E199: Eric Ries of The Lean Startup on This Week in Startups

Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startups



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Jason interviewed Eric Ries, entrepreneur and author of The Lean Startup. Eric gave advice for all levels and phases of startups, from idea inception and shortening incubation times to managing the inevitable pivots. Later in the episode, Jason and Eric team up to deliver an ‘Old Time Revival,’ where audience members bring their business woes to the stage to have them healed by these two experts.

0:00-2:00 Hey everyone this is ThisWeekIn Startups, my guest Eric Ries of Lean Startups is here.
1:00 What is Lean Startups?
2:45 It’s all about addressing the customers needs.
4:10 Talking about the shortening gestation period for new startups.
6:19: Being lean isn’t about how much money you raise.
6:55: What’s the one piece of advice that makes people so drawn to it? Is it the Minimum Viable Product?
7:00-13:00 Survey Monkey
14:45 Software VS. Hardware startups.
15:33 The impact of Web 2.0 on startups.
16:30 The ‘Summer of Startups’ which are creating money, which are glorified ponzi schemes?
17:50 It’s so much easier to make money today, with e commerce. Will we not see a lot of these companies meander, when they make enough money to exist but not to progress?
19:09 All overnight successes had 2 years of failure under their belts. Twitter is an example.
20:00 Jason talks his Twitter past.
22:00 Eric talks network effects.
23:00 The key to getting over the fear of costumer feedback: feedback doesn’t tell you about you, it tells you about them.
23:49 Haters are the best sources of great feedback, your fans won’t get into details.
25:20 Feedback is the key, and entrepreneurs are afraid of feedback.
25:50 Discussion of the ‘Steve Jobs Philosophy.’
29:16 Quality vs. Speed and ‘Avatar Teleportation.’
31:50 Let’s unpack testing.
32:00-36:00 MailChimp
40:10 Discussion of Facebook, World of Warcraft, and Viral Coefficient
41:30 You left out a couple of ways to build a business.
42:39 What do you think of Groupon?
44:49 Eric’s Accounting Revolution
46:17 Greatest entrepreneurship movie of all time, Ghostbusters.
48:10: How do you know when to pivot, or when to perservere?
51:30 #1 Signal that teams need to pivot
52:35 Early launch is prematurely marketing your own demise.
53:30: Eric on the indicators of traction
54:30 Democratization of entrepreneurship
56:00 No audience questions, but audience horror stories, and Jason and Eric try and save your companies. Who is struggling in their business, let’s have a revival!
57:00 The startup revival begins.
60:00 A pivot is a change in strategy, without a change in vision.
61:55 Woosh Traffic; what to do when your expenses match your revenue.
67:30 Gradebuddy.com; note-taking program for universities. How to get through a pivot, how to get through institutional sales.
1:12:55 If you can measure it, you can manage it.
1:13:30 Terry, Stumeroom (Netflix for costumes). What kind of metrics are needed to be used to see where the business will go, how to generate interest?
1:18:30 How to balance between assessment of business, without exposing yourself to being ripped off
1:20:00 Ideas mean nothing, execution is everything
1:21:10 An empty can makes the most noise. Talking about your idea before a consumer can engage is useless.
1:22:00 Quantifying viral coefficient.
1:24:00 Is there such a thing as over-iteration?
1:28:06 Jason and Eric break down Mahalo. Youtube Vs. iPad apps, which has better sustainable growth?
1:32:00 How do you build an organization on an operational basis?
1:35:00 In a startup, rip up your job description. Your job is to do whatever it takes to make the company succeed.
1:35:00 This has been a great night. Give it up for Eric, let’s all go to Main Street!

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Jason: @jason
Tyler: @steepdecline
Eric: @ericries

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