E600: TWiST Live! Eric Ries on The Lean Startup, the law of sustainable growth, lessons learned, and looking ahead

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Special TWiST Live for Ep600! Jason talks to Eric Ries, author of “The Lean Startup” and the upcoming, Kickstarter-backed, “The Leader’s Guide.” Eric and Jason discuss in depth The Lean Startup methodology, what it means today with so many startups out there, and his plans for future publications and resources for supporting entrepreneurship. We hear Eric’s own lessons learned as an entrepreneur (i.e., don’t refuse customers who want to try your product), his insights into the law of sustainable growth and what it means, and secrets on how to measure exponential growth before the point of critical mass. Eric also takes questions from the live audience, answering questions about iterating a new product on a strict timeline, raising money, what makes a great VC, and what he would change if he had to write “The Lean Startup” again (hint: a lot). Thank you to our partner, Samsung Global Innovation Center, for co-hosting this special TWiST Live at WeWork Golden Gate!

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0:00 – 3:37 600 episodes! We need to do more live shows!

3:38 – 4:58 “At the time, I thought it was doing great.”

4:59 – 7:12 “This doesn’t make a lot of sense. You can’t predict the future, and less so every day.”

7:13 – 9:00 “Where’s the respect for the truth?”

9:01 – 10:38 “I had to write my own split testing framework, cause there wasn’t one.”

10:39 – 12:59 “You could rent this server, but you could only put a couple thousand customers on it.”

13:00 – 14:24 “The continuous path to scale, that all of our tools and distribution channels have today, is one of the more unheralded attributes… that people take so for granted.”

17:08 – 20:02 “This is going to be the most successful publishing Kickstarter of all time.”

20:03 – 21:38 “What I always wanted as a entrepreneur was… a substantive conversation about how do I know the random advice someone’s giving me is correct.”

21:39 – 23:36 “What could it hurt to double check?”

23:37 – 25:58 “You ain’t no Steve Jobs, so when you launch a product, the president isn’t going to call you and congratulate you.”

25:59 – 29:48 “Being an entrepreneur sucks… you’re gonna have to do things far more unpleasant than talking to someone in a coffee shop.”

29:49 – 32:48 “What is something simple and easy that we can do to start to get a non-technical sense of what our assumptions are about the customer?”

35:14 – 36:54 “Every startup is fundamentally unique, so there’s no template.”

36:55 – 39:02 “Being crazy is the best competitive advantage there is.”

39:03 – 40:00 “If you believe in your vision truly, passionately, then I think you gotta say, ‘this is too important to the world to be left to a faith-based initiative.”

40:01 – 43:23 “You are always well-served… by being cognizant of making sure everything you do is value creating.”

43:24 – 45:32 “A situation where new customers come from the actions of past customers.”

45:33 – 49:04 “Why would anybody buy a product from an unknown startup? You have to be pretty desperate.”

49:05 – 51:54 “How do you manage something in the ‘Lean Startup’ way that has a limited amount of time?”

51:55 – 55:04 “We’ve had more demand overseas than domestically. Would you spend more time overseas or the U.S. first?”

55:05 – 1:04:45 “Why raise money at all? What indicators matter for the future?”

1:04:46 – 1:09:33 “What about an MVP that needs a certain scale to be usable i.e. the network effect?”

1:09:34 – 1:14:44 “When you look back on the book, what would rewrite, change, tweak etc.?”

1:14:45 – 1:16:44 “What do you think about holocracy?”

1:16:45 – 1:21:05 “The vast majority of people want this to succeed and have been very supportive.”

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  • Paul Towers

    Great episode. I was a backer of Eric’s Kickstarter and am definitely looking forward to the release of his new book. I loved his insight on Apple and how Steve Jobs orchestrated the demo for the first iPhone.