“A startup is a human institution designed to deliver a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty.”
All entrepreneurs face the same fundamental challenges:
But because every startup also strives to become an institution, answering these questions requires more than just disciplined thinking at the whiteboard. It requires the coordination of many different people, working in concert to answer them. In other words, it requires management.
Are We Making Progress?
New product introductions are hard, scary, and-all too often-total failures. Entrepreneurs, in companies of all sizes, struggle to figure out if they’re making progress. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Inspired by the lean manufacturing revolution, the Lean Startup movement is answering a first fundamental question: in a startup, what activities are value-creating and which are waste? Usually, new projects are measured and held accountable to milestones and deadlines. When a project is on track, on time, and on budget, our intuition is that it is being well managed. This intuition is dead wrong.
Most startups fail because they’re building something that nobody wants. Enamored with a new technology or a radical new product, many entrepreneurs never find a set of customers who will buy it. Each new feature added to such a product is actually wasted effort, even if it’s done on-time and on-budget. In a product that nobody wants, all the features get thrown away.
Entrepreneurship is not just for two guys in a garage anymore. The Lean Startup movement is redefining entrepreneurship for companies of all sizes.
The Lean Startup Intensive
This event brings together the leading thinkers and practitioners of the Lean Startup movement. The goal is to provide a complete introduction to the theory as well as a grounding in advanced techniques that you can put to immediate use.
We will cover:
Lean Startup Meets Lean Analytics
The same day, analytics experts Sean Power and Alistair Croll will be presenting their Applied Communilytics Intensive. At the end of the day, we’ll bring the two sessions together for a joint presentation, where we’ll explain how both our methodologies work together to better help you better understand your business, your product and its users.
Who should attend?
This program is designed for people who have a stake in creating great products: engineers, designers, product managers, marketers and businesspeople—from companies of any size. And, of course, for present or future entrepreneurs who are hoping to do more than punch a lottery ticket.
Eric Ries is an entrepreneur and author of the New York Times bestseller “The Lean Startup” and the popular entrepreneurship blog Startup Lessons Learned.
He co-founded and served as CTO of IMVU, his third startup. In 2007, BusinessWeek named him one of the Best Young Entrepreneurs of Tech. In 2009, he was honored with a TechFellow award in the category of Engineering Leadership. He serves on the advisory board of a number of technology startups, and has consulted to new and established companies as well as venture capital firms. He is currently serving as an entrepreneur-in-residence at Harvard Business School and a Fellow for IDEO, the design consulting firm.
His Lean Startup methodology has been written about in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Harvard Business Review, the Huffington Post, and many blogs. He lives in San Francisco.
Put to a vote I might have been chosen “least likely to succeed” in my New York City high school class. My path has taken me from repairing fighter planes during the Vietnam War in Thailand, to spook stuff in undisclosed location(s), and I was lucky enough to arrive at the beginning of the boom times of Silicon Valley in 1978.
After 21 years in 8 high technology companies I retired in 1999. My last company, E.piphany, started in my living room in 1996. My other startups include two semiconductor companies (Zilog and MIPS Computers), a workstation company (Convergent Technologies), a consulting stint for a graphics hardware/software spinout (Pixar), a supercomputer firm (Ardent), a computer peripheral supplier (SuperMac), a military intelligence systems supplier (ESL) and a video game company (Rocket Science Games).
Total score: two large craters (Rocket Science and Ardent), one dot.com bubble home run (E.piphany) and several base hits.
After I retired, I took some time to reflect on my experience and wrote a book (actually my class text) about building early stage companies: Four Steps to the Epiphany.
I moved from being an entrepreneur to teaching entrepreneurship to both undergraduate and graduate students at U.C. Berkeley, Stanford University and the Columbia University/Berkeley Joint Executive MBA program. The “Customer Development” model that I developed in my book is one of the core themes for these classes. In 2009 I was awarded the Stanford University Undergraduate Teaching Award in the Department of Management Science and Engineering. The same year the San Jose Mercury News listed me as one of the 10 Influencers in Silicon Valley.
I also followed my curiosity about why entrepreneurship blossomed in Silicon Valley and was stillborn elsewhere. It has led to several talks on The Secret History of Silicon Valley.
In 2007 Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed me to serve on the California Coastal Commission, the public body which regulates land use and public access on the California coast.
I am on the board of Audubon California (and its past chair) and spent several years on the Audubon National Board. I’m also a board member of Peninsula Open Space land Trust (POST). In 2009 I became a trustee of U.C. Santa Cruz and joined the board of the California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV).
Matt Brezina is the founder of Xobni, an email software startup based in San Francisco. Matt is interested in metrics driven user acquisition, monetization, and customer development. Matt has served as the entrepreneur in residence at Penn State University and is an angel investor and advisor to several startups.
Based in Palo Alto, California, Jean-Francois “Jeff” Clavier is the Founder and Managing Partner of SoftTech VC, one of the most active seed stage investors in Web 2.0 startups. Since 2004, Jeff has invested in more than 70 consumer Internet companies in areas like social media, communities, search, gaming or consumer infrastructure, almost exclusively in Silicon Valley. With over 20 years of operational, entrepreneurial and venture capital experience, Jeff is able to add relevant perspective and value to his companies as they grow from inception to maturity, and hopefully, success.
In 2007, Jeff was recognized as one of the 13 Web 2.0 King Makers by (late) Business 2.0, and in 2008, BusinessWeek named him one of The 25 Most Influential People on the Web. He is often noted for his investments in categories such as “passion-centric communities” or online gaming, or for having sold five of his Web 2.0 startups to the likes of Yahoo, AOL or Hearst Interactive.
In September 2007, Jeff announced the formation of SoftTech VC II, L.P. – a $12M seed fund backed by a mix of institutional and private investors that will invest in 40 to 50 consumer Internet companies over 3 years. During its first year of activity, he fund has closed 20+ investments, most of them still operating in stealth/pre-launch mode.
A popular speaker and moderator, Jeff appears at dozens of industry events per year. Ranging from local Silicon Valley keynotes or panel discussions to international conferences, he shares his passion for building Internet startups, angel and VC investing, innovation and entrepreneurship. Jeff has produced a number of technology conferences and is a founding co-chair of the SDForum Search Special Interest Group.
Believing that you have to practice what you invest in, and vice-versa, Jeff started Software Only in 2004, one of the early venture capital blogs where he primarily covered social media, search, online communities and investing. After a few years of active posting, Jeff switched to micro-blogging, and a less time consuming production, mostly using @jeff on Twitter.
Prior to founding SoftTech VC, Jeff spent more than 16 years in the enterprise software world as an entrepreneur, senior executive and venture capitalist. Throughout his career, he was exposed to global markets leading development teams in Europe and on Wall Street, designing products sold internationally and investing in software infrastructure startups across the U.S. and Europe.
In 2000, Jeff became President of RVC Capital, the firm managing the Reuters Greenhouse Fund with $600M invested in 82 companies, including Yahoo!, Verisign, Phone.com and Infoseek. He joined the venture arm of Reuters from the company’s product development division, where he was leading a 250+ staff in Paris, London and New York, and was responsible for the Risk Management and Desktop products. Jeff joined Reuters through the acquisition of Effix Systems, a Paris-based startup company he helped develop in 1989 while still in school.
Jeff was born, raised and educated in France, earning a MS in Computer Science and a research degree in Distributed Computing. He has been happily living in Silicon Valley since 2000 with his wife Bernadette and their two children. When he is not busy working, Jeff likes to spend time with his family and friends, cook, collect wine and wander around Outland on his hunter. He also skies, hikes, dives and plays golf so poorly it is not even funny.
Sean Ellis led marketing from launch through NASDAQ IPO filings at both LogMeIn and Uproar and later helped bring Xobni (Khosla Ventures, First Round Capital) to market as Interim VP Marketing.
He is now founder and principal at 12in6 Inc., a firm that has helped startups such as Dropbox (Sequoia), Eventbrite (Sequoia) and Lookout (Khosla Ventures) transition to high growth companies.
12in6’s low burn, metrics driven approach uncovers a startup’s unique user perceived value, surfaces it in optimized messaging/flows and builds growth and monetization strategies around this core value.
Josh has been an active entrepreneur and investor in the Internet industry since its commercialization. He currently is Managing Partner of First Round Capital, a seed-stage venture fund focused on technology investments.
In 1992, while he was a student at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Josh co-founded Infonautics Corporation – an Internet information company. In 1996, Infonautics went public on the NASDAQ stock exchange.
Josh founded Half.com in July of 1999, and led it to become one of the largest sellers of used books, movies and music in the world. Half.com was acquired by eBay in July 2000—and Josh remained with eBay for three years, running the Half.com business unit and growing eBay’s Media marketplace to almost half a billion dollars in annual gross merchandise sales.
In late 2003 Josh helped to found TurnTide, an anti-spam company that created the world’s first anti-spam router. TurnTide was acquired by Symantec just six months later.
Josh is an inventor on five U.S. Patents for his work in Internet technology. In June 2000, he was awarded Ernst and Young’s prestigious “Entrepreneur of the Year” award for the Greater Philadelphia region. Josh has also been recognized as one of the “10 Most Influential People in Philadelphia Technology” by the Philadelphia Inquirer, one of the “76 Smartest Philadelphians” by Philadelphia Magazine and as one of forty individuals under the age of forty who have made the biggest impact on the Philadelphia region by the Philadelphia Business Journal.
Josh is often quoted in industry trade journals and national newspapers, has appeared on numerous national television shows, and is a frequent speaker at industry-wide conferences on entrepreneurship, Internet marketing and the future of Internet services.
In 2001 Josh and his wife created the Kopelman Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on angel philanthropy to provide “start-up” grants to social entrepreneurs. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Main Line Health, suburban Philadelphia’s most comprehensive healthcare resource, operating four of the region’s most-respected hospitals. He also serves on as a member of the advisory boards for Wharton Entrepreneurial Center and the Weiss Tech House at the University of Pennsylvania.
Josh earned a Bachelor of Science degree cum laude in Entrepreneurial Management and Marketing from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Dan Martell is the co-founder of Flowtown, a social marketing platform for small businesses. An award-winning Canadian entrepreneur, at 25, Dan formed his first start-up, Spheric Technologies Inc., and watched it grow by an average of 152% per year before he sold the company 4 years later in mid-2008.
Now living in San Francisco, Martell spends the majority of his time looking at ways to build a bridge between Silicon Valley and his home province of New Brunswick, CA. As an informal angel investor, he is active in advising entrepreneurs using metric-based marketing tactics to gain market adoption.
Martell is passionately involved in facilitating micro-lending to entrepreneurs in developing countries through the non-profit, Kiva.org.
Dave McClure has been geeking out in Silicon Valley for almost twenty years as a software developer, entrepreneur, startup advisor, angel investor, blogger, & internet marketing nerd. He is an advisor or investor for Mint, Mashery, Simply Hired, TeachStreet, Oortle, CrazyEgg, SlideShare, Eventvue, RichRelevance, HealthUnity, & Canopy Financial.
Dave is the conference chair for Startonomics.com, and runs a monthly dinner series for entrepreneurs called Startup2Startup.com. He has been a guest lecturer at Stanford University for the nation’s first-ever course on building Facebook Apps. Dave is a board member for microfinance accelerator Unitus, advisor to microfinance lender Kiva.org, and a co-founder of the Silicon Valley Microfinance Network.
From 2005 to 2006, Dave launched and ran marketing for job search engine Simply Hired, and its evil twin Simply Fired. From 2001 to 2004, Dave worked at PayPal as Director of Marketing, where he founded and ran the PayPal Developer Network program. Prior to PayPal Dave was a database consultant and programmer for several companies including Microsoft and Intel. In 1994 he founded Aslan Computing, an internet and e-commerce firm later acquired by Servinet/Panurgy in 1998.
Before coming to Silicon Valley, Dave barely graduated from the Johns Hopkins University with a BS in Mathematical Sciences Engineering and a minor in frisbee, billiards, and foosball. His interests include microfinance and economic innovation, entrepreneurship and venture capital, ultimate frisbee, cartoons and animation, and an ever-growing collection of silly hats.
For more info see Dave’s blog: Master of 500 Hats
Ann Miura-Ko is a co-founding partner at FLOODGATE where her investment interests include the innovations in e-commerce, security, and big data.
In addition to serving at FLOODGATE, Ann is a lecturer in the School of Engineering at Stanford University, where she got her PhD focused on mathematical modeling of computer security. She teaches High Tech Entrepreneurship with Steve Blank and is a frequent lecturer in courses such as Technology Venture Formation, High-tech Entrepreneurship, and the Mayfield Fellows Program. Many of her students have gone on to secure Angel and VC funding for their ideas.
Prior to joining FLOODGATE and her stint at Stanford, Ann worked at Charles River Ventures and McKinsey and Company.
Ann grew up in Palo Alto, California and, as a result, was exposed at an early age to the world of startups, technology and venture capital. She developed an early passion for robotics and went on to major in electrical engineering at Yale University where she received her BS degree. For her senior project, she was part of a five person team that designed four robots to autonomously play soccer. That team placed fourth at the second annual Robocup competition held in Paris, France in 1998.
Hiten Shah is the founder of KISSmetrics, which uses data to help online businesses make better business decisions. A recognized authority on data-driven marketing and entrepreneurship, he founded marketing consultancy ACS and Crazy Egg, an analytics tool that visualizes users’ experience on a website. Now with KISSmetrics he is building a data driven solution for to help online businesses make better business decisions. Hiten advises a variety of startups, including iSocket,LaunchRock, Lolapps, Recurly,SlideShare, SocializedHR and Sponge.
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