Class 4: The Lean Startup


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Check out our slides from Class #4 of learned about Eric Ries and Steve Blank, as well as the Lean Startup methodology. Our guest this week was Alex Wheeler, a student-entrepreneur from Boston University.

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Class 4: The Lean Startup

  1. 1. Class #4 September 24, 2013 THE LEAN STARTUP How starting small has changed the world
  2. 2. Weekly Recap • Highs & Lows of the week? • Quick Icebreaker game - Eye Contact == Yell! • Bijan Sabet fireside chat recap
  3. 3. WHAT IS A “STARTUP?”
  4. 4. •Growth •BIG idea •Risk •Uncertainty •Innovative •Often untested •New market •Temporary What else?
  5. 5. So who cares? Well, these little startups add up: innovation, economic growth, job creation & more...
  6. 6. A Tale of Two Bridges Two old engineers were talking of their lives and boasting of their greatest projects. One of the engineers explained how he had designed the largest bridge ever made. "We built it across a river gorge," he told his friend. "It was wide and deep. We spent two years studying the land, and choosing designs. Then we hired the best people and designed the bridge, which took another five years. We contracted the largest engineering firms to build the structures, the towers, the tollbooths, and the roads that would connect the bridge to the main highways. Under the road level we had trains, and a special path for cyclists. That bridge represented years of my life." The second man reflected for a while, then spoke. "One evening me and a friend threw a rope across a gorge," he said. "Just a rope, tied to two trees. There were two villages, one at each side. At first, people pulled packages across that rope with a pulley and string. Then someone pulled across a second rope, and built a foot walk. It was dangerous, but the kids loved it. A group of men then rebuilt that, made it solid, and women started to cross, everyday, with their produce. A market grew up on one side of the bridge, and slowly that became a large town, since there was a lot of space for houses. The rope bridge got replaced with a wooden bridge, to allow horses and carts to cross. Then the town built a real stone bridge, with metal beams. Later, they replaced the stone part with steel, and today there's a suspension bridge standing in that same spot." The first engineer was silent. "Funny thing," he said, "my bridge was demolished not long after it was built. Turns out it was built in the wrong place and no-one wanted to use it. Some bastard had thrown a rope across the gorge, a few miles further downstream, and that's where everyone went."
  7. 7. Alex Wheeler Student-Entrepreneur Boston University
  8. 8. The Lean Startup Revolutionizing how business are built from the ground-up.
  9. 9. The infamous inverse approach to Lean Startups
  10. 10. AirBnB The ultimate lean approach?
  11. 11. To invest, or not to invest? Paul Graham & Fred Wilson
  12. 12. For next week. • Cold email an entrepreneur (we’ll help you out...for now) • How did he or she get involved? • What are they working on? • What’s their advice for becoming an entrepreneur? • Complete selected readings delivered via email • Write 1 pg. double-spaced reflection on Lean Startup • Next week: Field trip to Boundless (via Joey/T)