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Robert Fan - 2012 Lean Startup Conference
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Robert Fan - 2012 Lean Startup Conference

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  • i’m rob fan co-founder of sharethrough talk about sustaining disruption
  • been around for 4 years have experience some rapid growth both in headcount and revenue we have offices in nyc, chicago, LA and SF given our rapid growth, innovation is something that we constantly think about.
  • but first let’s example what sharethrough does. we work with viral videos created by fortune 500 brands. these videos tell some story. they are entertaining in value and in the end is content someone would choose to watch.
  • after we get these videos, we then place the video across our partnership of sites in natively integrated spots. this means that the video is placed within the content stream and is treated as content. the video fits with the sites design and user experience.
  • for our advertisers, we provide advanced analytics and insight for our publishers, we provide them with easy access to the cash that they’ve earned from us.
  • Product & Engineering already dedicated to supporting existing success. Need more resources or brutal prioritization.
  • Squeakiest wheel gets the oil.
  • Current prioritizes = $$’s. Experiments & MVP’s = ??’s. Apples to oranges comparison
  • however doing both disruptive innovation and sustaining innovation at the same time is really hard. there are business pressures pretty much pushing against disruptive innovation. not that anyone is actively saying don’t focus on disruptive innovation, but there as the business progresses there is clear trade off between certain $$ and uncertain strategic value clay christensen talks about your customer “holding you hostage” and while it isn’t nearly as drastic as that, it is really easy to just prioritize all the short-term revenue focused features over the ambiguous disruptive ideas
  • so rather than letting our disruptive innovations slow to potential grinding halt, we decided to do something about it. so here’s what we did..which hopefully if any of you are in a similar position can recreate.
  • Tipping point is when more time is spent learning how to execute than actually spent learning about the problem/solution. Being resource constrained is a good thing.
  • Avoid temptation to just use the customer archetypesRe-validate all your assumptionsGet out the door, don’t trust your existing marketing or tribal knowledge!
  • Keep expectations low, don’t promise to (immediately) revolutionize the business.
  • Don’t rely SOLELY on internal feedback.
  • Keep expectations low, don’t promise to (immediately) revolutionize the business.
  • Remember you are trying to build a usable product not just a hack.
  • Remember you are trying to build a usable product not just a hack.
  • Remember you are trying to build a usable product not just a hack.
  • Remember you are trying to build a usable product not just a hack.
  • Keeping Communication UpDifferent Stakeholders (investors who actually care)Sounds like a startup..in fact it is. Use Lean Startup Methodologies.
  • Avoid temptation to just use the customer archetypesRe-validate all your assumptionsGet out the door, don’t trust your existing marketing or tribal knowledge!
  • Engineering culture differences.Optimized for learning vs optimized for scale and uptime.

Robert Fan - 2012 Lean Startup Conference Presentation Transcript

  • 1. The Challenge ofSustaining DisruptiveInnovation When YouMeet Success
  • 2. So you get some success... 70 52 Headcount 28 8 63
  • 3. What is Sharethrough?
  • 4. What is Sharethrough?
  • 5. What is Sharethrough?
  • 6. Innovate or die *disruptive innovations not sustaining innovations
  • 7. It’s easier to innovate in asuccessful startup
  • 8. FA LSE!It’s easier to innovate in asuccessful startup
  • 9. Product & Engineering Resource Allocation
  • 10. Number of Internal Customers
  • 11. Certainty of Revenue
  • 12. Balancing success and disruptiveinnovation is especially hard fora startup
  • 13. Here’s what we did
  • 14. Step 1:Create the Right EnvironmentIdentify the right resources based ontheir ability to aid your learning (vsscale)
  • 15. Step 1:Create the Right EnvironmentIsolate and clear the schedule of yourresources
  • 16. Step 1:Create the Right EnvironmentDon’t promise to (immediately)revolutionize the business
  • 17. Step 2:Set Goals and BoundariesUse internal customer development todevelop initial hypotheses
  • 18. Step 2:Set Goals and BoundariesAim to build an MVP that solves a simplebusiness problem
  • 19. Step 2:Set Goals and BoundariesBuild a usable product not just a hack -don’t skimp on design
  • 20. Step 3:Milestones & Progress ChecksKeep the progress updates separatefrom the existing product workflow
  • 21. Step 3:Milestones & Progress ChecksUse regular (weekly) customer meetingsas release markers
  • 22. Step 3:Milestones & Progress ChecksRe-assess high-level assumptions andhypotheses every 3 months
  • 23. My Learnings
  • 24. Innovation is Hard
  • 25. Don’t fall into old habits!Re-do your customer development
  • 26. Don’t fall into old habits!Iterate differently
  • 27. When you “finish”, have atransition plan in place
  • 28. Be ready for disappointment andsome pivoting
  • 29. Thanks!Robert Fan@rfanrob@sharethrough.com