Tools For Lean Startup Wizards


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Using the Six Abilities Framework to answer: What tools work best in a Lean Startup?

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Tools For Lean Startup Wizards

  1. 1. Based on Presentation to Cambridge Startup Masterclass December 2011 Tools for Startup Wizards Paul Walsh CogniDox
  2. 2. What I intend to cover:• Introduction to The Lean Startup• Lists of Tools – why lists don’t really work• The Six Abilities Framework• Stay Lean using Tools & the Framework
  3. 3. A Quick OverviewTHE LEAN STARTUP
  4. 4. The Lean Startup• Your time / life is precious, dont waste it on stuff nobody wants• Test and correct assumptions as early as possible• MVP - Minimum Viable Product• Continuous deployment is good• Always Be Measuring• The Lean Startup is a company built to learn• Customer development rather than product development
  5. 5. Not Lean as in “Frugal”• Lean Startup ideas go back a long way (Lean Manufacturing, Kanban, etc.) and are not a response to “lean times” of current economy• Where Philosophy of Science meets Business School thinking: – Scientific method: experimentation, empirical data, hypothesis-testing, falsification
  6. 6. Not just for Startups• Lean applies to any Product Management enterprise• Key requirement - “designed experiment” must be a viable concept for your market• Hypothesis testing is about customer, user, buyer, pricing model, channels… and product
  7. 7. Minimum Viable Product (MVP)• Eric Ries: “that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.”• Neither Minimal nor Viable but Minimum Viable
  8. 8. MVP revisions & limitations• Awkward if your MVP needs a network effect or community to be useful – product-doesnt-work.html (Seth Godin)• Should it be Minimum Marketable Product? – minimal-marketable-product/ (Roman Pichler)• Should it be Maximally Buyable Product? – Maximally-Buyable-Product.aspx (Dharmesh Shah)• Do align your MVP cycles with risk of losing key customers, especially in B2B markets• How well does MVP fit non Web / Mobile App markets such as Medical Devices, FMCG, etc?
  9. 9. Tools and the Lean Startup• Tools help testing rapid iterative cycles of high-fidelity customer experiences• Good tools: – accelerate Customer Development – help you gather actionable data – don’t need to cost big $$$• Tools are not a substitute for thinking; nor are they a substitute for expertise• Sometimes a pencil is the best tool
  10. 10. Why they don’t fully workLISTS OF TOOLS
  11. 11. History • 2 years ago one of the Songkick founders started a Wiki • Tools validated by other startups • We contributed our opinions on tools we used & found useful • List has grown longer since and spawned other lists
  12. 12. Tool Lists• Startup Tools – – No framework + some very specialised tools = can make it hard to search/find• Seedcamp list for business tools – – Is a little heavy on business philosophy and tips, light on recurring business tasks• Lean Startup Wiki – – Good place to discuss Lean Startup concepts, but only tools are Business Model Canvas (explained later)
  13. 13. Lots of advice out there!
  14. 14. It needs a Framework• No single template, but a good-enough step- by-step plan is better than no plan• Setting up a team is harder than handing out the job titles• It’s not good enough to say that everybody in a Startup needs to do everything
  15. 15. Roles not Job Titles"I’m creating a Startup and I need to know how tosplit up the various roles and responsibilities ofthe founders. There are three of us plus a smalldevelopment team."• So they call themselves CEO, CTO, CFO, COO…• Job is NOT done, no real progress made• Focus should be on Roles as things that need to be done, not job titles
  16. 16. Role confusion…“In a Startup, everybody does everything”• … if they can – Not everyone has the same skills – Important to take roles suited to individual – Important not to leave roles un-filled – Important not to have the wrong roles filled – Do things in the right temporal order“This needs a Framework”
  17. 17. What do Startups need?THE SIX ABILITIES FRAMEWORK
  18. 18. The #1 Startup Question: “What should I be doing now?”
  19. 19. Look at the things Startups do Built with:
  20. 20. Choose an apt metaphor• There are lots of metaphors for Startups• Rock stars – too “bratty” for me• Gurus – how impractical is that?• Wizards – works for me – Specialised – Skilled – Practical – Team Players – Magical
  21. 21. WoW as metaphor for Startup • Embark on Epic Quests • Recruit a Guild • Form Powerful Alliances • Engage an ever-changing World • Explore Environments • Different Classes / Abilities • Customise your talents to create a unique Hero (c) Blizzard Entertainment …sounds like a Startup to me
  22. 22. Inspired by De Bono’s Hats “Just give me the facts” “Got a feeling about this” “What can go wrong?” “What can we gain?” “Look at it another way” “Think of it like this”• No thinking style is best; a time when each works
  23. 23. Six Startup Abilities Six Abilities Framework
  24. 24. Startup Wizards
  25. 25. Forming Abilities• Making New Things – Ideas for improvement or cost reduction – Teams – Networks of investors, contacts, advisors – Business models – Concepts – Culture• Research
  26. 26. Forming & the Lean Startup• Invent a succession of short customer pitches. For each pitch, do a Business Model Canvas• Build your MVP plan – treat it like a Product Backlog, look at Agile PM tools to assist• How do you research your competition? – Research is the precursor to Experiment – look at company and market data using tools
  27. 27. Example Forming Tools Startup Canvas Level Business
  28. 28. Startup Wizards
  29. 29. Transforming Abilities• Alchemy side of a Startup – turning the ideas into something tangible• “Software is the nearest thing to magic that weve yet invented” (John Naughton, 2011)
  30. 30. Transforming & the Lean Startup• Build User and Buyer Persona(s) and devise a strategy for UX testing• Development teams: choose tools to support Agile, Scrum or Kanban process• Create a development process around Continuous Integration (CI) and Automated Testing tools• What does Continuous Deployment mean for your product / market? Implement the answer
  31. 31. Example Transforming Tools Agile Zen Selenium Jenkins
  32. 32. Startup Wizards
  33. 33. Projecting Abilities• Promotion? All about Broadcast now• Thought leadership, content is king, etc• Gimmicks, stunts, and other diversions• Blogs & NoFollow links• Killer Website• Campfire Stories• Tight Verticals / Niche• Lateral Thoughts – Stack Overflow
  34. 34. Projecting & the Lean Startup• Build your Lean Marketing Plan – it should contain a market launch plan• Are you SEO-ready to collect and analyse metrics?• Plan ahead by preparing some marketing content• Streamline the content publishing process without losing QA• Be media-savvy to the extent necessary – you are not a mega-Corporation needing spin
  35. 35. Example Projecting Tools Open Site Explorer Hubspot Website Grader Screenr
  36. 36. Startup Wizards
  37. 37. Persuading Abilities• Projection gathers the audience, now you must persuade them• Keeping track is harder than it sounds• Building a sales pipeline model• Suspects or Prospects?• Answering questions• Opportunities• Conversations
  38. 38. Persuading & the Lean Startup• Keep track of everything customer-related• Refine Buyer Persona(s) when necessary• Plan a Conversion Rate Optimization process and test it• Decide your Technical Support methodology• How much of a Knowledge Base can you build as early as possible?• Integrate user voice tools into your testing
  39. 39. Example Persuading Tools SugarCRM
  40. 40. Startup Wizards
  41. 41. Collecting Abilities• Cash flow management and Lean Burn• Nothing can help you get paid on time • Reduce friction points in the sales cycle• Sure Revenue and a sensitivity analysis• Avoiding late payment penalties
  42. 42. Collecting & the Lean Startup• Business Model must co- exist with Business Plan• MVP your Revenue profit engine• Maybe two chasms to cross: Getting Users Vs Getting Customers• Free/Premium pricing seems to cause more fallout than any other topic
  43. 43. Example Collecting Tools KashFlow Xero HMRC Basic PAYE
  44. 44. Startup Wizards
  45. 45. Protecting Abilities• “Be your own Lawyer” – Discuss• Software Patents (are Evil)• How will your IPR defend your revenue growth?• Grab that domain name, protect that Trademark• Avoid Dark Patterns• Security nightmares• E-commerce• Data protection
  46. 46. Protecting & the Lean Startup• Lean is all about adding customer value but you must operate within a protected and legal framework: • Domain, Trademark, Copyright, EULA, ToS• If you want to start a fight with your user base, study and use Dark Patterns  •
  47. 47. Example Protecting Tools WordPress Boliven
  48. 48. A resource for Lean StartupsTOOLS & THE FRAMEWORK
  49. 49. A Startup Toolkit Resource CLICK HERE
  50. 50. The Startup Tools Mind Map
  51. 51. Links to over 230 Tools
  52. 52. How to use the Mind Map Hold down mouse to drag imageClick on a title to expand / contract Built with: Click on a link to open tool website
  53. 53. Contacts Cognidox Limited St. Johns Innovation Centre Cowley Road Cambridge CB4 0WS United Kingdom