“Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Let me do and I understand.”
I was invited along to do a talk and mentor the teams at last weekend’s Lean Startup Machine in London. LSM is a fast-paced 3 day workshop where lots of budding entrepreneurs work in teams to validate one of their startup ideas through following the principles of lean startup – namely customer development and a lot of ‘getting out of the building’.
This is the second time I’ve been along to LSM, having attended the first one in London more than 2 years ago, which even included mentors such as Brant Cooper and Eric Ries. It’s moved on a bit since the early days and now has had more than 100 workshops in more than 40 cities.
I was asked to talk about landing page design and how to acquire customers. After asking why (I tend to do this a lot…), it became apparent that the issue here was validating your idea, not how to design a landing page design per se. Unfortunately landing pages have become a victim of their own success. Whilst they’re still a valuable tool in your experimental armoury, people are becoming a little weary of them, and often it can be hard to convert people from an interested sign up to a paying customer. The lag between the two can often be months, and by that time they may have moved on and found an alternative solution (or more likely, can’t remember what this invite that has arrived in their inbox is for…).
So I took my brief as to help the attendees consider ways you can test out your startup idea, or even come up with better ones. To get to know more about what their customers want and how to engage them to build their tribe.
Here are my slides:
- Share your ideas
- Stay away from the solution
- Let it go
- Listen to your customers
- Know when to pivot
- Set and agree clear goals
- Be brutal with time
- Use your team skills wisely
- Commit to the process
LSM really highlights how important it is to do lean, rather than just read about or dabble in it.
I also played the video below as there’s an awful lot of BS and jargon around lean startup, so I thought I’d hit this head on. It seemed to go down pretty well.
If you get a chance to go to a lean startup machine, grab it with both hands. It’ll change the way you think about startups.
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