Real TechStars of New York City

Tech & Fashion: Really? Can’t We All Just Fucking Get Along?

TVF Post-Mortem Pic

This is a guest post from “Hurricane Melanie” Moore, co-founder of Elizabeth & Clarke, a stealth fashion/tech startup in New York. This is a post-mortem on Ms. Moore’s first startup, the high fashion deal site ToVieFor, which was part of the first TechStars class in New York.

As you all know by now, the grim reaper has paid ToVieFor a visit. Sad face. I want to talk a little about the root cause of the closure, in the hopes that others who might be starting a new business do not make the same mistake. Also, some broader industry thoughts below–as I’m sure no one wants to hear me keep yapping about my failed startup for weeks on end.

Wither ToVieFor

The reason ToVieFor failed is the same reason almost all businesses fail: we did not build something that people wanted. I know it sounds like a *facepalm* moment, but following the steps of the Lean Startup method in order to discover what people want is so easily said, but so hard to actually do. Read More

Lean Mean Start-up Machine

How the Lean Start-Up Method Came To Be

Mr. Lean, Mr. Lean, Oh, Mr. Lean!

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. Read More

Lean Mean Start-up Machine

The Start-Up Board Meeting Is Dead! Long Live the Blog!

via Ramonasrepository.blogspot.com

New York has its share of lean start-up devotees preaching the mantra of Faster! Cheaper! Lighter! Better!, a rallying cry that defines the current boom. Split test. Work that agility, girl. Pivot like you mean it! But one of the godfathers of the movement, Steve Blank, is still out West. Mr. Blank has a bone to pick with board meetings, which he says, “haven’t changed since the early 1900’s.”

In keeping with the trend Betabeat has observed of VCs floating their own start-up ideas, hoping to get them built, when Techcofounder’s Ben Mappen met up with Mr. Blank to pitch him on a start-up, GigaOm reports that Mr. Mappen ended up sidelining his idea to pursue Mr. Blank’s instead.

Enter LeanLaunchLabs. Read More