Lean Startup

40 results back to index

pages: 278 words: 83,468

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, barriers to entry, call centre, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, continuous integration, corporate governance, experimental subject, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Network effects, payday loans, Peter Thiel, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, pull request, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, skunkworks, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Toyota Production System, transaction costs

You will also find links there to my blog, Startup Lessons Learned, as well as videos, slides, and audio from my past presentations. Lean Startup Meetups Chances are there is a Lean Startup meetup group near you. As of this writing, there are over a hundred, with the largest in San Francisco, Boston, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. You can find a real-time map of groups here: http://lean-startup.meetup.com/. You can also find a list of cities where people are interested in starting a new group, and tools to set one up yourself. The Lean Startup Wiki Not every Lean Startup group uses Meetup.com to organize, and a comprehensive list of events and other resources is maintained by volunteers on the Lean Startup Wiki: http://leanstartup.pbworks.com/ The Lean Startup Circle The largest community of practice around the Lean Startup is happening online, right now, on the Lean Startup Circle mailing list.

In the process of being called on to defend and explain my insights and with the collaboration of other writers, thinkers, and entrepreneurs, I had a chance to refine and develop the theory of the Lean Startup beyond its rudimentary beginnings. My hope all along was to find ways to eliminate the tremendous waste I saw all around me: startups that built products nobody wanted, new products pulled from the shelves, countless dreams unrealized. Eventually, the Lean Startup idea blossomed into a global movement. Entrepreneurs began forming local in-person groups to discuss and apply Lean Startup ideas. There are now organized communities of practice in more than a hundred cities around the world.1 My travels have taken me across countries and continents. Everywhere I have seen the signs of a new entrepreneurial renaissance. The Lean Startup movement is making entrepreneurship accessible to a whole new generation of founders who are hungry for new ideas about how to build successful companies.

What makes these failures particularly painful is not just the economic damage done to individual employees, companies, and investors; they are also a colossal waste of our civilization’s most precious resource: the time, passion, and skill of its people. The Lean Startup movement is dedicated to preventing these failures. THE ROOTS OF THE LEAN STARTUP The Lean Startup takes its name from the lean manufacturing revolution that Taiichi Ohno and Shigeo Shingo are credited with developing at Toyota. Lean thinking is radically altering the way supply chains and production systems are run. Among its tenets are drawing on the knowledge and creativity of individual workers, the shrinking of batch sizes, just-in-time production and inventory control, and an acceleration of cycle times. It taught the world the difference between value-creating activities and waste and showed how to build quality into products from the inside out. The Lean Startup adapts these ideas to the context of entrepreneurship, proposing that entrepreneurs judge their progress differently from the way other kinds of ventures do.


pages: 292 words: 85,151

Exponential Organizations: Why New Organizations Are Ten Times Better, Faster, and Cheaper Than Yours (And What to Do About It) by Salim Ismail, Yuri van Geest

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Burning Man, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, corporate social responsibility, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, Dean Kamen, dematerialisation, discounted cash flows, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, Galaxy Zoo, game design, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hiring and firing, Hyperloop, industrial robot, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, means of production, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, p-value, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, profit motive, publish or perish, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, subscription business, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, X Prize, Y Combinator

This technique is popularly known as the Lean Startup movement, which was created by Eric Ries and Steve Blank and is based on Ries’s book of the same name. The Lean Startup philosophy (also known as the Lean Launchpad) is in turn based upon Toyota’s “lean manufacturing” principles, first established a half-century ago, in which the elimination of wasteful processes is paramount. (Sample principle: “Eliminate all expenses with any goal other than the creation of value for the end customer.”) The Lean Startup concept was also given impetus by Steve Blank’s book, The Four Steps to the Epiphany, which focuses on customer development. (Sample concept: “We don’t know what the customer wants until assumptions are validated.”) The most important message of the Lean Startup movement is to “Fail fast and fail often, while eliminating waste.”

TEDx events, XPRIZE or franchise structures) ( ) Most core processes are self-provisioning and executed outside the organization via a scalable platform (e.g. AirBnB or Adsense) Real time Dashboards and Employee Management 14) Which metrics do you track about your organization and your product innovation portfolio? (e.g. Lean Startup Analytics?)* ( ) We only track traditional KPIs monthly/quarterly/annually (e.g. sales, costs, profits) ( ) We collect some real-time, traditional metrics from transactional systems (e.g. ERP) ( ) We collect all real-time, traditional metrics and use some Lean Startup metrics ( ) We collect real-time traditional metrics and Lean Startup (value and learning) metrics like repeat usage, monetization, referral and NPS 15) Do you use some variant of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) to track individual/team performance?* ( ) No, we use traditional quarterly/annual performance reviews or 360 reviews or stack ranking ( ) We have implemented OKRs in innovation areas or at the edges of the organization ( ) OKRs are used across our organization (e.g.

Not only does failure free people, ideas and capital for future learning and breakthroughs, it’s also worth noting that, though rarely recognized, a corporate culture that accepts failure benefits from diminished internal politics and much less in the way of pointing fingers and “blame games” thanks to trust, transparency and openness. There are some limitations to the Lean Startup approach, including lack of competitor analysis or considerations in design thinking. Also, it is important to note that the ability to fail is much easier in software and information-based environments because iteration is so much easier. For a hardware company, it’s much harder to iterate. Apple launches hardware only when it’s perfect. You wouldn’t want to iterate and fail fast when building a nuclear reactor. As Nathan Furr and Jeff Dyer state in their new book, The Innovator’s Method: Bringing the Lean Start-up into Your Organization: “Don’t try to scale it until you nail it.” Why Important? Dependencies or Prerequisites • Keeps processes aligned with rapidly changing externalities • Maximizes value capture • Faster to market (MVP) • Risk taking provides an edge and faster learning • Measurement and tracking of experiments • Cultural acceptance (failure=experience) Autonomy We describe Autonomy as self-organizing, multi-disciplinary teams operating with decentralized authority.


pages: 52 words: 14,333

Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising by Ryan Holiday

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Airbnb, iterative process, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, market design, minimum viable product, Paul Graham, pets.com, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Steve Wozniak

Blogs and Personalities: Andrew Chen’s essays http://andrewchen.co Noah Kagan’s blog http://okdork.com Patrick Vlaskovits http://vlaskovits.com/blog twitter.com/pv Jesse Farmer http://20bits.com Sean Ellis http://www.startup-marketing.com Paul Graham’s essays http://www.paulgraham.com/articles.html Aaron Ginn http://www.aginnt.com Josh Elman https://medium.com/@joshelman Or just follow most of these guys as they answer questions at: http://www.quora.com/Growth-Hacking Books: The Lean Startup by Eric Ries The Lean Entrepreneur by Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits Founders at Work by Jessica Livingston Viral Loop by Adam L. Penenberg Contagious by Jonah Berger Lean Startup Marketing by Sean Ellis Presentations, Shows, and Classes: http://www.creativelive.com/courses/smart-pr-artists-entrepreneurs-and-small-business-ryan-holiday (a ten-hour course I made with creativeLIVE on marketing, attention, and free publicity) http://www.slideshare.net/mattangriffel/growth-hacking http://quibb.com/links/growth-hackers-conference-all-the-lessons-from-every-presentation http://www.slideshare.net/yongfook/growth-hacking-101-your-first-500000-users http://www.slideshare.net/gueste94e4c/dropbox-startup-lessons-learned-3836587 https://www.growthhacker.tv http://www.slideshare.net/yongfook/actionable-growth-hacking-tactics https://generalassemb.ly/education/user-acquisition-growth-hacking-for-startups https://www.udemy.com/growth-hacking-lean-marketing-for-startups http://www.slideshare.net/vlaskovits/growthhacker-live-preso-by-patrick-vlaskovits-pv http://www.slideshare.net/timhomuth/think-like-a-growth-hacker http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2011/09/24/how-to-create-a-million-dollar-business-this-weekend-examples-appsumo-mint-chihuahuas http://www.growhack.com/case-studies There Is Even a Growth Hackers’ Conference: http://growthhackersconference.com Endnotes 1 http://andrewchen.co/2012/04/27/how-to-be-a-growth-hacker-an-airbnbcraigslist-case-study. 2 E-mail to author, April 18, 2013. 3 Dialogue from Viral Loop by Adam L.

7 The service soon retooled to become Instagram as we know it: a mobile app for posting photos with filters. The result? One hundred thousand users within a week of relaunching. Within eighteen months, the founders sold Instagram for $1 billion. Both of these companies spent a long time trying new iterations until they had achieved what growth hackers call Product Market Fit (PMF). That is, the product and its customers are in perfect sync with each other. Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup, explains that the best way to get to Product Market Fit is by starting with a “minimum viable product” and improving it based on feedback—as opposed to what most of us do, which is to try to launch with what we think is our final product. Today, it is the marketer’s job as much as anyone else’s to make sure Product Market Fit happens. Rather than waiting for it to happen magically, marketers need to contribute to this process.

Perhaps you’re not generating enough e-mail addresses or users make it 99 percent of the way through your shopping cart and then too many of them quit at the last second. Everything can be improved—that’s what we’ve got to remind ourselves. The reality is that your product is probably broken in at least one way. And we must avail ourselves of the data and other information that tell us where those problems are. The role of the growth hacker is to ruthlessly optimize incoming traffic for success. As Eric Ries explains in The Lean Startup, “the focus needs to be on improving customer retention.” Forget the conventional wisdom that says if a company lacks growth, it should invest more in sales and marketing. Instead, it should invest in refining and improving the service itself until users are so happy that they can’t stop using the service (and their friends come along with them). This should come as a major relief—I know it did for me.


pages: 169 words: 56,250

Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City by Brad Feld

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

barriers to entry, cleantech, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, Grace Hopper, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, labour mobility, Lean Startup, minimum viable product, Network effects, Peter Thiel, place-making, pre–internet, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, software as a service, Steve Jobs, text mining, Y Combinator, Zipcar

EXPERIMENT AND FAIL FAST The phrase fail fast is used throughout the startup ecosystem and has come to encapsulate the notion of continually trying new things, measuring the results, and either modifying the approach or doubling down, depending on the outcome. Eric Ries in his book The Lean Startup and the corresponding activity around the lean startup methodology has recently popularized this. This approach is a key attribute of vibrant startup communities. Think of your startup community as a lean startup—one that needs to try lots of experiments, measure the results, and pivot when things aren’t working. It’s not that you should fail fast across the entire startup community; instead you should fail fast on specific initiatives that don’t go anywhere, attract little interest, or generate no impact.

If you cross a beauty pageant with a debate, plop it into a contrived startup competition format, and surround it with a revivalist atmosphere filled with entrepreneurial gospel, then you get the glorious mess known as the campus business-plan competition. Such competitions are inevitably flawed. Time frames are artificial. Companies are at various stages of development. Hard emphasis on planning is at odds with lean startup practices. And only in the bizarre environs of a campus competition does a nonprofit seeking a sustainable way to fund an orphanage in Africa compete with a carbon-capture technology that would store greenhouse gases in the ocean. Here is an even more curious thing. It somehow works. CU Boulder launched its New Venture Challenge in 2008. We were not—and to this day are not—the first, best, or biggest competition.

Optimally, these activities will be bottom up and engage anyone in the community who is interested in participating. MICRO VERSUS MACRO Entrepreneurs often focus on the micro, that is, specific things that need to get done or will have impact. In contrast, government focuses on the macro. When I talk to leaders in government, they use words like global, macroeconomic, policy, innovation, and economic development. These are not words that entrepreneurs use; entrepreneurs talk about lean, startup, product, and people. Several years ago I was giving a talk about the Boulder startup community to a cross-section of Boulder business and local government people. During the Q&A section, a woman I knew got up and said, “What do you think ecodevos should be doing to help?” I stood, stunned for a moment because I didn’t know what ecodevos were. All I could think of was “Whip It” from the punk rock band Devo, and I had to restrain myself from blurting out “Whip It, Whip It Good.”


pages: 374 words: 89,725

A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas by Warren Berger

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, Airbnb, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, clean water, fear of failure, Google X / Alphabet X, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Thomas L Friedman, Toyota Production System, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, Zipcar

She advises looking for temporary assignments, outside contracts, advisory work, and moonlighting to get experience or build skills in new industries; executive programs, sabbaticals, and extended vacations can be valuable in providing opportunities to experiment. She concludes, “We learn who we are—in practice, not in theory—by testing reality.” Eric Ries of the Lean Startup has led a rapidly growing movement encouraging companies to do exactly what Ibarra is talking about for individuals—i.e., to experiment as a business, try lots of new ideas to see what works, and introduce new products and services quickly in order to “test and learn.” Ries feels the Lean Startup approach and philosophy can be applied to one’s life, as well. The basic principles hold up; if you’re starting a new career or even just embarking on a creative project or some other type of initiative, you’re in “start-up” mode—and the “lean” rules apply.

By then asking why that mistake occurred, an underlying cause might surface—such as insufficient training on a task. Asking why again, the company might discover the training program was underfunded; and asking why about that could lead back to fundamental company priorities about where money should be spent and what was most important in the end. The value of this kind of excavation-by-inquiry is becoming more widely recognized in the business world, most recently as part of the Lean Startup methodology taught by the author/consultant Eric Ries, who is a big proponent of the five whys. I asked Ries why a simple, almost-childlike practice seems to work so well. “It’s a technique that’s really designed to overcome the limits of human psychology,” Ries explained. By this he means that people are inclined to look for the easiest, most obvious explanation for a problem. On top of that, “we tend to personalize things that are really systemic.”

“Hackers try to build the best services over the long term by quickly releasing and learning from smaller iterations rather than trying to get everything right all at once . . . Instead of debating for days whether a new idea is possible or what the best way to build something is, hackers would rather just prototype something and see what works.” The rapid test-and-learn approach has caught on throughout the entrepreneurial world, fueled in part by Eric Ries’s Lean Startup phenomenon. Ries maintains that entrepreneurs, existing companies—or anyone trying to create something new and innovative—must find ways to constantly experiment and quickly put new ideas out into the world for public consumption, rather than devoting extensive resources and time to trying to perfect ideas behind closed doors. Ries urges businesses to focus on developing what he calls “minimum viable products”—in effect, quick, imperfect test versions of ideas that can be put out into the marketplace in order to learn what works and what doesn’t.


pages: 410 words: 114,005

Black Box Thinking: Why Most People Never Learn From Their Mistakes--But Some Do by Matthew Syed

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Alfred Russel Wallace, Arthur Eddington, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, British Empire, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, corporate governance, credit crunch, deliberate practice, double helix, epigenetics, fear of failure, fundamental attribution error, Henri Poincaré, hindsight bias, Isaac Newton, iterative process, James Dyson, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Joseph Schumpeter, Lean Startup, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum viable product, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, Silicon Valley, six sigma, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, Wall-E, Yom Kippur War

“If I want to become a top commercial architect known for energy-efficient, minimalist designs, I must first design inefficient, clunky buildings.” The notion of getting into the trial and error process early informs one of the most elegant ideas to have emerged from the high-tech revolution: the lean start-up. This approach contains a great deal of jargon, but is based upon a simple insight: the value of testing and adapting. High-tech entrepreneurs are often brilliant theorists. They can perform complex mathematics in their sleep. But the lean start-up approach forces them to fuse these skills with what they can discover from failure. How does it work? Instead of designing a product from scratch, techies attempt to create a “minimum viable product” or MVP. This is a prototype with sufficient features in common with the proposed final product that it can be tested on early adopters (the kind of consumers who buy products early in the life cycle and who influence other people in the market).

If the MVP sufficiently resembles the proposed final product, but none of the early adopters have any interest in it, then you can be pretty sure that the entire business plan is worth ripping up. You have saved a huge amount of time and money by failing early. But if the MVP looks like a possible winner, you can now find out how it can be improved further. This is the second question answered by the lean start-up approach. You can see what features the consumers like and what they don’t like; you can see flaws in the concept and vary its assumptions as you develop toward the final product. In other words, you have hardwired the evolutionary process into the design of the business. • • • And this brings us back to Drew Houston. His problem, you’ll remember, was that he couldn’t raise the funds to get his file sharing idea off the ground.

“Our beta waiting list went from 5,000 people to 75,000 people literally overnight. It totally blew us away.”16 Houston had demonstrated that people wanted the product. It enabled him to raise more capital and continue product development with confidence. But it also enabled him to interact with the early adopters, develop practical knowledge, and refine the product. That is the value of the lean start-up. Nick Swinmurn, another technology entrepreneur, created a rather different MVP. He reckoned the world needed a website in order to purchase a stylish collection of shoes. He could have gone about this in the usual way: raising millions in capital, creating a vast inventory, and developing relationships with all the various manufacturers: i.e., designing the entire company from scratch from a blueprint.


pages: 293 words: 81,183

Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference by William MacAskill

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

barriers to entry, Black Swan, Branko Milanovic, Cal Newport, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, effective altruism, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, follow your passion, food miles, immigration reform, income inequality, index fund, Isaac Newton, job automation, job satisfaction, labour mobility, Lean Startup, M-Pesa, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, Nate Silver, Peter Singer: altruism, purchasing power parity, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, randomized controlled trial, self-driving car, Skype, Stanislav Petrov, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, universal basic income, women in the workforce

In both career choice and entrepreneurship, you start out with a tiny amount of relevant information, but you have to use that information to cope with a huge number of variables. Moreover, as things progress, these variables shift: you’re constantly gaining new information; and new, often entirely unexpected, opportunities and problems arise. Because of this, armchair reasoning about what will and won’t happen isn’t very useful. In the case of entrepreneurship, Eric Ries has argued forcefully for this idea and created the popular Lean Startup movement. The idea behind the Lean Startup is that many entrepreneurs make the mistake of getting excited about some product or idea and then doing everything they can to push it onto the world even before they’ve tested it to see if there’s a market for it. When companies do this, products often fail because they were reasoning from the armchair when they should have been experimenting. Ries argues that entrepreneurs should think of their ideas or products like hypotheses, and continually test, ultimately letting the potential customers determine what the product should be.

think of career decisions like an entrepreneur would think about starting a company: Jess Whittlestone, “Your Career Is Like a Startup,” 80,000 Hours (blog), https://80000hours.org/2013/07/your-career-is-like-a-startup/. This idea was independently proposed by LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman and entrepreneur Ben Casnocha in their book The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career (New York: Crown Business, 2012). the popular Lean Startup movement: Eric Ries, The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses (New York: Crown Business, 2011). (entrepreneurs have less than a 10 percent chance of ever selling their shares in the company at profit): Ryan Carey, “The Payoff and Probability of Obtaining Venture Capital,” 80,000 Hours (blog), June 25, 2014, https://80000hours.org/2014/06/the-payoff-and-probability-of-obtaining-venture-capital/.

., 67–68 Hong Kong, 131 Humane League, 143, 190 Humane Society of the United States Farm Animal Protection Campaign, 190 Hurford, Peter, 147, 154–55, 157, 160–61 Idealist, 55 immigration, 187–89 immunization programs, 46–47 impact of causes, measurement of, 34 implementation of charities, 109, 117–18 improving lives as measure of impact, 34 income and food purchases, 20 global average of, 49 global income distribution, 48–49, 49 income inequality, 15–25, 16, 18, 50 pledging ten percent of, 199 richest 10 percent of world, 23 and well-being, 21, 21–23 India, 20, 123, 130 Indigenous, 132 Industrial Revolution, 131 inefficiencies of aid, 45–46 Innovations for Poverty Action Lab, 9, 105, 115 insulation and carbon footprint, 136 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 95, 98, 179 International Christian Support (now called Investing in Children and Their Societies; ICS), 6–7 international labor mobility, 187–89, 194 intestinal worms, 8–9, 183 Iodine Global Network (IGN), 126–27, 127 Islam, Habiba, 167 Ivory Coast, 104, 123 Japan earthquakes and tsunamis in, 58–59 and Fukushima disaster, 79–80, 83–84 homicide rate in, 185 Japanese Red Cross Society, 59 Jay-Z, 3 Jenner, Edward, 69 Jobs, Steve, 149, 152 juvenile crime, 70–74 Kahneman, Daniel, 173 Kaposi’s sarcoma, 52, 52–53 Karnofsky, Holden, 12 Kendrick, Pearl, 171 Kenya, 105, 122, 123, 170–71 Kerry, John, 179 Kilian, Bernard, 134 Kremer, Michael, 5–9, 11, 108 Kristof, Nicholas D., 130 Krugman, Paul, 131 Kuyichi, 132 Laos, 130 law of diminishing returns, 58–61, 62–66 Lean Startup movement, 159 legal profession as career choice, 164 Levitt, Steven, 84–86 Lewis, Greg and earning to give, 74–78 on impact of medicine, 62–66, 74–75, 76 medical ambitions of, 55, 56 life expectancies, 19, 45 Lipeyah, Paul, 6–7 literacy, 103–4 lives saved by doctors, 63–66, 75 Living Goods, 125–26, 127 lower-bound reasoning, 91 low-probablity events, 83–84 malaria and bed nets, 52, 53, 112, 113–14, 117 deaths from, 46–47, 60 and expected values, 81–82 funding dedicated to, 61–62 and program implementation, 117 See also Against Malaria Foundation marginal utility, 57–58 marketing careers, 165, 167 Massachusetts, 87 Mather, Rob, 157, 177 Matthews, Dylan, 174 measles, 121 meat and meat consumption, 136, 141–43 media coverage of disasters and causes, 59–60 medicine as career choice, 164 mega-charities, 120 Mercy for Animals, 143, 175, 190 Mexico, 133, 137 microcredit/microloans, 114–15 micromorts, 82–83 migrants, 187–89 Miliband, Ed, 90 missions of charities, 109, 110 Monbiot, George, 137–38, 140 Montagnier, Luc, 171 Montenegro, Claudio, 188 monthly donations, 197 moral licensing, 144–46 motivation, altruistic, 166–67 Moyo, Dambisa, 43, 44, 45, 46, 50 Mozambique, 3, 104, 123 M-Pesa system, 105 Mulder, Frederick, 177 National Area Health Education Center Organization, 63 National Mobilization Against Sweatshops, 129 natural disasters, 80 natural gas, 136 neglectedness of problems/causes, 181, 183 neglected tropical diseases, 183 Net Impact, 55 New Hampshire, 86 Niehaus, Paul, 169 Niemi, Niina, 134 Nigeria, 188 Nike, 129 Noda, Yoshihiko, 80 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), 77 Nordhaus, William, 170 normal distributions in statistics, 47–48, 48 Norwood, Bailey, 141–42 No Sweat Apparel, 129 Nothing But Nets, 113–14 Nuclear Threat Initiative, 194 Obama, Barack, 179 objections to charitable giving, 40–41 Occupy Wall Street, 15 offsetting greenhouse gases emissions, 137–40 One Foundation, 3 100x Multiplier, 15–25, 62, 66 “the 1 percent,” 15–18 One Water, 3 Orbinski, James, 29–34 Ord, Toby, 12 outsourcing of jobs, 165 overhead costs of charities, 106 Oxfam, 120 Parliament (MP), value of career in, 90–94 passion and career choices, 149–53, 154 Penna, Robert M., 40 People Tree, 132 personal fit with problems/causes, 41–43, 148–55, 181 Peru, 191 Pew Charitable Trusts, 187 pigs and pork, 141–42, 143 Piketty, Thomas, 15 plastic bags, 136 PlayPumps, 1–5, 9–10, 47 PlayPumps International, 2–3, 11 polio, 121 political careers, 89–94, 174 political causes, 182 political rally participation, 88 poor countries and career choices, 76–78 cost effectiveness of programs in, 62, 121 and fair-trade products, 133 and law of diminishing returns, 61 lives saved by doctors in, 66 and sweatshop laborers, 131–32 presidential election of 2008, 85 preventable diseases, deaths from, 46–47, 60 Pritchett, Lant, 188 programming skills, 161, 164 Public Broadcasting System (PBS), 5 quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) concept of, 34–39 and cost-effectiveness evaluations, 112 and evidence behind claims of programs, 116–17 graphs illustrating, 35, 36 and lives saved by doctors, 63, 65 Quirk, Lincoln, 170 Quoidbach, Jordi, 150–51 Rath, Pim Srey, 130 regression to the mean, 73–74 Reid, Harry, 179 research, funding spent on, 110 research careers, 171–73 rich countries cost effectiveness for programs in, 62 and easily preventable diseases, 62 lives saved by doctors in, 66 Ries, Eric, 159 Round-about Water Solutions, 5 Rumsfeld, Donald, 44 Rwandan genocide, 29–32 Sachs, Jeffrey, 131 sacrifices in altruism, 12 sales careers, 165, 167 Salvation Army, 32–33 scale of problems/causes, 181 Scared Straight program, 70–74, 114 Schindler’s List (1993), 196–97 Schistosomiasis Control Initiative founder of, 157 GiveWell’s endorsement of, 124–25, 127, 197 and neglected tropical diseases, 183 scientific research careers, 171–73 Shapiro, Arnold, 70–71 Silver, Nate, 85 Singapore, 131 SKAT, 11 Skoll Global Threats Fund, 99 slavery, 94–95 smallpox, eradication of, 45–46, 47, 67–69, 121 social cost of greenhouse gas emissions, 97–98 software engineering, 164 Solar Radiation Management Governance Initiative, 193 Somalia, 68 South Africa, 2, 3 South Korea, 131 Soviet Union, 68–69 Spain, 136 Stern Review, 190–91 Stocker, Thomas F., 179 strokes, 35 Stuiver, Ronnie, 1 sub-Saharan Africa health education in, 104 life expectancy in, 45 and Against Malaria Foundation, 125 and Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, 124 supply and demand, law of, 87–88 Swaziland, 3 SweatFree Communities, 129 sweatshops, 128–32 alternatives to, 132 conditions in, 129, 130 desirability of jobs in, 130–31 economic pressures of, 130 and extreme poverty, 130, 132 Swiss Resource Centre and Consultancies for Development (SKAT), 3–4 Taiwan, 131 Taleb, Nassim, 98 Teach for America, 55 Tea Party rallies, 89 technology oriented careers, 163, 164 tenure, 153 testing effectiveness of programs, 74 textbooks, 7, 103–4, 108–9 Thailand, 130 Theroux, Louis, 78 thinking at the margin, 57 Time magazine, 3 tractability of problems/causes, 181, 182–83 trade professions, 165 travel, carbon foot print from, 136, 137–38 Trigg, Jason, 166 tsunamis, 58, 79 tuberculosis, 60 Tversky, Amos, 173 Uganda and fair-trade products, 134 and GiveDirectly, 105, 122 and Living Goods, 125 Under the Knife (2007), 78 UNICEF, 3–4, 11, 120, 132 United Kingdom affluence of, 17 homicide rate in, 185 medical students in, 55 political careers in, 174 and social cost of greenhouse gas emissions, 97 value of political careers in, 90–94 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, 191 United States benefits from medicine in, 63, 65 career choices in, 164 and climate change, 191 cost effectiveness for programs in, 62 and factory farms, 190 and fair-trade products, 134 greenhouse gases of, 135 homicide rate in, 185 income and income inequality in, 15–16, 17, 22 and Industrial Revolution, 131 infrastructure costs in, 46 lives saved by doctors in, 75 medical students in, 55 poverty in, 18, 184 and presidential election of 2008, 85 and quality of goods, 20 and social cost of greenhouse gas emissions, 97 social security spending of, 44 and sweatshop laborers, 131–32 and value of charitable giving, 22 voting in, 84–87 United Students Against Sweatshops, 129 United Way, 33–34 University of Chicago Crime Lab, 187 University of Oxford Geoengineering Programme, 193 US Department of Labor, 132 US Department of Transportation, 46 US Environmental Protection Agency, 46 US Food and Drug Administration, 46 vaccination programs, 118 Valkila, Joni, 134 vegetarianism, 87–88, 141–43, 175 Virginia, 86 volunteering, 175–76 voting, expected value of, 84–87 Washington State Institute for Public Policy, 72 water, 1–5, 56–57 Watts, Alan, 149–50 Wave, 170–71 well-being, subjective assessments of, 21, 21–23, 39–40 Well-Being-Adjusted Life Years (WALYs), 39–40 What If Money Was No Object (YouTube video), 149 The White Man’s Burden (Easterly), 43 Whittlestone, Jess, 168 Wikipedia, 175 Wilson, Timothy, 150–51 Winfrey, Oprah, 55 World Bank, 60, 134 World Bank Development Marketplace Award, 2 World Health Organization (WHO), 60, 69 WorldVision, 120 World War II, 98 Wozniak, Steve, 152 Yunus, Muhammad, 114 Zambia, 3 Zhdanov, Viktor, 68–69 Zimbabwe Bush Pump, 4 Looking for more?


pages: 421 words: 110,406

Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--And How to Make Them Work for You by Sangeet Paul Choudary, Marshall W. van Alstyne, Geoffrey G. Parker

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrei Shleifer, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, buy low sell high, chief data officer, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, data is the new oil, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, Haber-Bosch Process, High speed trading, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, market design, multi-sided market, Network effects, new economy, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pre–internet, price mechanism, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, winner-take-all economy, Zipcar

Josh Costine, “BranchOut Launches Talk.co to Expand from Networking into a WhatsApp for the Workplace,” TechCrunch, October 7, 2013, http://techcrunch.com/2013/10/07/talk-co/. 3. Teresa Torres, “Why the BranchOut Decline Isn’t Surprising,” Product Talk, June 7, 2012, http://www.producttalk.org/2012/06/why-the-branchout-decline-isnt-surpising/. 4. John Egan, “Anatomy of a Failed Growth Hack,” John Egan blog, December 6, 2012, http://jwegan.com/growth-hacking/autopsy-of-a-failed-growth-hack/. 5. Derek Sivers, “The Lean Startup—by Eric Ries,” Derek Sivers blog, October 23, 2011, https://sivers.org/book/LeanStartup. 6. Alistair Croll and Benjamin Yoskovitz, Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster (Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media, 2013). 7. Christian Rudder, “The Mathematics of Beauty,” OkTrends: Dating Research from OkCupid, January 10, 2011, http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/the-mathematics-of-beauty/. 8. Bianca Bosker, “OkCupid Hides Good-Looking People from Less Attractive Users,” Huffington Post, June 16, 2010, http://www.huffingtonpost .com/2010/06/16/okcupid-hiding-hotties-fr_n_614149.html. 9.

Based on analogies like this, Haier’s leadership team hypothesizes that a reduction in its user distance measure may improve its product design, customer service, and marketing efficiency. Thus, a seemingly abstract metric like user distance may have a highly practical, dollars-and-cents impact on your bottom line. STAGE 3: METRICS DURING THE MATURITY PHASE Once a platform business has moved past the phases of startup and early growth, new challenges and issues emerge. Eric Ries, the writer and entrepreneur known for pioneering the “lean startup” movement, emphasizes that, for the mature company, incremental innovation and metrics must be closely related to each other. “When making improvements to your product,” Ries observes, “the only arbiter of whether or not it was successful is the metrics. And, when you are implementing an improvement to your product, you should be testing that improvement against a baseline.” Somewhat in line with Ries’s thinking, Amrit Tiwana, a professor at the University of Georgia, suggests that metrics suitable for information technology platforms that have reached the maturity phase should meet three major requirements: they should drive innovation, have a high signal-to-noise ratio, and facilitate resource allocation.14 First, let’s focus on the role of metrics in driving innovation.

Having learned from this mistake, Gary Swart, former CEO of oDesk, writes eloquently about the need for highly focused metrics, especially in the critical early period of a startup: As a business leader you need to figure out the metric that matters most for your company and understand that the more you measure, the less prioritized you’ll be. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to measure everything. What I’ve learned is that in the early days, what matters most is having customers who love and use your product. Figure out the one or two best measures to determine this.17 Lean startup guru Eric Ries echoes the need to be selective in the design and use of metrics. In particular, he cautions against what he calls “vanity metrics,” such as total sign-ups—a relatively meaningless statistic that often increases even as the volume of interactions is flat or actually declining. Vanity metrics fail to indicate accurately whether the business is really achieving critical mass or the liquidity it needs.


pages: 326 words: 74,433

Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup by Brad Feld, David Cohen

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

augmented reality, computer vision, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, hiring and firing, Inbox Zero, Jeff Bezos, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social web, software as a service, Steve Jobs

Remember that living the startup life requires both art and science and is simultaneously qualitative and quantitative. Take all the inputs you can gather and then make the decisions that feel right to both your head and your gut. Ryan McIntyre offers potentially conflicting advice at TechStars in 2009. Progress Equals Validated Learning Eric Ries Eric is the co-founder and CTO of IMVU and is the author of The Lean Startup Methodology. Would you rather have $30,000 or $1,000,000 in revenues for your startup? Sounds like a no-brainer, but I'd like to try and convince you that it's not. This may sound crazy, coming as it does from an advocate of charging customers for your product from Day One. I have counseled innumerable entrepreneurs to change their focus to revenue, and many companies that refuse this advice get themselves into trouble by running out of time.

Fundamentally, all startups want to make progress. But as Eric points out, the measures of progress are often wrong and misleading, especially at the early stages. Using the filter of “validated learning” (namely—something that you've learned that you know is true) is a powerful frame of reference that forces more discipline into the discussion. We've gotten to know Eric well over the past few years and think his work on the Lean Startup Methodology is incredible. We encourage all entrepreneurs to become disciples of Eric. The Plural of Anecdote Is Not Data Brad Feld Brad is a managing director at Foundry Group and one of the co-founders of TechStars. A phrase that is often heard around TechStars is “the plural of anecdote is not data.” While the original attribution of this quote is murky (see http://bit.ly/anecdt) the meaning is powerful and applies importantly to both mentors and entrepreneurs.

Don't Celebrate the Wrong Things Rob Johnson Rob is a co-founder of EventVue, a company that helps conference organizers by providing an online community for the event and driving new conference registrations. EventVue raised $500,000 from angel investors after completing TechStars in 2007 but ultimately shut down. All startups have too many available choices. It's the fundamental challenge of a startup—what customers to choose, what problem to solve, what flow to present to the user. Several methodologies have recently emerged, such as Eric Ries's lean startups to help guide you through the critical market and product decisions that drive you toward the promised land of hockey stick growth. But these methodologies fail to directly address an absolutely crucial component of doing a startup: how to keep everyone excited about your company. In my firsthand experience with EventVue and my experience watching other TechStars companies, I've come to understand that the magic to keeping and growing momentum in your startup is knowing what to celebrate.


pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

And to help us overcome the fear, to make it feel good to fail, FailCon invited some of Big Tech’s greatest innovators to outfail each other with tales of their losses. At FailCon, the F-word was ubiquitous among illustrious Silicon Valley speakers like Airbnb cofounder Joe Gebbia, the billionaire venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, and Eric Ries, the author of a bestselling handbook for Internet success called The Lean Startup. Indeed, the more uncannily prescient the investor, the more moneyed the startup entrepreneur, the bigger the influencer, the more boastfully they broadcasted their litany of failures. At FailCon, we heard about failure as the most valuable kind of education, failure as a necessity of innovation, failure as a version of enlightenment, and, most ironically, given the event’s self-congratulatory tenor, failure as a lesson in humility.

It was a question so taken for granted at evangelical events like FailCon that, amid this technology crowd, I might as well have been speaking Sanskrit or Swahili. In Silicon Valley, everyone knows the answer. Their answer is an unregulated, hyperefficient platform like Airbnb for buyers and sellers. Their answer is the distributed system of capitalism being built, unregulated cab by cab, by Travis Kalanick. Their answer is a “lean startup” like WhatsApp that employs fifty-five people and sells for $19 billion. Their answer is data factories that turn us all into human billboards. Their answer is the Internet. “It’s obviously been a success for all of us,” I explained, sweeping my hand around the room packed with fabulously wealthy failures. “But is the network the answer for everyone else? Is it making the world a better place?”

“After decades in which the country has become less and less equal,” mourns the Palo Alto–born-and-bred George Packer, “Silicon Valley is one of the most unequal places on earth.”35 Figures from the Chapman University geographer Joel Kotkin suggest that the Valley has actually hemorrhaged jobs since the dot-com crash of 2000, losing some forty thousand jobs over the last twelve years.36 A 2013 report by Joint Venture Silicon Valley confirms Kotkin’s findings, adding that homelessness in Silicon Valley has increased by 20% between 2011 and 2013 and reliance on food stamps has reached a ten-year high.37 In Santa Clara County, the geographical heart of Silicon Valley, the poverty rate shot up from 8% in 2001 to 14% in 2013, with the food stamp population jumping from 25,000 in 2001 to 125,000 in 2013. Even those lucky enough to get jobs at tech startups are likely to lose them again very quickly. According to research by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, which tracked changes in employment between 2012 and 2013, new companies fired 25% of their staff in their first year. This contrasts with an average annual rate of 6.6% at established companies.38 This cult of the so-called lean startup39 created by the FailCon speaker Eric Ries, with its brutal churn of employees, makes it particularly risky for older people with kids to feed and mortgages to pay to work in such a casino-style economy. No wonder, then, that Silicon Valley’s demographic is radically different from the rest of America. In a US economy where, according again to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall median age of workers is 42.3 years old, the median age of workers is 28 at Facebook and 29 at Google.40 And even at supposedly “mature” technology companies like Oracle or Hewlett-Packard, the average age of workers is significantly less than the US average.


pages: 231 words: 71,248

Shipping Greatness by Chris Vander Mey

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, fudge factor, Google Chrome, Google Hangouts, Gordon Gekko, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, minimum viable product, performance metric, recommendation engine, Skype, slashdot, sorting algorithm, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, web application

I hate to break it to you, but you might be wrong about what customers need. We all know that Amazon, Google, and others have been wrong many times. So you’re probably right, but the best way to prove you are is to give customers a product and see what they say. Serial software entrepreneur Eric Ries seems to agree with this approach, and makes a compelling case for building what he calls the minimum viable product in his book The Lean Startup (Crown Business). Ries defines the minimum viable product as the smallest fraction of your product that a sufficient number of customers will use in order to validate an assumption. You may only need a handful of customers to know you’re on the right track, and you may only need to validate one assumption at a time. Regardless of how big your minimum viable product is, you can still follow the product definition process.

For example, if you want to build a great social product, you don’t need to measure friends—different segments of users have different numbers of friends. But you do want to measure user engagement so you can answer questions like “Are users spending time on the site?” and “Are they posting?” A relevant collection of metrics for these behaviors might be posts in seven days per seven-day-active-user and minutes spent on-site per seven-day active user. Eric Ries isn’t a big fan of these growth metrics in his book The Lean Startup (Crown Business). He calls them vanity metrics because you can puff up your chest, point to a chart that goes up and to the right, and say, “Look, we’re awesome! We’re growing!” even as your product is failing 90% of the incoming new users. It’s a fair point. This is why you need to look at metrics like conversion and engagement, among others. Nearly all web analytics packages will provide conversion metrics out of the box, and they will also tell you which features are used, which buttons are clicked, and by which groups of users.

Meeting notes and schedules for: your team’s weekly meeting, UI review, product review, engineering review, bug triage, legal reviews, weekly business development, and weekly customer support check-ins. Appendix C. References and Further Reading Product Definition Kawasaki, Guy. The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything. New York: Portfolio Hardcover, 2004. Ries, Eric. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses. New York: Crown Business, 2011. Managing Management Bossidy, Larry, and Ram Charan. Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done. New York: Crown Business, 2002. Drucker, Peter F. The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done, Revised Edition. New York: HarperBusiness, 2006.


pages: 260 words: 76,223

Ctrl Alt Delete: Reboot Your Business. Reboot Your Life. Your Future Depends on It. by Mitch Joel

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, call centre, clockwatching, cloud computing, Firefox, future of work, ghettoisation, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, place-making, prediction markets, pre–internet, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, risk tolerance, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social graph, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Thomas L Friedman, Tim Cook: Apple, Tony Hsieh, WikiLeaks

For a tiny few, the end means making the Fortune 500 list, but for most it means either bankruptcy or some very disappointed investors. We live in a new era of entrepreneurship, and business ideas can be tested and marketed for success like never before. Eric Ries has been preaching the value of what he has called The Lean Startup in his very popular blog and bestselling business book of the same name (published two years ago), and it has become all the rage. Much like Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point became a catchphrase that every business executive used in 2002, over the past two years every person looking to start a business has been talking about it being a “lean startup.” The most embraced concept in Ries’s book was the notion of the “pivot”: that the most successful startups (the ones that eventually turned a two-person operation into a multimillion-or multibillion-dollar business) were the ones that were able to identify quickly that what they were doing did not have much commercial viability and were able to “pivot” the business model—through iteration—into something people actually wanted to use.

He is actively hands-on in anything and everything that bears his name and he spends a tremendous amount of time ensuring that whatever he does (from TV shows to tours to comedy specials) represents his brand in the best possible light. He is known to get way down into the weeds of the work. For his television show he handles everything from editing down to the music selection. On December 10, 2011, C.K. released his fourth full-length comedy special, Live at the Beacon Theater, but unlike his previous specials, he decided to run this project like an ultra-lean startup and distributed it digitally through his own website. Leveraging the power of his direct relationship with his fans, C.K. circumvented physical and broadcast media, publishers, producers, and distribution companies. He took a startup approach (including the participation in a Reddit AMA—Ask Me Anything—question-and-answer session online). Many of his peers and business associates warned him against releasing his content this way (C.K. pushed things further by making the special DRM-free so people could rip it to a DVD or the like) for fear that not only would he lose money, but his performance would be pirated and spread through the torrent sites.


pages: 561 words: 114,843

Startup CEO: A Field Guide to Scaling Up Your Business, + Website by Matt Blumberg

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

airport security, Albert Einstein, bank run, Broken windows theory, crowdsourcing, deskilling, fear of failure, high batting average, high net worth, hiring and firing, Inbox Zero, James Hargreaves, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, pattern recognition, performance metric, pets.com, rolodex, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype

Luckily, there’s a middle ground: a process of formalizing and communicating hypotheses that doesn’t take months of work and lead to hundreds of spreadsheets—and one that allows considerable flexibility in execution. The “Lean” Classics “Lean startups” focus on finding product-to-market fit through a process of rapid product development and quick iterations based on customer feedback. It’s the opposite of porting MBA techniques to the startup world—and much more effective. Here is our short list of smart, interesting books about starting a business: The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries The Four Steps to the Epiphany: Successful Strategies for Products that Win by Steven Gary Blank Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan that Works by Ash Maurya The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development: A Cheat Sheet to The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits How to Start a Business by Jason Nazar and Rochelle Bailis (eBook) A LEAN BUSINESS PLAN TEMPLATE The goal of a lean business planning process should be to produce three outputs.

David Kidder, CEO, Bionic BUSINESS PIVOTS: TELLING A DIFFERENT STORY Business pivots are what most entrepreneurs have in mind when they think about changing their company’s direction. They are much riskier and more complex than changing your position in the marketplace or tweaking your internal model, but they’re unavoidable (especially if you’re listening to the marketplace rather than trying to force yourself on it). A pivot isn’t a leap; it’s a change of direction about a fixed point—your core capabilities. In late 2009, I spoke at the New York City Lean Startup Meetup. My topic was “The Pivot,” but the best summary of my position actually came from a member of the audience, who boiled it down to three words: “Pivot, don’t Jump!” When you discover that your prior conception of “product-market fit” is off, the temptation is to leap in a completely different direction. Resist! Every pivot a startup makes should be at the request or urging of your clients (a request they might voice by not answering your sales calls) and in a direction in line with your core capabilities.

Nazar, Jason and Rochelle Bailis. How to Start a Business (Docstoc Inc., 2012). Porter, Michael. Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors (Simon & Schuster, 2008). Porter, Michael. Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance (Simon & Schuster, 2008). Ries, Al, and Jack Trout, Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind (McGraw-Hill Education, 2003). Ries, Eric. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses (Random House, 2011). Smart, Brad. Topgrading: The Proven Hiring and Promoting Method that Turbocharges Company Performance (Penguin, 2012). Stalk, George, and Rob Lachenauer. Hardball: Are You Playing to Play or Playing to Win? (Harvard Business Press, 2004). Stalk, George. “Curveball: Strategies to Fool the Competition,” Harvard Business Review, September 2006.


pages: 468 words: 124,573

How to Build a Billion Dollar App: Discover the Secrets of the Most Successful Entrepreneurs of Our Time by George Berkowski

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Black Swan, business intelligence, call centre, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, game design, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, loose coupling, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, Network effects, Oculus Rift, Paul Graham, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Y Combinator

It’s amusing that by June 2013 this company was valued at over $800 million25 – but that’s because at the time it had 5 million users sending more than 200 million snaps26 (messages), photos and videos every single day – that’s up 25 per cent from 150 million announced by their CEO in April 2013.27 That’s ridiculous growth. More recently, they turned down acquisition offers of $3 billion and $4 billion from Facebook and Google respectively. On average, a user uses the Snapchat app 34 times a month. That means by the end of 2013, Snapchat’s 350 million daily snap number matched the number of photos users uploaded to Facebook.28 In the true spirit of a lean startup, at the end of 2013 the team was still only around 40 people. Snapchat is still a story in progress. But the lessons are clear: it focused on a universal need, messaging, mixed it up with a true innovation, anonymity, and then focused on a great experience and performance. Designed to be touched Angry Birds is one of the most popular games – and brands – in history. It rocketed to billions of downloads, and similar revenues, because of two things: design and touch.

When the product is complete, they launch with a big fanfare and realise that users are just not continuing to download it and few people are continuing to use it. What went wrong? Most people often don’t spend anywhere near enough time talking to their prospective customers. Understanding your target users is critical – especially understanding their problems and how your app is going to solve those problems. I recommend a great book by Eric Ries called The Lean Startup. ‘Lean’ is a great adjective. It is about building your app wisely, frugally, without wasting time, without excessive costs, and maintaining a vigour and energy. In the book Ries summarises an approach to eliminate uncertainty, and inject process and rigour around developing and testing your product to make sure it resonates with your target users. Throughout this book, I’ll echo a lot of best practice Ries writes about – my goal is not to apply rules dogmatically, but rather to help you invoke your best judgement in any situation.

If you’re a great salesperson, you will find the money – but ultimately your users will determine whether your app succeeds or fails. It seems like Bill Nguyen had enough cash in the bank from previous jobs, so he’ll be fine. Chapter 21 Tuning and Humming At this point in your journey, revenue becomes critical. It’s not just about getting dollars in the door, though: to make it to the top of the app heap you need to have revenues that scale. Steve Blank, a serial Silicon Valley entrepreneur and the father of the lean-startup movement (we mentioned this in Chapter 7: ‘Getting Lean and Mean’), explains it brilliantly in The Startup Owner’s Manual: ‘Simply put, does adding $1 in sales and marketing resource generate $2+ of revenue?’ Your goal is to create a very efficient revenue engine – and keep it evolving. You want to get more out of it than you’re putting in. In this part of the book we’ll investigate how to tune and adjust your revenue engine to make it deliver magic.


Frugal Innovation: How to Do Better With Less by Jaideep Prabhu Navi Radjou

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bretton Woods, business climate, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, connected car, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, Elon Musk, financial innovation, global supply chain, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, low cost carrier, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, megacity, minimum viable product, more computing power than Apollo, new economy, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, precision agriculture, race to the bottom, reshoring, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, smart grid, smart meter, software as a service, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, women in the workforce, X Prize, yield management, Zipcar

As part of its “market-driven” innovation process, the company’s long-term scientific research projects are reviewed regularly by business-unit leaders, who reshuffle priorities for potential applications and alter the project scope to reflect new market realities. Use just-in-time design Rather than over-engineering products with just-in-case features, companies should adopt just-in-time design. This starts with a good-enough product and incrementally adds new features based on customer feedback in a just-in-time fashion. Approaches such as agile development methodology and lean start-up, which teach companies how to fail fast, fail early and fail cheaply, can enable such just-in-time design in large firms with big R&D teams.11 Beware supply chain constraints Delays and cost escalation in innovation projects often occur because R&D teams design products without considering supply chain capabilities. As a result, new products are often designed using components that are hard to find, too costly, or too complex to manufacture and maintain.

As Beth Comstock, chief marketing officer at GE, a multinational conglomerate, puts it:16 We’re constantly tinkering with our business models to get leaner and more agile and to get closer to our customers – to act small even though we’re big. Comstock believes that GE has learned four main lessons from start-ups: Keep things simple. Although GE may seem complicated from the outside, its laser-like focus on its core activity – technology – gives the company a unified sense of purpose. Work fast. GE has drawn on the lean start-up ethos to develop FastWorks, a set of tools and principles to help the firm do things more quickly and efficiently (see Chapter 7). Find solutions through multiple partnerships and ask the wider community when the firm lacks relevant expertise. Don’t be afraid of uncertainty. Many GE start-ups did not turn out as originally planned, but were useful nonetheless. The Durathon battery, for example, marketed today as a green back-up power source for mobile phone towers, started life as a hybrid locomotive battery.

., “Productivity of pharma R&D down 70% – study”, PharmaTimes, December 2nd 2011. 6Booz & Company, op. cit. 7Prabhu, A., innovation and insights director, Lion Dairy & Drinks, interview with Jaideep Prabhu, February 23rd 2014. 8Booz & Company, op. cit. 9The case study on Fujitsu’s work with farmers at Sawa Orchards in Wakayama, Japan, is based on interviews conducted by the authors with several senior executives at Fujitsu in the US and Japan. 10Booz & Company, op. cit. 11Ries, E., The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses, Crown Business, 2011. 12Mayhew, S., head of R&D strategy development, GSK, interview with Jaideep Prabhu, February 17th 2014. 13Cornillon, P., senior vice-president R&D, Arla Foods, interview with Jaideep Prabhu, February 28th 2014. 14Radjou, N., Transforming R&D Culture, Forrester Research, March 20th 2006. 15Scott, M., “The Payments Challenge for Mobile Carriers”, New York Times, February 26th 2014. 16Comstock, B., “We’ve learned these four lessons from startups, and we’re using them to transform GE”, LinkedIn, December 10th 2013. 17Most of the material used in this case study comes from Radjou, N. and Prabhu, J., “Beating Competitors with High-Speed Innovation”, Strategy+Business, December 18th 2013 (www.strategy-business.com). 3Principle two: flex your assets 1Anand, N. and Barsoux, J-L., Quest: Leading Global Transformations, IMD International, 2014. 2Trout, B.L., director of the Novartis-MIT Center for Continuous Manufacturing, interview with Navi Radjou, May 9th 2014. 3“RAF jets fly with 3D printed parts”, BBC News, January 5th 2014. 4“Peter Weijmarshausen: 3D Printing”, etalks, April 2nd 2013. 5This quote from Gérard Mestrallet, CEO of GDF-Suez, is slightly adapted from its original version that appeared in his interview with a French magazine, L’Expansion, in December 2013. 6Dugan, J., Caterpillar to Expand Manufacturing and Increase Employment in the United States with New Hydraulic Excavator Facility in Victoria, Texas, Caterpillar press release, August 12th 2010. 7Wong, H., Potter, A. and Naim, M., “Evaluation of postponement in the soluble coffee supply chain: A case study”, International Journal of Production Economics, Vol. 131, Issue 1, May 2011, pp. 355–64. 8O’Marah, K., chief content officer, SCM World, and senior research fellow at Stanford Global Supply Chain Management Forum, interview with Navi Radjou, March 11th 2014. 9Beasty, C., “The Chain Gang”, Destination CRM, October 2007. 10Morieux, Y., “As work gets more complex, 6 rules to simplify”, TED Talk, October 2013. 11Lopez, M., CEO, Lopez Research, interview with Navi Radjou, March 28th 2014. 12O’Connell, A., “Lego CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp on leading through survival and growth”, Harvard Business Review, January 2009. 13“The Return to Apple”, All About Steve Jobs: http://allaboutstevejobs.com/bio/longbio/longbio_08.php. 14O’Connell, op. cit. 15Francis, S., CEO, Flock Associates, and former head of Aegis Europe, interview with Jaideep Prabhu, January 27th 2014. 16This case study is adapted from an original version that appeared in French in L’Innovation Jugaad, published by Diateino in 2013.


pages: 183 words: 49,460

Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer's Guide to Launching a Startup by Rob Walling

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

8-hour work day, en.wikipedia.org, inventory management, Lean Startup, Network effects, Paul Graham, rolodex, side project, Silicon Valley, software as a service, SpamAssassin, Superbowl ad, web application

This test can be run for anywhere between $50 and $500 depending on the cost of AdWords in your niche and how far you want to take it. The Approach We’re going to look at an approach to testing your market called the Mini Sales Site. I developed this approach a few years ago after reading the 4-Hour Workweek, realizing that the author’s testing approach could be re-purposed from information and physical product testing to software products. Since then, a similar approach has been defined by the Lean Startup Methodology. I take it as a sign that we’re both on the right track. The Mini Sales Site The idea behind this approach is that if you ask visitors whether or not they would buy your product, you will wind up with inaccurate data. The only way you know if someone would try or buy your product is if they think they are really trying or buying it when they visit your sales site. Since we don’t want to build a complete sales site to run this test, we use a mini sales site which is a stripped down version of the same.

MicroISV on a Shoestring (www.kalzumeus.com) – Brilliant Micropreneur Patrick McKenzie shares every last detail about his microISV. A Smart Bear (blog.asmartbear.com) – Jason Cohen grew and sold his software company. Now he gives back to the startup community by sharing his knowledge here. Steve Blank (steveblank.com) – Steve Blank is a Silicon Valley veteran, but many of his insights apply to self-funded startups. Lessons Learned (www.startuplessonslearned.com) – Eric Ries’ Lean Startup Methodology closely parallels the Micropreneur Methodology I’ve laid out in this book, and his knowledge of the startup process is unparalleled. Single Founder (www.singlefounder.com) – Mike Taber shares his insight and wisdom from 10 years in the entrepreneurial trenches. Paul Graham (www.paulgraham.com/articles.html) – Though venture-focused, Graham’s insights into the startup process are unique and powerful.


pages: 170 words: 45,121

Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

collective bargaining, game design, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, speech recognition, Steve Jobs

The only way to find out if it really works is to watch other people try to use it. Testing reminds you that not everyone thinks the way you do, knows what you know, and uses the Web the way you do. I used to say that the best way to think about testing is that it’s like travel: a broadening experience. It reminds you how different—and the same—people are and gives you a fresh perspective on things.1 1 As the Lean Startup folks would say, it gets you out of the building. But I finally realized that testing is really more like having friends visiting from out of town. Inevitably, as you make the rounds of the local tourist sites with them, you see things about your hometown that you usually don’t notice because you’re so used to them. And at the same time, you realize that a lot of things that you take for granted aren’t obvious to everybody.

, 42–47 Apple, 143 apps, mobile, 155-59 average user, 9 myth of the, 18, 108 B Beat the Clock, 85 Big Bang Theory of Web Design, 89 big honking report, 4, 117 Breadcrumbs, 79–80 Brin, Sergey, 26 browse-dominant users, 59 browser what users say it is, 26 browsing, 60–62 Brundlefly, 162 Burma-Shave, 29 C Calvin and Hobbes, 153, 191 Camtasia, 122, 163 Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and accessibility, 181 earliest use of, 37 and usability, 171 clickability, 15, 37 Collyer, Bud, 85 conventions, 29–33, 64 culture clash, 107 cursor, 37, 152 D–E delight, 155–56 designing conventions and, 29–33 Home page, 84 navigation, 54 and satisficing, 24–25 Web sites, intention vs. reality, 21, 23 do-it-yourself usability testing, 115 Elements of Style, The, 49 expert usability review, 3 F FAQ list, 165, 171 “Farmer and the Cowman Should Be Friends, The,” 102 Flat design, 152–53 focus groups, 112–13 font size, in browser, 173 forms, 46–47, 67 G golden goose, temptation to kill, 99–100 goodwill reservoir, 166–71 H Hansel and Gretel, 79 happy talk, eliminating, 50 Hatch, Sen. Orrin, Web site, viii Holmes, Sherlock, 7 Home page cluttered, 39 designing, 84 happy talk on, 50 link to, 70 hover, 152 I–K instructions, eliminating, 51–52 Ive, Jonathan, x, 184 Jarrett, Caroline, 40, 46, 194 Jobs, Steve, x, 184 “kayak” problems, 139 Klein, Gary, 24–25 Kleiner, Art, 107 Krug’s laws of usability, 10–11, 43, 49 L Larson, Gary, 23 Lean startup, 4, 114 Lincoln, Abraham, 145 link-dominant users, 59 links, visited vs. unvisited, 190 logo. See Site ID M memorability, 159 mensch, 164 mindless choices, 42–47 mirroring, 161 mission statement, 95 mobile apps, 155 usability testing, 160 Mobile First, 147–49 muddling through, 25–27 N names, importance of, 14 navigation conventions, 64 designing, 58 lower-level, 72 persistent, 66 revealing content, 63 needless words, omitting, 48–52 new feature requests, 139 Nielsen, Jakob, xi, 54, 58–59, 96, 115, 121 noise.


pages: 302 words: 73,581

Platform Scale: How an Emerging Business Model Helps Startups Build Large Empires With Minimum Investment by Sangeet Paul Choudary

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, Clayton Christensen, collaborative economy, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, frictionless, game design, hive mind, Internet of things, invisible hand, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, multi-sided market, Network effects, new economy, Paul Graham, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, social software, software as a service, software is eating the world, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, TaskRabbit, the payments system, too big to fail, transport as a service, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, Wave and Pay

Section 2 DESIGNING THE INTERACTION-FIRST PLATFORM The design of the platform business model involves the design of a core interaction followed by the design of an open infrastructure that will enable and govern this interaction. INTRODUCTION Building Interaction-First Platforms Design before you optimize! Scalable and sustainable business models need to be designed before they can be optimized. Optimizing poor design just makes a poorly designed system worse. The discipline of testing and measuring, championed by the Lean Startup movement, is an extremely important one. Entrepreneurs approach solution development by testing the key hypotheses that could lead to business failure. While the discipline of testing is important, the single most important decision in testing is the choice of the hypothesis to be tested. Without clarity on the most important hypotheses, one can waste a lot of time testing irrelevant hypotheses and optimizing poor design.

THE MINIMUM VIABLE PLATFORM AND IMPLEMENTATION ROADMAPS A focus on the core interaction helps us define the requirements for a minimum viable platform. Unlike single-user products, platforms must cater to multiple user roles. The core interaction defines the minimum unit of value creation and exchange that caters to the key roles on the platform. The minimum viable platform should ensure that it designs all four actions in the core interaction sufficiently to enable the end-to-end interaction. In the Lean Startup methodology, one often builds out a product by validating a set of hypotheses sequentially. Every iteration of the platform may validate a hypothesis related to one of the four actions, but it is important to ensure that all other actions are also designed into the platform. Without designing the entire interaction, it may be counterproductive to try to test a hypothesis related to an individual action.


pages: 270 words: 79,992

The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath by Nicco Mele

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, business climate, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative editing, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, death of newspapers, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Gordon Gekko, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mother of all demos, Narrative Science, new economy, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, pirate software, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, uranium enrichment, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

After spending a lot of time, money, and political capital to build Data.gov, the U.S. federal government now publishes almost half a million data feeds covering just about every imaginable topic. A full 172 government agencies and subagencies participate, releasing their data online. This would appear to be a substantial platform that citizens and the private sector can build upon. And in the entire United States, a country rife with innovation and an appetite for experimentation, where The $100 Startup, The Lean Startup, and The Startup of You were all best-selling titles, a country where an estimated 30,000 new companies are started every year,26 where more than 600 apps are submitted to the Apple iTunes App Store daily27—how many apps over three years have been written for Data.gov? Just 236 apps have been developed for citizens; 1,264 apps have been developed by government agencies either for use by citizens or by other government agencies.

. … All you have to do to serve them well is build a minimal infrastructure allowing them to get together and work things out for themselves. Any additional features are almost certainly superfluous and could even be damaging.35 This way of thinking in software design has a long pedigree—back to the “scratch your own itch” of Eric Raymond’s The Cathedral and the Bazaar, but more recently in the best-selling The Lean Startup, whose core admonition is to arrive at the minimum viable product as quickly as possible. It’s a compelling vision for running a software company or even an online services company. But does it work as an approach to government? Not so much. As Gary Wolf puts it in the Wired profile: His cause is not helped by the fact that if the Craigslist management style resembles any political system, it is not democracy but rather a low-key popular dictatorship. … Its inner workings are obscure, it publishes no account of its income or expenses, it has no obligation to respond to criticism, and all authority rests in the hands of a single man.36 I don’t mean to single out Newmark.


pages: 94 words: 26,453

The End of Nice: How to Be Human in a World Run by Robots (Kindle Single) by Richard Newton

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, Black Swan, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Clayton Christensen, crowdsourcing, deliberate practice, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, future of work, Google Glasses, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Lean Startup, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, Paul Erdős, Paul Graham, recommendation engine, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Y Combinator

The team of founders – typically two or three people at the outset – sell a small percentage of their business to the program in return for a small amount of cash plus the intense mentoring, coaching, resources, access to investors and relevant industry experts and potential customers. “Fail harder” urges a poster tacked to one wall. Others ask of you: “Move Fast and Break Things” and “What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid?”. In start-up-land, failure has become a component of the methodology for success. The Lean Startup, a book that codifies the start-up business approach, has become the management textbook for building success on failure. “You need to create a discipline to enable you to fail and learn fast,” said its author, Eric Ries. “A management discipline for failure.” The success and reputation of accelerators is such that in 2012 the business publication Forbes ran an article headlined: “Would you rather get into Y-Combinator, 500 Start-Ups, TechStars… or Harvard Business School?”


pages: 362 words: 99,063

The Education of Millionaires: It's Not What You Think and It's Not Too Late by Michael Ellsberg

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

affirmative action, Black Swan, Burning Man, corporate governance, financial independence, follow your passion, future of work, hiring and firing, job automation, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, Peter Thiel, profit motive, race to the bottom, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Ballmer, telemarketer, Tony Hsieh

Young people buzzed around, chatting over the music, dancing, trading contact information. As I spoke with Max, overlooking the sea, a friend of Max’s spotted him and walked up to us. Max introduced us: “Hey Michael, this is Trevor. He’s also an entrepreneur who’s leaving school.” “Leaving school?” Trevor cut in as if to correct an insulting slight. “I’ve already left school!” Trevor Owens had left NYU during his senior year to help build The Lean Startup Machine (http://theleanstartupmachine.com), a series of intensive boot camps designed to promote entrepreneurialism and train entrepreneurs in the business principles of “lean thinking.” I had never been on a cruise before. The series was originally the brainchild of Elliott Bisnow, who had left Wisconsin to pursue his dreams. Three years later he was hosting some of the world’s most powerful people at his own cruise liner weekend event/party.

See Meaningful work, creating Ilovemarketing.com Institute for Integrative Nutrition Intelligence, practical versus academic Internet marketing guru online presence, building and self-created business and self-education YourName.com, importance of Investments, bootstrapper’s method IQ, and success IronPort Iteration velocity John Paul Mitchell Systems Johnson, Cameron as college non-graduate success, evolution of Jong, Erica Kaufman, Josh Kawasaki, Guy Keillor, Garrison Kennedy, Dan as college non-graduate direct-response marketing Kerkorkian, Kirk Kern, Frank as college non-graduate direct-response marketing on power of selling success, evolution of Kiyosaki, Robert mentor of on power of selling Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Knowledge workers, digital Marxism Komisar, Randy on safety versus risk La Flamme, Jena Cheng sales coaching as college non-graduate Deida relationship training direct-response marketing, use of success, evolution of Lalla, Annie and Eben Pagan Langan, Chris LaPorte, Danielle, success, evolution of Laugh-O-Gram Leadership definitions of and impact on many as new marketing as skill of success Lean Startup Machine Lerer, Ben Levchin, Max Leve, Brett Lifelong learning Linchpin concept Listening, importance of Loucks, Vernon Louis Marx and Company Luck, and success Lupton, Amber Lynda Limited McDermid, Hitch Mailer, Norman Maister, David Making a difference. See Meaningful work, creating Manhattan Project Marc Ecko Enterprises Marianlibrarian.com Marketing advice, giving to mentors brand marketing business, creating and Eben Pagan essence of high integrity, newsletters on leadership as learning about, value of as skill of success third tribe marketing traditional, ineffectiveness of See also Direct-response marketing Marmer, Max, success, evolution of Marx, David Marx, Karl Marx, Louis, success, evolution of Marxism, digital Mason, Nick, success, evolution of Meaningful work, creating Art of Earning a Living and entrepreneurship and experimentation failure, learning from and financial stability and impact on many opportunities in workplace, seeking “options open” myth versus predictable life and risk success, case examples Mendelson, Sandi Mentors attracting becoming trusted advisor to finding with connection capital giving feedback to importance of success, case examples Millennials Mitchell, Paul Montoya, Peter, on branding Moritz, Mark Moskovitz, Dustin as college non-graduate success, evolution of Mullenweg, Matt, success, evolution of Munna, Cathryn Munna, Cortney, education debt of Murray, Charles Mycoskie, Blake Needs, versus requests Negroni, Christine Networking with connection capital to find teachers.


pages: 125 words: 28,222

Growth Hacking Techniques, Disruptive Technology - How 40 Companies Made It BIG – Online Growth Hacker Marketing Strategy by Robert Peters

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Airbnb, bounce rate, business climate, citizen journalism, crowdsourcing, Google Glasses, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, pull request, revision control, ride hailing / ride sharing, search engine result page, sharing economy, Skype, TaskRabbit

“Defining a Growth Hacker: Three Common Characteristics.” techcrunch.com/2012/09/02/defining-a-growth-hacker-three-common-characteristics/ Holiday, Ryan. Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future PR, Marketing, and Advertising. Portfolio, 2013. Maurya, Ash. Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works. O’Reilly Media, 2012. McClure, Dave. “Startup Metrics 4 Pirates.” Slideshare presentation at www.slideshare.net/dmc500hats/startup-metrics-for-pirates-nov-2012 Ries, Eric. The Lean Startup: How Today’s entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses. Crown Business, 2011. Schranz, Thomas. Growth Engineering 101: A Step-by-Step Guide for Founders, Product Managers and Marketers. (See www.blossom.io/growth-engineering) Vilner, Yoav. “Growth Jacking 101: Read This to Become a Magician.” www.ranky.co/growth-hacking-101-read-become-magician/ Yongfook, Jon. “21 Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics.” yongfook.com/actionable-growth-hacking-tactics.html Suggestions / Reviews I really hope you liked the book and found it useful.


pages: 199 words: 43,653

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Airbnb, AltaVista, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, en.wikipedia.org, framing effect, game design, Google Glasses, Inbox Zero, invention of the telephone, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Oculus Rift, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, QWERTY keyboard, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, Toyota Production System, Y Combinator

Building a habit-forming product is an iterative process and requires user behavior analysis and continuous experimentation. How can you implement the concepts in this book to measure your product’s effectiveness building user habits? Through my studies and discussions with entrepreneurs at today’s most successful habit-forming companies, I’ve distilled this process into what I call “Habit Testing.” It is a process inspired by the build-measure-learn methodology championed by the lean startup movement. Habit Testing offers insights and actionable data to inform the design of habit-forming products. It helps clarify who your devotees are, what parts of your product are habit-forming (if any), and why those aspects of your product are changing user behavior. Habit Testing does not always require a live product; however, it can be difficult to draw clear conclusions without a comprehensive view of how people are using your system.


pages: 209 words: 63,649

The Purpose Economy: How Your Desire for Impact, Personal Growth and Community Is Changing the World by Aaron Hurst

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, Airbnb, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, big-box store, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, Elon Musk, Firefox, glass ceiling, greed is good, housing crisis, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, means of production, new economy, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, Ray Oldenburg, remote working, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, underbanked, women in the workforce, young professional, Zipcar

As current and future leaders, we have the opportunity to improve the lives of billions of people. The Purpose Economy 2.0 In the early spring of 2013, I sat down and drafted The Purpose Economy. I shared my insights and stories from the front lines to help inspire and enable everyone to embrace, build, and own the new economy. The book was set to be published in September of the same year, but after a 15-minute conversation with Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup, we switched gears and decided to treat the manuscript as a beta version and not as the finished book. We printed 2,000 copies and sent them to pioneers and thought leaders in the new economy. We asked them to contribute their ideas and observations about the Purpose Economy, the book, and the concept. We asked them to share their Post-it notes. I wrote the book you are now reading, but in many ways it was co-authored by the numerous people who shared their stories and ideas.


pages: 238 words: 73,824

Makers by Chris Anderson

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, Airbnb, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, business process, crowdsourcing, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, death of newspapers, dematerialisation, Elon Musk, factory automation, Firefox, future of work, global supply chain, global village, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Menlo Park, Network effects, profit maximization, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Coase, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, slashdot, South of Market, San Francisco, spinning jenny, Startup school, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize, Y Combinator

Somebody else runs these factories; we just access them when we need them, much as we can access the huge server farms of Google or Apple to store our photos or process our e-mail. The academic way to put this is that global supply chains have become “scale-free,” able to serve the small as well as the large, the garage inventor and Samsung. The non-academic way to say it is this: nothing is stopping you from making anything. The people now control the means of production. Or, as The Lean Startup author Eric Reis puts it, Marx got it wrong: “It’s not about ownership of the means of production, anymore. It’s about rentership of the means of production.” Such open supply chains are the mirror of Web publishing and e-commerce a decade ago. The Web, from Amazon to eBay, revealed a Long Tail of demand for niche physical goods; now the democratized tools of production are enabling a Long Tail of supply, too.


pages: 278 words: 70,416

Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success by Shane Snow

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, attribution theory, augmented reality, barriers to entry, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, deliberate practice, Elon Musk, Fellow of the Royal Society, Filter Bubble, Google X / Alphabet X, hive mind, index card, index fund, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, popular electronics, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs

SOME OF THE IDEAS in this book are subversive. I’m not being contrarian for the sake of it; I’m hoping to spark lateral thinking when it comes to success, indeed to show that lateral thinking is how the most successful people have always made it. In the following chapters, I’ll explain why kids shouldn’t be taught multiplication tables, where the fashionable “fail fast and fail often” mantra of the Lean Startup movement breaks down, and how momentum—not experience—is the single biggest predictor of business and personal success. I’ll debunk our common myths about mentorship and paying dues. And I’ll show why, paradoxically, it’s easier to build a huge business than a small one. Good fortune and talent are both ingredients of success, but like any recipe, they can be substituted with clever alternatives.


pages: 361 words: 76,849

The Year Without Pants: Wordpress.com and the Future of Work by Scott Berkun

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

barriers to entry, blue-collar work, Broken windows theory, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, future of work, Google Hangouts, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Lean Startup, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, remote working, Results Only Work Environment, Richard Stallman, Seaside, Florida, side project, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the map is not the territory, Tony Hsieh, trade route

—Chris Guillebeau, author, New York Times bestseller The $100 Startup “You'll be surprised, shocked, delighted, thrilled, and inspired by how WordPress.com gets work done. I was!” —Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president, Microsoft “Most talk of the future of work is just speculation, but Berkun has actually worked there. The Year Without Pants is a brilliant, honest, and funny insider's story of life at a great company.” —Eric Ries, author, New York Times bestseller The Lean Startup “WordPress.com has discovered a better way to work, and The Year Without Pants allows the reader to learn from the organization's fun and entertaining story.” —Tony Hsieh, author, New York Times bestseller Delivering Happiness, and CEO, Zappos.com, Inc. “The Year Without Pants is a highly unusual business book, full of ideas and lessons for a business of any size, but a truly insightful and entertaining read as well.


pages: 294 words: 82,438

Simple Rules: How to Thrive in a Complex World by Donald Sull, Kathleen M. Eisenhardt

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, Basel III, Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, Checklist Manifesto, complexity theory, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversification, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, haute cuisine, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nate Silver, Network effects, obamacare, Paul Graham, performance metric, price anchoring, RAND corporation, risk/return, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Startup school, statistical model, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, transportation-network company, two-sided market, Wall-E, web application, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Annie Case diligently researched simple rules for crowdfunding at Indiegogo and Kickstarter, while Lauryn Isford and Florence Koskas clarified how simple rules work in shared-economy companies. Luke Pappas provided revealing baseball insights. Although their material did not make the final version of the book, Kathy appreciates the terrific efforts of Andrea Sy on Wikipedia and Michael Heinrich on the Lean Startup. Their work will shine somewhere—soon. Finally, successive cohorts of master’s students in Kathy’s course, Strategy in Technology-based Companies (MS&E 270), challenged and immeasurably sharpened the conceptual foundation of simple rules. For Kathy, the book could not have happened without the help of family members, friends, and colleagues. She appreciates the insights of Jim Colton (golf), Bob Eberhart (poker), Ruth Satterthwaite and Lois Lin (music), Athene Eisenhardt (gardening and firefighting), and Eric Eisenhardt (fish and killer whales).


pages: 270 words: 79,180

The Middleman Economy: How Brokers, Agents, Dealers, and Everyday Matchmakers Create Value and Profit by Marina Krakovsky

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Al Roth, Black Swan, buy low sell high, Credit Default Swap, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, experimental economics, George Akerlof, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, income inequality, index fund, Jean Tirole, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market microstructure, Martin Wolf, McMansion, Menlo Park, moral hazard, multi-sided market, Network effects, patent troll, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, pez dispenser, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, social graph, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Market for Lemons, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, two-sided market, Uber for X, ultimatum game, Y Combinator

His stake in the company is now valued at tens of millions of dollars; perhaps most important, his association with Dropbox also burnished Nozad’s name as someone whom investors and entrepreneurs should take seriously, enabling him to go from angel investor to founding partner in his own VC firm, Pejman Mar Ventures, thus formalizing his middleman role between young entrepreneurs and people with funds to invest. Pejman Mar Ventures is currently housed in an airy loft in downtown Palo Alto, just a few blocks from the Medallion Rug Gallery, where Nozad began building his network. The decor inside—spare, hip, and modern, with no Persian rug in sight—perfectly matches the youthful “lean start-up” set to which the firm caters. In some ways, of course, Pejman Mar is just like any venture capital firm, pooling money from investors, called limited partners, and divvying it up among the start-up companies in its portfolio. When a portfolio company does well, going public or getting acquired for a large sum, the venture firm and its LPs share in the profits. If a start-up flops—as even the most promising ones often do—everybody loses his or her share of the investment.


pages: 353 words: 104,146

European Founders at Work by Pedro Gairifo Santos

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

business intelligence, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, fear of failure, full text search, information retrieval, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, natural language processing, pattern recognition, pre–internet, recommendation engine, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, subscription business, technology bubble, web application, Y Combinator

Hinrichs: Absolutely, but it has changed for more than one reason. I think the mentality changed a bit in Europe. More people do like creating their own company. We have now eight, nine years of good funding opportunities, probably more like eight. We're going to see [if] the financial crisis we have currently has an impact on entrepreneurship or not, or on financing or not. Then it changed that you can actually start with a lean start-up. There is no need to buy big expensive hardware or software like databases. Everything that you need today is free or close to free. In the end, you only need the manpower. To get the best people, you have to attract them with more than money. I think starting, co-starting, or helping entrepreneur software developers to start their companies, I would say that this is really a challenging, new approach.


pages: 368 words: 96,825

Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dematerialisation, deskilling, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, Jono Bacon, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, Narrative Science, Netflix Prize, Network effects, Oculus Rift, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, performance metric, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, rolodex, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart grid, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, telepresence, telepresence robot, Turing test, urban renewal, web application, X Prize, Y Combinator

Today the shift from “I’ve got a neat idea” to “I run a billion-dollar company” is occurring faster than ever. This is possible, in part, because the structure of exponential organizations is very different. Rather than utilize armies of employees or large physical plants, twenty-first-century start-ups are smaller organizations focused on information technologies, dematerializing the once physical and creating new products and revenue streams in months, sometimes weeks. As a result, these lean start-ups are the small furry mammals competing with the large dinosaurs—meaning they’re one asteroid strike away from world dominance. Exponential technology is that asteroid. In times of dramatic change, the large and slow cannot compete with the small and nimble. But being small and nimble requires a whole lot more than just understanding the Six Ds of exponentials and their expanding scale of impact.


pages: 315 words: 85,791

Technical Blogging: Turn Your Expertise Into a Remarkable Online Presence by Antonio Cangiano

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Albert Einstein, anti-pattern, bitcoin, bounce rate, cloud computing, en.wikipedia.org, John Gruber, Lean Startup, Network effects, revision control, search engine result page, slashdot, software as a service, web application

Getting Political About Blogging Some technical bloggers take a political approach to their blogging. They blog because they feel so strongly about their ideas that they want to convince others to believe in the same principles, with the ultimate goal of improving the field they work in. Steve Yegge is one example of such a blogger (http://steve-yegge.blogspot.com). You’ll find other examples if you search for blogs dedicated to methodologies, such as Agile development or Lean startups. Communication and well-defined ideas are at the heart of most professions. So if you are a programmer, blogging really stands to make you a better programmer. If you are a CEO, blogging can make you a better businessperson. Focus your writing on what you want to improve upon and not just on what you know best. Finally, blogging can be a useful way to remember things you learned but have since forgotten, help you look up snippets of code from the past, and/or share technical information with a small group of friends or colleagues. 12.2 Advance Your Career Blogging can advance your career in multiple ways.


pages: 397 words: 102,910

The Idealist: Aaron Swartz and the Rise of Free Culture on the Internet by Justin Peters

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

4chan, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Brewster Kahle, buy low sell high, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, don't be evil, global village, Hacker Ethic, hypertext link, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Lean Startup, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, profit motive, RAND corporation, Republic of Letters, Richard Stallman, semantic web, Silicon Valley, social web, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

91 You mess with the bull, you get the horns. 9 THE WEB IS YOURS At the beginning of every year, Aaron Swartz would post to his blog an annotated list of the books he had read over the previous twelve months.1 His list for 2011 included seventy books, twelve of which he identified as “so great my heart leaps at the chance to tell you about them even now.”2 The list illustrated the depth and breadth of Swartz’s interests. There was CODE: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software, by Charles Petzold (“I never really felt like I understood the computer until I read this book”); The Lean Startup, by Eric Ries (“Read it with an open mind and let it challenge you, so you can start to understand how transformative it really is”); The Pale King, an unfinished posthumous novel by David Foster Wallace, Swartz’s favorite fiction writer (“Probably less unfinished than it feels”). The list also included Franz Kafka’s The Trial, about a man caught in the cogs of a vast judicial bureaucracy, facing charges and a system that defied logical explanation.


pages: 377 words: 110,427

The Boy Who Could Change the World: The Writings of Aaron Swartz by Aaron Swartz, Lawrence Lessig

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

affirmative action, Alfred Russel Wallace, Benjamin Mako Hill, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brewster Kahle, Cass Sunstein, deliberate practice, Donald Trump, failed state, fear of failure, Firefox, full employment, Howard Zinn, index card, invisible hand, John Gruber, Lean Startup, More Guns, Less Crime, post scarcity, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, semantic web, single-payer health, SpamAssassin, SPARQL, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, Toyota Production System, unbiased observer, wage slave, Washington Consensus, web application, WikiLeaks, working poor

Rick Perry and his Eggheads by Sasha Issenberg Sasha Issenberg is a miracle worker. This book (really an excerpt from his forthcoming book) is so very, very good that it just blows me away. Issenberg tells the tale of everything I’ve been trying to say to everyone in politics, but he does it in a real-life three-act morality play that’s so good it could be a model on how to tell a story. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries Ries presents a translation of the Toyota Production System to start-ups—and it’s so clearly the right way to run a start-up that it’s hard to imagine how we got along before it. Unfortunately, the book has become so trendy that I find many people claiming to swear allegiance to it who clearly missed the point entirely. Read it with an open mind and let it challenge you, so you can start to understand how transformative it really is.


pages: 284 words: 92,688

Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Dan Lyons

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Airbnb, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, call centre, cleantech, cloud computing, corporate governance, dumpster diving, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, Golden Gate Park, Google Glasses, Googley, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, pre–internet, quantitative easing, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, telemarketer, tulip mania, Y Combinator, éminence grise

The Netscape IPO set off the dotcom frenzy. In Silicon Valley it was as if someone had flipped a switch. Suddenly there was a new business model: Grow fast, lose money, go public. That model persists today. It’s a simple racket. Venture capitalists pump millions of dollars into a company. The company spends some of that money coding up a “minimum viable product,” or MVP, a term coined by Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup, which has become a bible for new tech companies, and then pumps enormous sums into acquiring customers—by hiring sales reps, marketers, and public relations people who can get publicity, put on flashy conferences, and generate hype—brand and buzz, as HubSpot calls it. The losses pile up, but the revenue number rises. Basically the company is buying one-dollar bills and selling them for seventy-five cents, but it doesn’t matter, because mom-and-pop investors are only looking at the revenue growth rate.


pages: 330 words: 91,805

Peers Inc: How People and Platforms Are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism by Robin Chase

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business climate, call centre, car-free, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, decarbonisation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, frictionless, Gini coefficient, hive mind, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, openstreetmap, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Zipcar

Breaking the disheartening news to investors over several months and crafting the final email were hard and unpleasant tasks. In the ensuing five years, I’ve felt validated. Despite dozens of earnest ridesharing start-up attempts in the United States, none have succeeded (although I believe in time, demand will come around in the United States). The moral? If there isn’t demand for what you are creating, nothing I have to say in this chapter will help. Steve Blank, a serial entrepreneur who began the Lean Startup movement, captured our experience succinctly in a blog post titled “No Plan Survives First Contact with Customers.”3 GoLoco’s stumbling effort, with its back-and-forth interplay between founder vision and real-world experience, accurately depicts the importance of the “kernel,” the first phase of experimentation. The Linux software information page provides a definition: “The kernel is a program that constitutes the central core of a computer operating system.


pages: 441 words: 136,954

That Used to Be Us by Thomas L. Friedman, Michael Mandelbaum

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Andy Kessler, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, centre right, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, energy security, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, full employment, Google Earth, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, job automation, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, Lean Startup, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, obamacare, oil shock, pension reform, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, University of East Anglia, WikiLeaks

Burkhardt, Perez, and Sharma were joined by Bevil Hogg (a South African and a founder of the Trek Bicycle Corporation), who became the CEO, to raise the initial funds to develop the technology. Two Israelis, Shai Policker, a medical engineer, and Dr. Edy Soffer, a prominent gastroenterologist, joined a Seattle-based engineering team (led by an Australian) to help with the design. A company in Uruguay specializing in pacemakers built the prototype. This is the latest in venture investing: a lean start-up whose principals are rarely in the same place at the same time and which takes advantage of all the tools of the connected world—teleconferencing, e-mail, the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, and faxes—to make use of the best expertise and low-cost, high-quality manufacturing. We’ve described cloud computing. This is cloud manufacturing. The early clinical trials for EndoStim were conducted in India and Chile and are now being expanded into Europe.


pages: 401 words: 119,488

Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Air France Flight 447, Asperger Syndrome, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, framing effect, hiring and firing, index card, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, statistical model, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, theory of mind, Toyota Production System, Yom Kippur War

rolled out Sentinel In response to a fact-checking email, a spokeswoman for the FBI detailed Sentinel this way: “Sentinel is a tool that manages records; it documents case activities and investigations, the information we own and produce. Sentinel provides a piece of the puzzle. It documents the FBI’s work products and is used in conjunction with information we collect or access through other partnerships in order to further data.” “agile programming” The words “lean” and “agile” have come to mean different things in different settings. There is, for example, lean product development, lean start-ups, agile management, and agile construction. Some of these definitions or methodologies are very specific. In this chapter, I generally use the phrases in their most global sense. However, for more detailed explanations of the various implementations of these philosophies, I recommend Rachna Shah and Peter T. Ward, “Lean Manufacturing: Context, Practice Bundles, and Performance,” Journal of Operations Management 21, no. 2 (2003): 129–49; Jeffrey K.


pages: 515 words: 126,820

Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World by Don Tapscott, Alex Tapscott

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Airbnb, altcoin, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, failed state, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Google bus, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, informal economy, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, microcredit, mobile money, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price mechanism, Productivity paradox, quantitative easing, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, renewable energy credits, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, seigniorage, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, social graph, social software, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, unorthodox policies, X Prize, Y2K, Zipcar

Opportunities for greater efficiency, improved service, reduced costs, increased safety, and better results abound in our lives, and we can improve each by applying blockchain logic to the Internet of Things. We’re beginning the next major phase of the digital revolution. Michelle Tinsley of Intel explained why her company is deeply investigating the blockchain revolution: “When PCs became pervasive, the productivity rates went through the roof. We connected those PCs to a server, a data center, or the cloud, making it really cheap and easy for lean start-ups to get computer power at their fingertips, and we’re again seeing rapid innovation, new business models.”18 Intel wants to accelerate the process of understanding what’s working, what’s not working, and where the opportunities lie. “We could see this technology be a whole other step function of innovation, where it enables all sorts of new companies, new players. To be a leader in the technology industry, we cannot be absent from the conversation,” she said.19 Just imagine the potential of applying these capabilities across many types of businesses, many untouched by the Internet revolution.


pages: 677 words: 206,548

Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It by Marc Goodman

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, data is the new oil, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, don't be evil, double helix, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, future of work, game design, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, High speed trading, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, illegal immigration, impulse control, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, license plate recognition, litecoin, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, national security letter, natural language processing, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, security theater, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, uranium enrichment, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Wave and Pay, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, zero day

Experts estimate that the ratio of stolen account credentials to available mules could be as high as ten thousand to one. In other words, with sufficient mule and HR capacity, losses attributable to cyber crime could be ten thousand times worse. The Lean (Criminal) Start-Up The structure of Crime, Inc., like that of any modern techno-centric organization, is not fixed in time and space but rather constantly in flux. In his book The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses, Eric Ries outlines methods by which budding entrepreneurs can create new products “under conditions of extreme uncertainty.” For criminals, uncertainty is where they excel, never knowing when the next police raid or rival gang drive-by shooting will take place. Outlaws are constantly adapting and innovating to overcome obstacles and meet the latest market demands.