Lean Mean Start-up Machine
With all the co-living spaces, one-day insta-education conferences, and blogs-to-replace-boardrooms out there espousing the mantra of growing lean, one could be forgiven for thinking that entrepreneurs jumped on the concept as soon as someone thought of it. As it turns out, not so much. In a long profile on Xconomy, Eric Ries, the face of the movement, who helped crystallize the concept along with Steve Blank, goes back to a time before lean and the genesis of what now seems like conventional wisdom.
First, of course, came the failure. Well, actually, in Mr. Ries case, it seems like two failures before an eventual success were the charm. All three also all happened to be social networks, of a kind.
Start-up Slumber Parties
#StartupLife co-founders Steven Liu and Louie Torrellas have already collected $1,040 (and counting!) towards their $10,000 campaign to create an affordable co-living space for start-ups in East Williamsburg. They’re certainly in the right neighborhood for such a collegiate project. McKibbin Lofts, just two blocks away, is so popular with artsy post-grads that it’s often referred to as a dorm. Okay fine, maybe it’s more like that “filthy hipster dorm,” but still.
Perhaps it was that underground ethos that prompted the two co-founders to eschew Kickstarter for their fund-raising campaign and instead opt to advertise on the more DIY-focused San Francisco-based IndieGoGo.
Although you can’t throw a Nexus S1 in parts of the city without hitting a coworking spaces, that still leaves future Dennis Crowleys and Kevin Ryans to fend for themselves after hours. Liu’s plan for a start-up alternative involves “lower-than-market rent, a close-knit start-up community, and a strong network of experienced mentors”–accessible from bunkbeds, private bedrooms, or suites in 20 separate apartment units. Bunkbeds go for under $300/month, but come with access to the courtyard and rooftop. “All you need is a suitcase and a dream.” (Oh, and at least $550/month if you don’t want to become too familiar with your co-founder’s sleepwear.)