Teach Me How to Startup
Sometime around hearing the umpteenth pitch for a location-aware, mobile, social events recommendation tool, one starts to wonder if the founders ever really questioned their basic assumption: that anyone would download yet another one of those apps when none of their friends are on it.
Lean Startup Machine CEO Trevor Owens wants to help with that. Today, he’s launching a free product development tool called the Validation Board that help startups crystallize things like their “Riskiest Assumption,” which ideas have been “Invalidated,” and what constitutes a “Minimum Success Criterion.”
Cowork With Me?
On a muggy evening earlier this week, Betabeat made the short, sweaty walk down to AlleyNYC, a new 16,000 square foot coworking space at 500 Seventh Avenue and 37th Street. We had some inkling we might be onto the next big coworking hub when an entrepreneur on the elevator ride up to the 17th floor said he felt obligated to drop by because he heard about the space twice in one week.
Even after hours, the place was still humming with activity. The mats in the yoga room were unoccupied, but members milled about the lounge, worked heads down in one of the spacious main rooms or huddled with cofounders in the 24 private offices, which are already at capacity even though the space just opened in August. A new platform for entrepreneurs called SocialChange.is was setting up a demo and with bowls of pretzels and other snacks laid out for the event.
The vibe was remarkably congenial; high-fives, daps, and backslaps abounded.
the startup rundown
WICKA WICKA. Turntable.fm is in the big leagues now as the young music based social platform signs deals with Sony BMG, Universal, EMI and Warner, TechCrunch reports. Turntable has over one million users now and a new mobile app since September.
HIPSTARTER. San Francisco based Indiegogo, a crowdfunding platform with offices in Soho that competes with Kickstarter, announced the perfection of their “gogofactor,” a proprietary algorithm that ranks projects based on popularity and viability. This makes Indiegogo the only crowdfunding platform with this type of merit-based ranking functionality. Your move, Kickstarter.
Bridging the Gap
This is a guest post by Trevor Owens, founder and CEO of the Lean Startup Machine, a three-day workshop on Lean Startup methodologies. Mr. Owens has also been a guest speaker at Princeton, Columbia, Fordham, and New York University.
The implications of the Lean Startup movement have been significant for entrepreneurs all over the world. At long last, founders are spending less time building products in isolation, and more time embracing their customers. Validating assumptions early and methodically has allowed entrepreneurs to fail fast, turning startup failure into a scientific process that ultimately leads to success. This movement, however, may have even bigger implications in store for established companies. Lean Startup isn’t about being cheap, but about being less wasteful and still doing things that are big.”
Can Corporations Be Startups Too?
Today marks the first day of Lean Startup Machine, the weekend hackathon, taking place at the SAIF Innovation Center in Lahore, Pakistan. “It is so exciting to see a buzz of activity around Startups and entrepreneurial ventures. It’s just what needed to happen in Pakistan,” writes an excited Pakistani entrepreneur on her blog.
“There is no point in building a mousetrap, if there aren’t any fucking mice around,” said Patrick Vlaskovits, leaning his back against the wall in the kitchen of General Assembly. The broad shouldered Californian was in town for the weekend as an advisor to the aspiring entrepreneurs participating in Lean Startup Machine, a 48 hour event where 12 teams conceived, built and tested a business. “A lot of engineers are great at building things, but not at finding out what customers really want.”
Not a Hackathon
Lean Startup Machine teams are on their marks for the biggest iteration of the event yet. This time, LSM eschewed the “first-come, first-served” policy and asked for an application in addition to the $250 fee. About 130 people applied; they accepted 50 and “ended up overselling to 70 people, and had people still fighting to get off the wait list,” organizer Trevor Owens said.
SXSW Interactive is the big show for tech startups, and a natural milieu for the young entrepreneur who loves to mix business with pleasure.
But for ad agency suits looking to spot the best emerging trends, SXSW can be a nightmare week of late night parties and missed opportunities.
Enter Ben Read More