Are you an entrepreneur or interested in starting a business? Do you have a business idea, but don’t know where to begin or how to ask for help? Do yourself a favor and learn the Lean Startup methodology.
Why? Because rapidly testing and validating your ideas before you spend (or raise) a lot of money can spare you a great deal of pain. Consider this: Pets.com burned through roughly $300 million in less than two years and became one of the biggest startup flops on record. However, some simple experiments that tested: pet owners willingness to by online (in 1998), pet owners willingness to wait several days for products to be shipped, and pet owners willingness to pay prices sufficient enough to make up for the high costs of shipping heavy items (like dog food), could have prevented a lot of heartache for the Pets.com founders and the hundreds of people who lost their jobs when the company folded.
As was the case with Pets.com, the ‘build it and they will come’ mentality is most often a recipe for disaster. Utilizing the Lean Startup methodology will help avoid this type of disaster through experimentation. Dropbox, for example, released a video outlining their high level concept to gauge consumer interest before they wrote a single line of code. This experiment resulted in approximately 75,000 waiting list sign ups and provided significant validation for their idea. While not every experiment will produce such clear results, they will help you better understand the viability of your idea. And what would you rather bet your company on: a set of guesses or a set of validated assumptions?
There are a number of ways to learn more about the Lean Startup methodology. The preeminent Lean Startup texts include The Lean Startup by Eric Ries and The Startup Owner’s Manual by Steve Blank. Another option for New Mexicans includes attending an ABQid and/or SFid Entrepreneurial Bootcamp.
The staff and mentors of SFid and ABQid, investor-funded accelerator programs located in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, offer an introduction to the Lean Startup methodology through their interactive Entrepreneurial Bootcamps. During these 2-hr Bootcamps, they teach entrepreneurs how to summarize their ideas in a framework that makes it simple to test and validate them. Each Bootcamp is hosted by accomplished/serial entrepreneurs and more information can be found at www.ABQid.com.
Bonus: The next free bootcamp/workshop is next Thursday, December 1oth at the Violet Crown in Santa Fe from 3 to 5pm. To RSVP or learn more visit: http://conta.cc/1LJ9Avc