What’s the biggest challenge in getting a team of people to adopt Lean Startup methods? Dan Milstein, founder at Hut 8 Labs, suggests a somewhat surprising answer: it’s the tendency of leaders to fall prey to the deep, built-in human propensity for self-deception. We’re wired to lie to ourselves in certain situations–and, in startups, those situations crop up all the time. Tying together psychology research and his own (painful) experiences on both sides of the leader/team member divide, Dan looks at the dangers of self-deception and what you can do to overcome it.
Every business leader knows that, in theory, good ideas can–and should–come from anywhere in your organization. But in reality, the voices of introverts and people far-removed from decision makers often go unheard. Hugh Molotsi, Vice President of the Intuit Labs Incubator and self-proclaimed introvert, talks about how Lean Startup methods at Intuit have helped surface game-changing ideas from quiet employees, front-line staff and unexpected corners of the organization.
As a well-known startup veteran, investor and author, Ben Horowitz brings unusually deep insight to the hard questions that entrepreneurs face. Eric Ries interviews him and gives you a chance to ask questions, too.
When you run a startup, it’s easy to assume that your small team necessarily works cross-functionally, because you all talk pretty often. But when you’re trying to move quickly, and lots of projects are run by just one person, you can inadvertently skip important collaboration across roles. Cheryl Contee, CEO at Fission Strategy and co-founder of Attentive.ly, talks about how her startups bake in cross-functional collaboration from the beginning, both to improve their products and to lay the groundwork for holistic product development as they grow.
Vox.com has been one of the most closely watched media launches of the year–and it took the team just nine weeks to develop the high-profile site. As its Senior Product Manager and Executive Editor, Melissa Bell has been responsible for leading a lot of Vox.com’s success. Sarah Milstein interviews Melissa to learn how the company has moved unusually quickly and how it continues to experiment on a scrutinzed site.
When a team at Google felt uncertain about which pieces of their work drove real value for customers and had an impact on the bottom line, Blair Beverly, a Manager in Google AdSense, suggested they try Lean Startup methods. He explains how he’s working to win over colleagues and management, using a counter-intuitive process to adopt the ideas.
The US federal government is the country’s largest employer and does not have a reputation for moving quickly. But Todd Park, who served from 2012 to 2014 as United States Chief Technology Officer and Assistant to the President and is now a technology advisor to the administration in Silicon Valley, is bringing an entrepreneurial approach to government and continues to make real change. He and key U.S. technology leaders describe their most challenging projects and share advice for experimenting in large organizations.
Top product managers must have great customer empathy–but too much of it can slow you down. On the one hand, you need empathy to understand your customers, so that you can build products that solve their problems. On the other hand, too much empathy can prevent you from releasing a product that doesn’t solve all of your customers’ needs at once. Lauren Gilchrist, Product Manager at Pivotal Labs, gives five tips for shipping less-than-perfect MVPs so that you can all learn from end users, fast.
Risk and uncertainty define startups–they’re the very qualities that make new initiatives different from established projects. But few of us have productive ways of discussing risk, and in fact, bringing it up can cause fear and undermine morale. How can we make coworkers comfortable addressing risk? Adam Josephs, Principal Consultant of Celerity Consulting, shares advice for discussing it early, often and constructively.
A lot of distributed companies use Lean Startup techniques for product development. But it’s challenging to successfully run customer development and cross-functional experiments with remote colleagues. William Donnell, lead design and UX specialist at Sodium Halogen, teaches creative techniques for very effective Lean Startup approaches on a virtual team.