startup is actually, you want to fail faster. So you want to fail as fast as possible. And so that you can learn faster. So it’s actually redefining failure.

 If speed of learnings is success, failure would then look like you’re not learning at all. So if you’re not learning,  you’re failing. 

Okay, well, I’m officially out of questions. So you got anything else?

This has been a lot of fun. it’s been a lot of fun talking about Lean Startup,  it’s definitely near and dear to my heart and if you’re ever going to reach out,  I would highly recommend you reach out to City Innovation Labs. We would love to talk with you.

Yes, we want to help you with software. We want to help you with that next project, but  we want to just help you in general. so, reach out. I love talking with people, meeting new people. So if you are wondering about lean startup and you just want to have a conversation, feel free to reach out, and we would love to talk to you about your project, lean startup, how you can employ techniques.

We’ll give it to you straight too. I know I’ve talked to a lot of people that have reached out that have said, “Josh, here’s where I’m at. I’ve got this product idea.” And I don’t have any qualms or fears of guiding them and directing them away from Citi innovation labs if we’re not a good fit yet, or we’re not a good fit period.

So we’re here to help. We’re not here to milk money out of people. We’re here to forge relationships.  that’s where I really want to help people understand this concept. It is a pillar concept of our company. and building software the right way. So that’s our big mantra is how do you build the right software.

 that’s the thing that we want to hit on. So the tech CIO, they’re all be links. I know Erin’s gonna do her marketing magic and post all the links to Eric Ries and the Lean Startup methodology. And, you know, I’m sure we’ll have some Steve Blank links in there, too. So we’ll provide all these links again. If you’ve got any questions or comments, feel free to reach out. We’d love to talk with you.

Erin Srebinski: [00:30:12] Awesome. Thanks, Josh. A super fun conversation.

Josh Barker: [00:30:15] Yes. Likewise. Thanks Erin, for sparring with me and we can have this cool dialogue.

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