“Lean Startup” is a term coined by Eric Ries while an Advisor to the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins. It’s based on the new management processes he employed while Chief Technology Officer at IMVU, one of Silicon Valley’s most successful startups.
What is Customer Development?
“Customer Development” is a process pioneered by Steve Blank and written about extensively in Four Steps to the Epiphany. It emphasizes “Getting Out of the Building” for in-person feedback and focusing early product development efforts around early-evangelists. Customer Development is one of the three drivers of the Lean Startup methodology.
What is Lean Startup Machine’s relationship with Eric Ries?
Eric Ries is heavily involved as an advisor to Lean Startup Machine. Eric helps guide the curriculum and processes taught at our workshops and our team licenses the Lean Startup trademark from Eric.
Is Lean Startup Machine a hackathon?
No. There is no hacking or coding during Lean Startup Machine. The winner of Lean Startup Machine is judged solely on the amount of validation achieved through applying the Lean Startup process.
What’s the difference between Lean Startup Machine and Startup Weekend?
Lean Startup Machine is a workshop & educational series. Our focus is on teaching founders a process through case studies and hands-on mentoring. Three days is an extremely short amount of time to reliably validate a new product or service concept, yet it’s enough time to get a significant amount done. While Lean Startup Machine and Startup Weekend share the same spirit of experiential learning over a few days, the two events have a different purpose. Some view Lean Startup Machine as the step before Startup Weekend. See additional thoughts from people who have attended both events here.
What is your relationship with Startup Weekend?
We love Startup Weekend but unfortunately do not have any official relationship.
Can I participate if I don’t already have a team?
Yes. If you do not have a team we will help you join with other participants and form a new team on the first day of the workshop.
Can I participate if I don’t already have an idea?
Yes. If you do not have an idea you will be able to listen to others pitch their ideas on the first day of the workshop and then join one of their teams.
Can I participate without previous startup or technology experience?
Yes. Lean Startup Machine is designed to be a challenge for both the experienced and inexperienced entrepreneur. Essentially, you will get as much value out of it as the effort you put in.
Do you recommend participants bring an existing idea or start with a new idea?
We recommend all participants to start with a new idea. This way you are completely unencumbered and able to take greater risks. Remember this is a learning experience and your ultimate goal is to walk away with mastery of a skill.
What if I still want to work on an existing idea?
If you still want to work on an existing idea, you must bring at least one co-founder with you to the workshop. You will not be allowed to recruit anyone new to your team for an existing idea (hint: teams that do this end up performing the worst). *Existing ideas are defined by having mockups, prototype, or code already associated with it.
How much does Lean Startup Machine cost?
General Admission in most cities is $299. We offer significant discounts for students and early-bird ticket purchasers. Lean Startup Machine is more expensive than most startup events because it is more expensive to produce and is limited to a smaller audience. Most workshops have a cap of 50 participants to make sure we foster an intimate learning environment. We fly in our expert facilitators and also invest in product and curriculum development, which is noticeable after attending multiple workshops.
Do you pay mentors?
All of our awesome mentors volunteer and donate their time. Watch this video about why Hiten Shah mentors at Lean Startup Machine.
How do you give back to the community?
Although our corporate structure is For-Profit, Lean Startup Machine is a social & mission-driven company. We give back by doing what we do: educating entrepreneurs to fail fast so they can succeed faster. Read more on the false dichotomy of Non-Profit Vs. For-Profit.
Where can I read testimonials from past participants?
All over the internet. Try a Google search for “lean startup machine review“
Will I be able to find a developer or designer at Lean Startup Machine?
It is unlikely and also not the point of Lean Startup Machine. Entrepreneurs attend Lean Startup Machine to learn a process for validating new ideas, not to recruit developers or designers. There are many other good places for that.
How long do I have to pitch? What is the pitch format?
The pitch is the typical 50 second elevator-style. No slides or visuals.
What do you do to protect intellectual property (IP)?
Everything that happens at Lean Startup Machine is technically in the public domain. However, it is extremely unlikely that an idea will get stolen, and we are firm believers that ideas aren’t worth anything unless you execute on them. In addition, your idea will probably change dramatically over time (actually within the first 24 hours of Lean Startup Machine). The real value is in your ability to execute properly on the Lean Startup process, which is something very few people currently get right.
Coming soon: (short answer)
Do I need to know how to write code? (no)
Do I need to have a tech idea? (no)
Does it work for enterprise? (yes)
How will I reach customers on a weekend? (don’t worry, you’ll figure it out)
Refunds? (sorry, not at this time!)
How do I prepare? (read Eric’s book, read our blog)
Do I have to be there the entire time? (it’s highly recommended)