A Growing Set of Lean Impact Resources

A gratifying aspect of teaching people to use Lean Startup methods is seeing the ideas take root in more and more sectors. For a couple of years now, Lean Startup has been spreading in mission-driven organizations, where people commonly refer to the principles as “Lean Impact.” If you work in government, in an educational institution, at a place like Ideo.org or Kiva, or in a startup non-profit, we have a growing body of resources to meet your need for information about applying Lean Startup when profit isn’t the sole goal.

First off, we’re pleased to report that Leanne Pittsford—founder of Lean Impact, Start Somewhere, and Lesbians Who Tech—is leading a full-day workshop on Lean Impact essentials at this year’s Lean Startup Conference in December. She and several hand-picked guest speakers will explain how they’ve used Lean Startup principles to achieve greater social impact, and they’ll answer pressing questions about funding models for mission-driven organizations that need to experiment with new products and services. Our fall sale for conference tickets ends on October 31, and it’s the last price break of the year, so register today for discounted pricing to avoid paying full price. (We also offer scholarship passes for young and minimally funded non-profits; if that’s your org, apply right now.)

If you want a taste of what that workshop will cover, join us for a free webcast on October 28 at 10a PT: An Introduction to Lean Impact, in which I’ll talk with Leanne about how social-sector organizations can use the Lean Startup framework to meet their goals, and we’ll answer audience questions live.

To learn more about Leanne and Lean Impact, check out her talk at Netroots Nation from June: “How Lesbians in Tech Took Over the World and Built a 4,000-person Community in Less Than a Year.”

In addition Leanne’s workshop, this year’s Lean Startup Conference features a number of other speakers from social-sector organizations:

  • Christie George, a socially-focused investor who recently wrote a great piece on funding alternatives, and Mitch Kapor, well known for his impact investing, will discuss measuring success beyond the bottom line
  • Max Ventilla will explain how AltSchool is building an ambitious new network of customer-driven schools
  • Julie Lorch from DoSomething.org will speak about building cross-functional teams
  • Tiffani Bell will will talk about learning quickly in order to address Detroit’s water crisis
  • Margo Wright will speak about the nuances of customer development when you’re working with a population you know well already.
  • Reverend Ken Howard will speak about creating and sustaining Christian communities using the Lean Startup approach.

Those examples draw from our initial group of speakers, and we’ll be announcing more later this month.

In the meantime, we’ve gathered below a slew of videos from previous Lean Startup Conferences that have great lessons from mission-driven organizations. Enjoy—and we look forward to seeing you at our webcast on October 28 and at the 2014 Lean Startup Conference in December.



Customer development for the social sector


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