Test Your Way to the Right Answer

Brand-new startups begin with almost zero customer data–a risky position from which to build a new product. But when you have very little money, how can you acquire critical information quickly? Anita Newton advisor, investor, and marketer at Mighty Handle, reveals how her bootstrapped, non-technical startup did clever customer development online, and rapidly tested its way into the customer insights it needed to sell its consumer packaged goods to the largest retailer in the world.

Overcome Your Own Expertise

When you’re building a new product, your own domain expertise can–surprisingly–prevent you from recognizing your potential customers’ needs. Margo Wright, founder of Yenko, shares the customer-development approach she’s used to overcome the blinders of her expertise.

Getting Very Big by Being Very User Driven

When you’re tackling a hard problem, the solution rarely comes from what you do initially. Rather, it emerges from what you do continuously–provided you set up systems to learn as you go. Max Ventilla, founder at AltSchool, explains how his organization is staying very close to its customers as its key mechanism for scaling up a large network of independent schools.

Getting Closer To Your Customers In Startupland

When you’re moving fast to build and grow a new company or project, you’re bound to make mistakes as well as unexpected discoveries. Mikkel Svane, CEO & founder of Zendesk and author of Startupland, shares real stories from the front lines of starting Zendesk that explore how you stay in touch with the human side of customers and your business as you scale.

Look Past Biases to Measure the Right Metrics

In 2012, social-impact consultant Ellynita Lamin launched a recovery program in a war-torn, economically depressed area of Indonesia. Early in the project, she realized that her own biases were preventing her from measuring progress accurately. She explains the steps she took to truly understand the community’s needs and focus on the right metrics.

Lean Startup 101

If you’re new to Lean Startup, this lively introduction will help you get comfortable with the key terms and concepts. You’ll leave with a rich understanding to get the most out of the conference and, more important, to implement Lean Startup methods in your own organization.

The full-day session, run by Janice Fraser, author of The Lean Product Book and expert entrepreneurship trainer, will cover:

*Why Lean Startup methods exist
*When to use them
*The mechanics of learning from customers and testing ideas
*Terms like MVP, pivots, customer development, validated learning, product/market fit, innovation accounting and cross-functional teams

The day is packed hands-on activities to help you gain a deeper understanding of Lean Startup principles.

This session is relevant for people from all sectors and in all roles. It is equally useful for software engineers and non-technical businesspeople, as well as leaders from established companies and standalone startups.

Introducing Lean Startup in Your Corporation

Lean Startup is a proven method for invigorating and sustaining innovation in established companies. But understanding and introducing the practice can be a challenge. This full-day workshop focuses on Lean Startup principles in the enterprise and case studies from corporate entrepreneurs, plus it includes a real-world, hands-on exercise to help you truly learn and connect the ideas with your everyday work. Led by Brant Cooper, author of The Lean Entrepreneur: How Visionaries Create Products, Innovate with New Ventures, and Disrupt Markets, and including guest speakers from enterprise corporations, the session covers:

*Lean Startup principles for the enterprise
*Strategies for implementing these principles within your established organization
*Rapid experimentation tactics that you can apply to projects immediately
*Reducing risk by identifying a “minimum viable product”
*Key organizational systems and capabilities required for success in innovation

This session is highly relevant for executive leadership teams; innovation groups and incubators; product managers and product teams; and functional teams such as HR, Finance, etc.

Lean Impact

Join Lean Impact leader Leanne Pittsford for a full-day workshop to learn how to implement Lean Startup methods in your social-good organization. Tailored to the unique needs and goals of mission-driven organizations, this session features guest speakers who are using Lean Startup principles to achieve greater social impact and will share specific examples from their own organizations.

In addition to gaining an overall understanding of Lean Startup and how it can be applied within the social sector, you’ll learn how the ideas can be applied to funding structures to create greater sustainability for social good organizations and for the social good sector as a whole.

Use Remote Tools for Customer Development

You understand the importance of engaging directly with your customers as you develop products for them. But what happens when your user base is very far away? User experience consultant Holly DeWolf shares practical, cost-effective techniques for overcoming distance challenges and engaging with lots of customers remotely.