Oct 26

GOP takedown…

Yup, sums up the GOP nicely…

“Ideological purity. Compromise as weakness. A fundamentalist belief in scriptural literalism. Denying science. Unmoved by facts. Undeterred by new information. A hostile fear of progress. A demonization of education. A need to control women’s bodies. Severe xenophobia. Tribal mentality. Intolerance of dissent. Pathological hatred of the U.S. government.”

Sep 24


May 22


Feb 20

100 ‘prods’ from The Lean Start-up

The only way I retain stuff is to write it down.

As I read work-related books I log interesting and relevant things as I go. In reviewing my list from The Lean Start-up, I thought others might find it useful, and save them the trouble of reading it themselves… ;-). It was written for my eyes only originally so I don’t think the Booker prize is pending…

As it happens the list came to 100. Some quotes, some questions, some tips…

1. All processes should be geared to accelerate the feedback loop

2. Build > measure > learn loop (BML)

3. Pivot or persevere – the perennial question

4. Start-ups are about execution

5. How do we know if we’re making progress? What do we measure?

6. Customers don’t know what they want. Don’t ask, just release & measure

7. It’s about the quality of the questions you ask of customers/partners

8. Think about what we will learn as a result of this activity. It’s ALL that matters.

9. Find a synthesis between the vision and what customers want

- if none exists, change your vision and/or your customers

10. Progress is not measured by card points but by learnings/usage

11. Validated learning, what experiments will test strategy hypotheses

12. Success is not delivering a feature, its solving the customer’s problem

13. A start up is a catalyst that transforms ideas into products

14. Products are experiments - get the feedback (both quant & qual)

15. Key is to minimise total time through the BML loop

16. Leap of faith assumptions are: value hypothesis, growth hypothesis

17. Steve Blank - ‘get out of the building and start learning’

18. Genchi gembutsu > go and see for yourself

19. The goal of MVP is to begin the process of learning it (not end it)

20. When in doubt simplify (MVP)

21. Make video of how the experience is meant to be - Dropbox as great e.g.

22. ‘Concierge MVP’ = development customers

23. Scale something that works vs invent something that might work in the future

24. Build only what is needed

25. ‘Wizard of Oz’ testing :-)

26. Customers only care if it serves their needs

27. They don’t care about design as much as we do

28. Remove anything that doesn’t contribute to the learning you seek

29. The only way to win is to learn faster than anyone else (stealth sucks)

30. A commitment to iteration

31. MVP is first step on journey of learning

32. Innovation accounting

33. Devise experiments to learn how to move the real numbers

34. Innovation accounting

           > MVP to establish real data on current status

           > Tune the engine towards the ideal

           > Persevere or Pivot

35. Smoke test > opportunity to pre-order

36. A good design is one that changes customer behavior for the better

37. If not moving the drivers of your business, you’re not making progress

38. What are the drivers of the business? CPA, LTV, attrition

39. Cohort vs cumulative measures (vanity metrics).

40. Actionable vs vanity metrics

41. The grand bargain of agile dev is: ‘Engineers agree to adapt the product to the businesses constantly changing requirements but are not responsible for the quality of those decisions’

42. User stories not considered complete until they lead to validated learning

43. Validation is knowing whether the story was a good idea in the first place

44. Validation from split testing

45. Stories are at 1 of 4 stages: backlog, being built, done, being validated

46. Kanban > ‘n’ stories per bucket

47. Forced validation through Kanban

48. Solid process > healthy culture > ideas evaluated by merit not by job title

49. Productivity measured by validated learning not in # of features

50. Lazy registration is a useful tool

51. 3 A’s of metrics > actionable, accessible, auditable

52. Only 5% is the big idea, 95% is the gritty work…

53. Pivot > a structured course correction to test new hypothesis

54. Failure is a prerequisite to learning

55. Zoom in pivot

56. Customer segment pivot

57. A start-ups runway is the number of pivots it can still make

58. Developing MVP features beyond requirements of early adopters is waste

59. Pivot = exhortation to change

60. Which activities create value and which are a form of waste

61. Who is going to buy? Which ‘customers’ should we ignore?

62. Just in time scalability

63. ‘single piece flow’

64. Small batch approach

65. Continuous deployment…build>measure>learn feedback loop

66. Ability to learn faster is the essential competitive adv for Start-ups

67. Eliminate options/markets through testing. Ask the right questions…

68. The start-up way: people > culture > process > accountability

69. Start-ups drown not starve – ideas & opportunities vs ruthless focus

70. Should focus on the big experiments that lead to validated learning

71. Is acquisition or retention the issue, make sure you measure the right metrics

72. 5 whys – get to the root

73. 5 whys and small batches foundation for company to respond quickly

74. Most mistakes are caused by flawed systems not bad people

75. Be tolerant of mistakes 1st time but never allow same mistake twice

76. Five whys vs Five blames

77. Two outputs, learning and doing

78. Avoid achieving failure ‘successfully executing a flawed plan’

79. ’organisations have muscle memory’ - tough to change

80. Lean mgmt means treating work as a system

81. Pursuing operational excellence AND disruptive innovation

82. Rapid iteration > data-driven decision making, early customer involvement

83. Split testing, continuous deployment, customer testing

84. How do we know that a problem is special case or systemic? Dilemma

85. It’s not how fast build/measure, it’s how fast through the entire loop

86. Management is human systems engineering

87. Our future prosperity depends on the quality of our collective imaginations

88. Most waste in innovation preventable once causes are understood

89. The goal of innovation is to learn what is currently unknown

90. Not setting quant goals but fixing the method by which they are attained

91. Entrepreneurial virtues

        > primacy of vision

        > willingness to take hold risks

        > courage in the face of over whelming odds

92. Beware vanity metrics - measure what REALLY matters, not gross #’s

93. If stopped wasting people’s time (with mtgs), what would they do with it?

94. How are we testing our assumptions, what are we learning?

95. What have we learnt this week > change the language.

96. Innovation accounting involves a clear financial model and engine of growth

97. Assumptions tested rigorously > genuine desire to discover ‘the truth’

98. Speed & quality are allies in pursuit of the customers long term benefit

99. Respond to failures with honesty & learning - ‘what is this going to tell us’

100. Reading is good, action is better

Dec 20 -

Am I supposed to be impressed??? Not bad I s’pose… (who says man can’t fly)