The Lean Startup Conference

Learn from entrepreneurs

December 9 - 11, 2013 San Francisco, CA

Program: Sessions by Theme

Themes

    1. Analytics

      Alleviating Poverty One Iteration at a Time

      Akash will look at key challenges faced by non-profit organizations, including unclear or overabundant metrics, long feedback loops and limited resources. Then he’ll show how Kiva has tackled those problems in ways that other organizations can apply, too.

      Jump-starting Product Strategy in a Startup

      Des will cover key areas for product strategy in a startup: defining your mission; defining your product, scoping your product, analyzing usage, and iterating. Useful for startups at almost any stage, this talk will offer advice you can put to use immediately.

      Lean Analytics for Intrapreneurs

      Steve Blank says a startup is “an organization designed to search for a scalable, repeatable business model.” The Croll/Yoskovitz corollary is that an established company is an organization designed to perpetuate a business model. That means an intrapreneur—someone trying to change things from within a large organization—has a really difficult job. The organization in which you work actively resists the changes you’re trying to make. Worse, it uses old ways of keeping score while you’re trying to change the game that’s being played.

      In this workshop, building on last year’s sold-out session, Lean Analytics co-author Alistair Croll looks at how to apply Lean Startup approaches and analytical methods to big companies. We’ll examine the stages new projects go through, taking examples from history and marketing strategy. We’ll share ten never-before-seen case studies from global organizations. And we’ll look at how to think about data and metrics when innovating from within. If you want to disrupt—instead of being disrupted—join us.

      Innovation Accounting: A Blueprint for Defining, Measuring, and Communicating Progress With Internal and External Stakeholders

      While running experiments is a key activity in a Lean Startup, running effective experiments that lead to breakthrough insights is considered more art than science. At the earliest stages of the product lifecycle, when we have relatively few customers, we struggle with making sense of seemingly small scale and qualitative customer feedback. At latter stages, we have the opposite problem–too much data. Here we struggle to find the right signals from the noise.

      Even though the mechanics of running experiments are quite straightforward, most lean practitioners fail to run effective experiments:

      • They fail to correctly identify the right experiments to run,
      • They over build their experiments, and
      • They don’t measure the right metrics.

      This workshop will teach you how to avoid these pitfalls and instead use an innovation accounting framework to effectively define, measure, and communicate the true progress of your product.

      Concierge

      Beyond Landing Pages: Five Ways to Find Out if Your Idea Is Stupid

      A perennial favorite speaker at The Lean Startup Conference, Laura will make sure you know when and how to use not just landing pages, but also concierge tactics, Wizard of Oz setups and content strategies like blogs and email newsletters. You will leave her session smarter.

      Work With Customers Before You Write Any Code

      It’s often tempting to test technical risk before you test market risk. After all, what if your product doesn’t actually work? Then again, what if you build it and nobody wants to buy it? Daina will talk about the stages she took her product through and how she learned a great deal about her market before writing a line of code.

      Crossing the Concierge Chasm

      Nicole and Khalid run Lessoncast, which builds software for educators. They’ve taken creative steps with their concierge MVP and will talk about concrete things small startups can do to learn from the concierge process and reach product-market fit with B2B customers.

      Content

      How Two Startups Used a Google Doc to Plan Their User Interface

      Stephanie knocked our socks off last year with a short talk on applying Lean Startup thinking to content strategy. We’ve brought her back this year to do a deeper dive and show some real-world examples of how text, deployed cleverly, can be a leading indicator of customer interest, before you’ve built anything else at all.

      Beyond Landing Pages: Five Ways to Find Out if Your Idea Is Stupid

      A perennial favorite speaker at The Lean Startup Conference, Laura will make sure you know when and how to use not just landing pages, but also concierge tactics, Wizard of Oz setups and content strategies like blogs and email newsletters. You will leave her session smarter.

      Using Lean Startup Principles to Close the Digital Divide

      A strong speaker last year, Navarrow returns with the origin story of his new initiative. He’ll talk about how using Lean Startup principles helped him understand how to engage new audiences and create more diverse teams within an organization.

      Cross-functional teams

      Integrating Development, Design and Product Management to Deliver Great Products

      One of the top pieces of advice you can take when you’re trying to innovate more effectively is this: work in cross-functional teams. But most companies are structured in silos: design, development and product management work separately, with communication and collaboration relegated to weekly check-ins and designs and feature requirements thrown over the fence. Drew will talk about how to build cross-functional teams that actually function and can test ideas at market pace.

      Customer Development

      Acquiring Your First Users Out of Thin Air

      What’s the reality of building an audience for your product or company? Kathryn’s story of getting initial users when she needed feedback early on is instructive.

      How to Build the Product When You're Not the User–and You Don't Even Know Anybody Who's the User

      Alexis is interested in solving big problems, which means building products for people who face daily challenges very different from hers. She’s taken unusual steps to explore untapped markets and understand the users in them, giving her excellent insight into customer development.

      Keep Your Executives Close to Your Customers

      As companies grow, senior staffers often lose contact with customers–a potentially dangerous gap. Usha’s company has taken unusual and clever steps to keep its customers close to its executives, and she’ll break down what they’ve done that’s worked.

      Must-have Customer Development Expertise: Advanced Interview Skills

      You know you’re supposed to get out of the building and talk to the market. But spreadsheets are easy and people are hard. How do you find the right people? How do you ask questions that make your learning actionable? How do you know you’re on the right track? In this workshop, we’ll cover who to talk to, when to use interviews, problem vs. solution interviews, and best-practice tips and techniques. You’ll create an interview guide, practice your interview skills, and make a kill/pivot/persevere decision based on what you learned. The skills you take away will help you make better, more efficient product decisions immediately.

      Work With Customers Before You Write Any Code

      It’s often tempting to test technical risk before you test market risk. After all, what if your product doesn’t actually work? Then again, what if you build it and nobody wants to buy it? Daina will talk about the stages she took her product through and how she learned a great deal about her market before writing a line of code.

      Jump-starting Product Strategy in a Startup

      Des will cover key areas for product strategy in a startup: defining your mission; defining your product, scoping your product, analyzing usage, and iterating. Useful for startups at almost any stage, this talk will offer advice you can put to use immediately.

      Working Closely With Customers on the Other Side of Earth

      Beth has incredible experience working with customers in the developing world. She’ll offer very practical advice for connecting with customers who aren’t anywhere near you and/or with whom you have little in common.

      Science of Pricing: Tools to Optimize Price Without Sacrificing Conversions

      [Bring your laptop…we’re going to build!]

      Pricing is a pain in the @$$. You research your competitor’s prices or do some rough cost estimates but whatever you come up with, feels like a guess:
      Either you’ve priced too high and you’re scaring customers away or
      You’ve priced too low and you’re leaving money on the table.
      The Secret of Startup Pricing: studies show most innovative products have an ideal price point – one that optimizes both revenue AND customers.

      In this workshop, you’re not going to hear about price testing – you’re going to DO price testing.

      Crossing the Concierge Chasm

      Nicole and Khalid run Lessoncast, which builds software for educators. They’ve taken creative steps with their concierge MVP and will talk about concrete things small startups can do to learn from the concierge process and reach product-market fit with B2B customers.

      Using Lean Startup Principles to Close the Digital Divide

      A strong speaker last year, Navarrow returns with the origin story of his new initiative. He’ll talk about how using Lean Startup principles helped him understand how to engage new audiences and create more diverse teams within an organization.

      Decision Making

      Risk, Information, Time and Money (in 20 Minutes)

      Working in a startup environment, you’re constantly facing subtle, tricky choices: of all the things you could work on, which ones are worth your time? Which ones will actually move the business forward? How should you spend your next hour? Your next day? You and your team will make a thousand such decisions–the ultimate success or failure of your venture is largely determined by the sum total of those choices. Starting from these questions, Dan will explore the principles underlying the Lean Startup, helping you determine the best way to spend your time.

      The Big Ideas Behind Lean Product Development

      People with a deep understanding of profitable engineering workflows often cite Don among the writers who have influenced them most profoundly. He’ll share insights not only for engineers, but for civilians, too, to help you better see the structure of Lean and apply it most effectively.

      Cost of Delay: Why You Need It, How You Get It, What You Do With It

      Ask the members of a typical development team what a week of cycle time is worth and you’ll get answers that vary by 50 to 1. Allow them to act on what they believe, and you’ll create conflict and misaligned decisions. We call the value of time on the critical path the Cost of Delay (CoD). CoD helps you make smarter economic choices and it helps you explain the logic of your choices to management. It’s surprisingly easy to calculate and lets you make rational tradeoffs between important project objectives. This workshop will show you why you need CoD, how you can calculate it, and how you can use it to make better decisions. You’ll learn how to sell the idea to management and how to embed it in your management processes. Drawing on 30 years of experience using this method, Don will also identify the most common excuses for not calculating CoD, and how to overcome them.

      Make More Meritocratic Decisions

      Lean Startup principles are, at core, intended to help you make all kinds of decisions based on the merit of business ideas (rather than on politics, tradition, whatever). But our biases can still get in the way, and they are rampant, as evidenced by the under-representation of women, people of color, older people and other in high-profile business roles. In this roundtable discussion, we’ll focus on approaches that work in making merit-based decisions. Eric Ries will moderate.

      Deep Customer Empathy

      Keep Your Executives Close to Your Customers

      As companies grow, senior staffers often lose contact with customers–a potentially dangerous gap. Usha’s company has taken unusual and clever steps to keep its customers close to its executives, and she’ll break down what they’ve done that’s worked.

      How to Build the Product When You're Not the User–and You Don't Even Know Anybody Who's the User

      Alexis is interested in solving big problems, which means building products for people who face daily challenges very different from hers. She’s taken unusual steps to explore untapped markets and understand the users in them, giving her excellent insight into customer development.

      Getting Customer Feedback When Your Product Doesn't Live on the Web

      Palantir is a traditional software company in that it ships software that runs on its customers’ networks. That makes it hard to get direct feedback on which features need iteration. Ari will talk about the strategies the company has taken, ranging from the automated to the person-to-person, to gather the valuable information that guides their product–and company–development.

      Working Closely With Customers on the Other Side of Earth

      Beth has incredible experience working with customers in the developing world. She’ll offer very practical advice for connecting with customers who aren’t anywhere near you and/or with whom you have little in common.

      Education

      Instituionalizing Innovation

      A very popular speaker at last year’s Lean Startup Conference, Diane is back to give an update on her mind-opening work to apply Lean Startup methods across Summit Public Schools. Her lessons are useful not only for educators but for anyone in a sector that seems resistant to experimentation and change.

      When Lean Startup Arrives in a Trojan Horse–Innovation in Extreme Bureaucracy

      Steven runs an procurement-innovation program in one of the world’s most notorious bureaucracies: the New York City Department of Education. In a fear-driven atmosphere, with lots of incentive to not be embarrassed, he’ll talk about the challenges he’s faced and progress he’s made testing new ideas.

      Crossing the Concierge Chasm

      Nicole and Khalid run Lessoncast, which builds software for educators. They’ve taken creative steps with their concierge MVP and will talk about concrete things small startups can do to learn from the concierge process and reach product-market fit with B2B customers.

      Engineering

      Jazz Engineering

      Organzitions go through predictable cycles. They begin by experimenting violently, but when they hit the hockey-stick curve, they need to execute on as few things as possible to meet demand–and then, as they attract competitors, they need to both at once. We know of nobody better than Kent to talk about the role programmers play in this cycle, and how can they up their game to support both execution and experiments.

      Jazz Engineering–the Deep Dive

      Kent will follow up his morning talk on the role of engineers in a hyper-growth company with an afternoon session that goes deeper into the topic and includes a meaty Q&A. Bring your questions for one of the people we’ve learned the most from on product development.

      Continuous Change at Scale

      Continuous deployment–small, frequent, and continuous changes to the production website–let marketplace giant Etsy iterate quickly and experiment with new features rapidly. But it’s not an approach that every engineer is comfortable with. John will talk about how Etsy does continuous deployment and gets the team behind it.

      Continuous Delivery: Deploy Safer, Learn Faster

      This workshop is a a deep dive into the technical practices of continuous delivery. We’ll start with getting the basics right: continuous integration, configuration management, and test automation. Then we’ll discuss creating and evolving a deployment pipeline to detect and reject bad changes, trading off fast feedback and comprehensive testing. Next we’ll cover patterns of low-risk deployments, including blue-green deployments, dark launching, the cluster immune system, and feature toggles, and discuss how to leverage these patterns to perform A/B testing. There will be lots of opportunity for discussion and we’ll leave time at the end to go deeper into topics of interest to the group.

      Enterprise

      Running a Successful Innovation Center at a Fortune 50 Company

      Established companies often have innovation teams dedicated to developing new products and new markets. But even those can be attacked by what Preston calls the antibodies of big companies. He has some great tips he’ll share on building a healthy innovation practice in that environment.

      Lean Leadership Lessons

      Intuit has been at the forefront of incorporating Lean Startup methods across a very large company. CEO Brad Smith will lead a conversation with two senior Intuit executives, Laura Fennell and Hugh Molotsi, about how they’ve fostered and rewarded an environment of experimentation and how they’ve transformed how decisions are made in their businesses.

      Lean Analytics for Intrapreneurs

      Steve Blank says a startup is “an organization designed to search for a scalable, repeatable business model.” The Croll/Yoskovitz corollary is that an established company is an organization designed to perpetuate a business model. That means an intrapreneur—someone trying to change things from within a large organization—has a really difficult job. The organization in which you work actively resists the changes you’re trying to make. Worse, it uses old ways of keeping score while you’re trying to change the game that’s being played.

      In this workshop, building on last year’s sold-out session, Lean Analytics co-author Alistair Croll looks at how to apply Lean Startup approaches and analytical methods to big companies. We’ll examine the stages new projects go through, taking examples from history and marketing strategy. We’ll share ten never-before-seen case studies from global organizations. And we’ll look at how to think about data and metrics when innovating from within. If you want to disrupt—instead of being disrupted—join us.

      Leap In–How to Apply Lean Startup Principles to Internal Teams Such as HR, IT and Finance

      Leap In–How to Apply Lean Startup Principles to Internal Teams Such as HR, IT and Finance

      Through our experience teaching Lean Entrepreneur workshops in large organizations, we’ve discovered something interesting: Internal teams such as HR, Finance, and IT have found success applying Lean Startup principles within their departments. If you’re interested in hearing these stories and learning how to bring innovation to your internal corporate processes, this workshop is for you. The hands-on session will help participants learn to interact with internal customers, reduce new initiative risks through experimentation and make better decisions based on this data. Teams from HR, Finance, Legal, Operations, Facilities, Marketing, Sales and IT are encouraged to attend, although the content is also suitable for engineering, design, and product teams.

      Participating teams will learn:
      1. Our top surprises from internal process teams
      2. Strategies for implementing Lean Startup principles within departments
      3. Rapid experimentation tactics that can be applied to projects immediately
      4. How to identify new value-creating opportunities based on internal customers’ needs
      5. How to reduce risk by identifying the minimum viable product

      Toyota: From Lean Manufacturing to Lean Startup

      Toyota, the company that developed lean manufacturing practices, is today applying Lean Startup. Vinuth and Matt will talk about how they’ve convinced internal stakeholders at the company to respond to customer feedback and the proxies they’ve used for customer satisfaction in a research environment that prevents them from selling their products directly.

      Lean Startup–From Toyota City to Fremont to You

      With a long history at the Lean Enterprise Institute, John brings an incredibly rich view of innovation in the corporate world. As our community pushes Lean Startup ideas forward, he brings a valuable ability to ground our greater understanding.

      Lean Startup in a Regulated Environment

      We hear often that Lean Startup principles can’t be applied in a regulated industry like healthcare. Mureen will challenge that idea with specific examples of the solutions and workarounds she’s found at Optum.

      Turn the Battleship! Use Lean Startup Principles to Add Mobile to Your Enterprise App Portfolio — Sponsored by Modus Create

      Sponsored Workshop Featuring: Staff from Modus Create, a sponsor of The Lean Startup Conference. Everyone has “mobile” on their product roadmap, but how do you identify where to start and how to quantify the effort? This 90-minute, hands-on session will run through five Lean Startup planning exercises you can learn today and use tomorrow. You’ll take away best practices for creating shared understanding, goal alignment, risk- and complexity-scoping, and cross-roadmap dependencies.

      This sessions is designed for CMOs, CIOs, CTOs, Product Leads, Engineering Leads and Design Leads at established companies who are looking for practical insights into developing a successful mobile strategy.

      The workshop is given by Modus Create, a product studio working with Fortune 1000 and venture funded product companies to create highly leveraged outcomes with emerging technology.

      This workshop is open to any conference attendee, not just Gold and VIP pass holders.

      The Biggest Implementation of Lean Startup on Earth

      GE has been in business for more than 130 years in part because it has always been able to reinvent itself. The company has enlisted Lean Startup principles as one of the ways to harness its entrepreneurial spirit and improve the way it works. Steve Liguori, GE Executive Director of Global Innovation and New Models, will lead a conversation with three GE project leaders on how they’re using Lean Startup methods.

      Experimentation

      Experimenting on Experiments–Bringing Lean Startup to Scientific Research

      Emerald Therapeutics has developed a biotech lab for greatly increasing the number of experiments that researchers can run in a short time. Brian will talk about the profound impact that “science as a service” can have in his sector.

      Using Lean Startup to Do Plenty with Very Little

      Black Girls Code is a fast-growing non-profit that started with the kernel of an idea in Oakland, CA and has been iterating its way across the country. Kimberly will talk about Lean Startup ideas have helped the organization meet its vision.

      Overcoming Biases to Make Better Decisions

      Based on his experience running thousands of experiments with entrepreneurs around the world, Trevor–founder of Lean Startup Machine–will discuss how to avoid biasing both your data and yourself.

      Frame Before You Build, Measure, Learn

      The key to running effective experiments is to first frame the experiment thoughfully. This takes time, but the investment pays off many-fold. Zach will guide you through the key steps of framing, which, when done properly, reward your brain–and your organization–with learning.

      Seriously Advanced A/B Testing

      Wyatt is VP of Product at Shutterstock, a stock photo site that’s become one of the world’s biggest tow-sided markets. We first heard about Shutterstock’s approach to A/B testing from another advanced startup that was blown away by their techniques. When we talked to Wyatt to learn more, we understood the excitement and knew we had to bring the ideas to you.

      Learn-Measure-Build: Craft Useful Experiments By Running Backwards

      Experiments are central to the Lean Startup approach, but it turns out that running a good experiment is a tricky business. Many experiments deliver ambiguous results, and that’s a failure. The whole point of experimentation is to reduce risk and make confident go-forward decisions. This full-day workshop introduces a practical, four-step approach to designing experiments that can be replicated in any Lean Startup environment. You’ll get practical, hands-on experience with efficient techniques for collaborating as a team, making decisions quickly, and establishing priorities.

      In the morning, you will:
      Learn the difference between an experiment and a solution test.
      Discover the four steps to crafting an experiment with a clear result.
      Practice identifying assumptions and defining testable hypotheses.
      Understand the anatomy of an experiment.
      Design an experiment to test a real-life hypothesis.

      In the afternoon, you will:
      Refine the experiment based on cost, time, and manpower.
      “Get out of the classroom” to run a real-world experiment on your fellow conference-goers.
      Define a result and make a go-forward decision.
      Identify the seven characteristics of successful experiments.

      Using Cloud Infrastructure to Innovate Rapidly — Sponsored by Rackspace

      This workshop focuses on how you can use cloud infrastructure to build and innovate rapidly. It includes a case study on Rackspace’s experience in the Build-Measure-Learn loop, followed by a walkthrough of the 5 Pillars of Cloudiness to help you design cloud applications today for future success. The session comprises three segments:

      • The Performance Cloud: Build Faster

      • GitHub, Jenkins, and Cloud Files: A Love Story

      • The 5 Pillars of Cloudiness

      This workshop is open to any conference attendee, not just Gold and VIP pass holders.

      Leap In–How to Apply Lean Startup Principles to Internal Teams Such as HR, IT and Finance

      Leap In–How to Apply Lean Startup Principles to Internal Teams Such as HR, IT and Finance

      Through our experience teaching Lean Entrepreneur workshops in large organizations, we’ve discovered something interesting: Internal teams such as HR, Finance, and IT have found success applying Lean Startup principles within their departments. If you’re interested in hearing these stories and learning how to bring innovation to your internal corporate processes, this workshop is for you. The hands-on session will help participants learn to interact with internal customers, reduce new initiative risks through experimentation and make better decisions based on this data. Teams from HR, Finance, Legal, Operations, Facilities, Marketing, Sales and IT are encouraged to attend, although the content is also suitable for engineering, design, and product teams.

      Participating teams will learn:
      1. Our top surprises from internal process teams
      2. Strategies for implementing Lean Startup principles within departments
      3. Rapid experimentation tactics that can be applied to projects immediately
      4. How to identify new value-creating opportunities based on internal customers’ needs
      5. How to reduce risk by identifying the minimum viable product

      How You Can Start the Next Zipcar

      Robin will tell not only the story of how the Zipcar began with Lean Startup techniques, she’ll also reveal the economic framework that will help you build the next Zipcar.

      An Interview with Matt Mullenweg

      Matt is the founder of Automattic, the company behind WordPress, which powers approximately 20% of the web’s biggest sites. His team experiments constantly, yet they nearly all work from home. How do they do it? Sarah Milstein will interview Matt.

      Jump-starting Product Strategy in a Startup

      Des will cover key areas for product strategy in a startup: defining your mission; defining your product, scoping your product, analyzing usage, and iterating. Useful for startups at almost any stage, this talk will offer advice you can put to use immediately.

      Jazz Engineering

      Organzitions go through predictable cycles. They begin by experimenting violently, but when they hit the hockey-stick curve, they need to execute on as few things as possible to meet demand–and then, as they attract competitors, they need to both at once. We know of nobody better than Kent to talk about the role programmers play in this cycle, and how can they up their game to support both execution and experiments.

      Rapid Iteration for Mobile App Design

      The mobile app environment presents a lot of challenges for people who want to test ideas quickly. Mariya knows the tricks and will explain how to make rapid progress in the strategic design and prototyping phase of mobile app development. This session is specially created for non-technical designers, product managers and entrepreneurs.

      Science of Pricing: Tools to Optimize Price Without Sacrificing Conversions

      [Bring your laptop…we’re going to build!]

      Pricing is a pain in the @$$. You research your competitor’s prices or do some rough cost estimates but whatever you come up with, feels like a guess:
      Either you’ve priced too high and you’re scaring customers away or
      You’ve priced too low and you’re leaving money on the table.
      The Secret of Startup Pricing: studies show most innovative products have an ideal price point – one that optimizes both revenue AND customers.

      In this workshop, you’re not going to hear about price testing – you’re going to DO price testing.

      Jazz Engineering–the Deep Dive

      Kent will follow up his morning talk on the role of engineers in a hyper-growth company with an afternoon session that goes deeper into the topic and includes a meaty Q&A. Bring your questions for one of the people we’ve learned the most from on product development.

      Beyond Landing Pages: Five Ways to Find Out if Your Idea Is Stupid

      A perennial favorite speaker at The Lean Startup Conference, Laura will make sure you know when and how to use not just landing pages, but also concierge tactics, Wizard of Oz setups and content strategies like blogs and email newsletters. You will leave her session smarter.

      Continuous Delivery: Deploy Safer, Learn Faster

      This workshop is a a deep dive into the technical practices of continuous delivery. We’ll start with getting the basics right: continuous integration, configuration management, and test automation. Then we’ll discuss creating and evolving a deployment pipeline to detect and reject bad changes, trading off fast feedback and comprehensive testing. Next we’ll cover patterns of low-risk deployments, including blue-green deployments, dark launching, the cluster immune system, and feature toggles, and discuss how to leverage these patterns to perform A/B testing. There will be lots of opportunity for discussion and we’ll leave time at the end to go deeper into topics of interest to the group.

      Funding

      Funding for Lean Impact

      Lean Startup ideas are increasingly being applied by mission-driven and non-profit organizations. Leaders of these initiatives often find themselves at odds with funders, who use a traditional framework for assessing a project’s merits. Christie will look at funding innovations in the sector–some of which are likely to have implications for the for-profit world, too.

      Alleviating Poverty One Iteration at a Time

      Akash will look at key challenges faced by non-profit organizations, including unclear or overabundant metrics, long feedback loops and limited resources. Then he’ll show how Kiva has tackled those problems in ways that other organizations can apply, too.

      Government

      When Lean Startup Arrives in a Trojan Horse–Innovation in Extreme Bureaucracy

      Steven runs an procurement-innovation program in one of the world’s most notorious bureaucracies: the New York City Department of Education. In a fear-driven atmosphere, with lots of incentive to not be embarrassed, he’ll talk about the challenges he’s faced and progress he’s made testing new ideas.

      Healthcare

      Engaging Your Team in Continuous Improvement

      Mark has been a leader in applying Lean Startup ideas in the healthcare sector. In this talk, he’ll discuss best practices for continuous improvement and what respect for people means in a practical way.

      Lean Startup in a Regulated Environment

      We hear often that Lean Startup principles can’t be applied in a regulated industry like healthcare. Mureen will challenge that idea with specific examples of the solutions and workarounds she’s found at Optum.

      Human Factors

      Integrating Development, Design and Product Management to Deliver Great Products

      One of the top pieces of advice you can take when you’re trying to innovate more effectively is this: work in cross-functional teams. But most companies are structured in silos: design, development and product management work separately, with communication and collaboration relegated to weekly check-ins and designs and feature requirements thrown over the fence. Drew will talk about how to build cross-functional teams that actually function and can test ideas at market pace.

      Engaging Your Team in Continuous Improvement

      Mark has been a leader in applying Lean Startup ideas in the healthcare sector. In this talk, he’ll discuss best practices for continuous improvement and what respect for people means in a practical way.

      Overcoming Biases to Make Better Decisions

      Based on his experience running thousands of experiments with entrepreneurs around the world, Trevor–founder of Lean Startup Machine–will discuss how to avoid biasing both your data and yourself.

      Lean Leadership Lessons

      Intuit has been at the forefront of incorporating Lean Startup methods across a very large company. CEO Brad Smith will lead a conversation with two senior Intuit executives, Laura Fennell and Hugh Molotsi, about how they’ve fostered and rewarded an environment of experimentation and how they’ve transformed how decisions are made in their businesses.

      The Big Ideas Behind Lean Product Development

      People with a deep understanding of profitable engineering workflows often cite Don among the writers who have influenced them most profoundly. He’ll share insights not only for engineers, but for civilians, too, to help you better see the structure of Lean and apply it most effectively.

      Leap In–How to Apply Lean Startup Principles to Internal Teams Such as HR, IT and Finance

      Leap In–How to Apply Lean Startup Principles to Internal Teams Such as HR, IT and Finance

      Through our experience teaching Lean Entrepreneur workshops in large organizations, we’ve discovered something interesting: Internal teams such as HR, Finance, and IT have found success applying Lean Startup principles within their departments. If you’re interested in hearing these stories and learning how to bring innovation to your internal corporate processes, this workshop is for you. The hands-on session will help participants learn to interact with internal customers, reduce new initiative risks through experimentation and make better decisions based on this data. Teams from HR, Finance, Legal, Operations, Facilities, Marketing, Sales and IT are encouraged to attend, although the content is also suitable for engineering, design, and product teams.

      Participating teams will learn:
      1. Our top surprises from internal process teams
      2. Strategies for implementing Lean Startup principles within departments
      3. Rapid experimentation tactics that can be applied to projects immediately
      4. How to identify new value-creating opportunities based on internal customers’ needs
      5. How to reduce risk by identifying the minimum viable product

      An Interview with Matt Mullenweg

      Matt is the founder of Automattic, the company behind WordPress, which powers approximately 20% of the web’s biggest sites. His team experiments constantly, yet they nearly all work from home. How do they do it? Sarah Milstein will interview Matt.

      Risk, Information, Time and Money (in 20 Minutes)

      Working in a startup environment, you’re constantly facing subtle, tricky choices: of all the things you could work on, which ones are worth your time? Which ones will actually move the business forward? How should you spend your next hour? Your next day? You and your team will make a thousand such decisions–the ultimate success or failure of your venture is largely determined by the sum total of those choices. Starting from these questions, Dan will explore the principles underlying the Lean Startup, helping you determine the best way to spend your time.

      Learning to Be an Organization that Pivots

      ElectNext is a young startup that’s not only learning about its potential markets, it’s also learning how to learn. Keya will reveal the changes the organization has gone through to be able to move more quickly, with less friction and greater success.

      Continuous Change at Scale

      Continuous deployment–small, frequent, and continuous changes to the production website–let marketplace giant Etsy iterate quickly and experiment with new features rapidly. But it’s not an approach that every engineer is comfortable with. John will talk about how Etsy does continuous deployment and gets the team behind it.

      Cultivating Lean Startup Teams When People Don't Know What It Is (or Are Hostile to It)

      Often, a Lean Startup implementation has to start as a stealth initiative. Emily has snuck in the techniques in a number of ways, and she’ll describe several that have high success rates, which works best with which kind of internal audience, and where to learn more.

      Transitioning Teams to Lean

      When Microsoft acquired Yammer last year, one of employees it gained was Cindy, an expert in applied Lean Startup techniques. Cindy will be joined Microsoft principal program manager Ethan Gur-esh to talk about how they’re transitioning teams into a Lean Startup mindset and away from the three-year planning waterfall cycles of the past.

      Can Lean Startup Advocates and Grizzled Veterans Work Together?

      When you have an experienced team in place, one that hasn’t used Lean Startup principles, the ideas can sound like a lot of buzzwords at best and unnecessary change at worst. Nicole and Neelan–who were on opposite sides of the table initially–will discuss the conflicts they faced and the concrete steps that helped their company coalesce.

      Cost of Delay: Why You Need It, How You Get It, What You Do With It

      Ask the members of a typical development team what a week of cycle time is worth and you’ll get answers that vary by 50 to 1. Allow them to act on what they believe, and you’ll create conflict and misaligned decisions. We call the value of time on the critical path the Cost of Delay (CoD). CoD helps you make smarter economic choices and it helps you explain the logic of your choices to management. It’s surprisingly easy to calculate and lets you make rational tradeoffs between important project objectives. This workshop will show you why you need CoD, how you can calculate it, and how you can use it to make better decisions. You’ll learn how to sell the idea to management and how to embed it in your management processes. Drawing on 30 years of experience using this method, Don will also identify the most common excuses for not calculating CoD, and how to overcome them.

      Innovation Economics

      Risk, Information, Time and Money (in 20 Minutes)

      Working in a startup environment, you’re constantly facing subtle, tricky choices: of all the things you could work on, which ones are worth your time? Which ones will actually move the business forward? How should you spend your next hour? Your next day? You and your team will make a thousand such decisions–the ultimate success or failure of your venture is largely determined by the sum total of those choices. Starting from these questions, Dan will explore the principles underlying the Lean Startup, helping you determine the best way to spend your time.

      The Big Ideas Behind Lean Product Development

      People with a deep understanding of profitable engineering workflows often cite Don among the writers who have influenced them most profoundly. He’ll share insights not only for engineers, but for civilians, too, to help you better see the structure of Lean and apply it most effectively.

      Cost of Delay: Why You Need It, How You Get It, What You Do With It

      Ask the members of a typical development team what a week of cycle time is worth and you’ll get answers that vary by 50 to 1. Allow them to act on what they believe, and you’ll create conflict and misaligned decisions. We call the value of time on the critical path the Cost of Delay (CoD). CoD helps you make smarter economic choices and it helps you explain the logic of your choices to management. It’s surprisingly easy to calculate and lets you make rational tradeoffs between important project objectives. This workshop will show you why you need CoD, how you can calculate it, and how you can use it to make better decisions. You’ll learn how to sell the idea to management and how to embed it in your management processes. Drawing on 30 years of experience using this method, Don will also identify the most common excuses for not calculating CoD, and how to overcome them.

      International

      What Works in Silicon Valley Doesn't Work Everywhere: How to Apply Lean Startup in Asia–and Win the Emerging Global Startup Wars

      Kevin is one of the top experts on applying Lean Startup ideas beyond Silicon Valley. With experience on the ground in Asia and regular contact with entrepreneurs around the world, he’s in an unusually good position to share a global perspective.

      Lean Impact

      Using Lean Startup to Do Plenty with Very Little

      Black Girls Code is a fast-growing non-profit that started with the kernel of an idea in Oakland, CA and has been iterating its way across the country. Kimberly will talk about Lean Startup ideas have helped the organization meet its vision.

      How to Build the Product When You're Not the User–and You Don't Even Know Anybody Who's the User

      Alexis is interested in solving big problems, which means building products for people who face daily challenges very different from hers. She’s taken unusual steps to explore untapped markets and understand the users in them, giving her excellent insight into customer development.

      Funding for Lean Impact

      Lean Startup ideas are increasingly being applied by mission-driven and non-profit organizations. Leaders of these initiatives often find themselves at odds with funders, who use a traditional framework for assessing a project’s merits. Christie will look at funding innovations in the sector–some of which are likely to have implications for the for-profit world, too.

      Alleviating Poverty One Iteration at a Time

      Akash will look at key challenges faced by non-profit organizations, including unclear or overabundant metrics, long feedback loops and limited resources. Then he’ll show how Kiva has tackled those problems in ways that other organizations can apply, too.

      When Lean Startup Arrives in a Trojan Horse–Innovation in Extreme Bureaucracy

      Steven runs an procurement-innovation program in one of the world’s most notorious bureaucracies: the New York City Department of Education. In a fear-driven atmosphere, with lots of incentive to not be embarrassed, he’ll talk about the challenges he’s faced and progress he’s made testing new ideas.

      Instituionalizing Innovation

      A very popular speaker at last year’s Lean Startup Conference, Diane is back to give an update on her mind-opening work to apply Lean Startup methods across Summit Public Schools. Her lessons are useful not only for educators but for anyone in a sector that seems resistant to experimentation and change.

      Build a New Product, Infect a Whole Organization

      When Code for America started a new international initiative this year, the process pushed the whole organization to look at how it could run faster, with more experiments. Catherine will talk about launching, building and leading the new program, Code for All, the complexities of building a global network of civic hackers that fosters shared values while at the same time respecting local context, and the infectious effect the new program had on Code for America overall.

      Learning to Be an Organization that Pivots

      ElectNext is a young startup that’s not only learning about its potential markets, it’s also learning how to learn. Keya will reveal the changes the organization has gone through to be able to move more quickly, with less friction and greater success.

      MVPs

      Using Kickstarter to Run an MVP

      Back to the Roots sells kits for growing edible plants. Their business involves physical products and isn’t one that obviously lends itself to intense experimentation. And yet, as we learned in a popular talk from Nikhil and Alex last year, they test everything. This year, they’re back to talk about a Kickstarter campaign they used as an MVP for a new product–during which they learned a lot more than they expected.

      Using Lean Startup to Do Plenty with Very Little

      Black Girls Code is a fast-growing non-profit that started with the kernel of an idea in Oakland, CA and has been iterating its way across the country. Kimberly will talk about Lean Startup ideas have helped the organization meet its vision.

      The Medium Is the Message

      Patrick is a longtime leader in the Lean Startup community. In this talk, he’ll redefine and explain growth-hacking in a way that takes us beyond SEO tricks and helps us understand patterns we can leverage for growth.

      Acquiring Your First Users Out of Thin Air

      What’s the reality of building an audience for your product or company? Kathryn’s story of getting initial users when she needed feedback early on is instructive.

      When Lean Startup Arrives in a Trojan Horse–Innovation in Extreme Bureaucracy

      Steven runs an procurement-innovation program in one of the world’s most notorious bureaucracies: the New York City Department of Education. In a fear-driven atmosphere, with lots of incentive to not be embarrassed, he’ll talk about the challenges he’s faced and progress he’s made testing new ideas.

      How You Can Start the Next Zipcar

      Robin will tell not only the story of how the Zipcar began with Lean Startup techniques, she’ll also reveal the economic framework that will help you build the next Zipcar.

      Work With Customers Before You Write Any Code

      It’s often tempting to test technical risk before you test market risk. After all, what if your product doesn’t actually work? Then again, what if you build it and nobody wants to buy it? Daina will talk about the stages she took her product through and how she learned a great deal about her market before writing a line of code.

      Rapid Iteration for Mobile App Design

      The mobile app environment presents a lot of challenges for people who want to test ideas quickly. Mariya knows the tricks and will explain how to make rapid progress in the strategic design and prototyping phase of mobile app development. This session is specially created for non-technical designers, product managers and entrepreneurs.

      Science of Pricing: Tools to Optimize Price Without Sacrificing Conversions

      [Bring your laptop…we’re going to build!]

      Pricing is a pain in the @$$. You research your competitor’s prices or do some rough cost estimates but whatever you come up with, feels like a guess:
      Either you’ve priced too high and you’re scaring customers away or
      You’ve priced too low and you’re leaving money on the table.
      The Secret of Startup Pricing: studies show most innovative products have an ideal price point – one that optimizes both revenue AND customers.

      In this workshop, you’re not going to hear about price testing – you’re going to DO price testing.

      How Two Startups Used a Google Doc to Plan Their User Interface

      Stephanie knocked our socks off last year with a short talk on applying Lean Startup thinking to content strategy. We’ve brought her back this year to do a deeper dive and show some real-world examples of how text, deployed cleverly, can be a leading indicator of customer interest, before you’ve built anything else at all.

      Beyond Landing Pages: Five Ways to Find Out if Your Idea Is Stupid

      A perennial favorite speaker at The Lean Startup Conference, Laura will make sure you know when and how to use not just landing pages, but also concierge tactics, Wizard of Oz setups and content strategies like blogs and email newsletters. You will leave her session smarter.

      Crossing the Concierge Chasm

      Nicole and Khalid run Lessoncast, which builds software for educators. They’ve taken creative steps with their concierge MVP and will talk about concrete things small startups can do to learn from the concierge process and reach product-market fit with B2B customers.

      Using Lean Startup Principles to Close the Digital Divide

      A strong speaker last year, Navarrow returns with the origin story of his new initiative. He’ll talk about how using Lean Startup principles helped him understand how to engage new audiences and create more diverse teams within an organization.

      Manufacturing

      Toyota: From Lean Manufacturing to Lean Startup

      Toyota, the company that developed lean manufacturing practices, is today applying Lean Startup. Vinuth and Matt will talk about how they’ve convinced internal stakeholders at the company to respond to customer feedback and the proxies they’ve used for customer satisfaction in a research environment that prevents them from selling their products directly.

      Lean Startup–From Toyota City to Fremont to You

      With a long history at the Lean Enterprise Institute, John brings an incredibly rich view of innovation in the corporate world. As our community pushes Lean Startup ideas forward, he brings a valuable ability to ground our greater understanding.

      Merit

      Make More Meritocratic Decisions

      Lean Startup principles are, at core, intended to help you make all kinds of decisions based on the merit of business ideas (rather than on politics, tradition, whatever). But our biases can still get in the way, and they are rampant, as evidenced by the under-representation of women, people of color, older people and other in high-profile business roles. In this roundtable discussion, we’ll focus on approaches that work in making merit-based decisions. Eric Ries will moderate.

      Mobile

      Rapid Iteration for Mobile App Design

      The mobile app environment presents a lot of challenges for people who want to test ideas quickly. Mariya knows the tricks and will explain how to make rapid progress in the strategic design and prototyping phase of mobile app development. This session is specially created for non-technical designers, product managers and entrepreneurs.

      Turn the Battleship! Use Lean Startup Principles to Add Mobile to Your Enterprise App Portfolio — Sponsored by Modus Create

      Sponsored Workshop Featuring: Staff from Modus Create, a sponsor of The Lean Startup Conference. Everyone has “mobile” on their product roadmap, but how do you identify where to start and how to quantify the effort? This 90-minute, hands-on session will run through five Lean Startup planning exercises you can learn today and use tomorrow. You’ll take away best practices for creating shared understanding, goal alignment, risk- and complexity-scoping, and cross-roadmap dependencies.

      This sessions is designed for CMOs, CIOs, CTOs, Product Leads, Engineering Leads and Design Leads at established companies who are looking for practical insights into developing a successful mobile strategy.

      The workshop is given by Modus Create, a product studio working with Fortune 1000 and venture funded product companies to create highly leveraged outcomes with emerging technology.

      This workshop is open to any conference attendee, not just Gold and VIP pass holders.

      Pivots

      Learning to Be an Organization that Pivots

      ElectNext is a young startup that’s not only learning about its potential markets, it’s also learning how to learn. Keya will reveal the changes the organization has gone through to be able to move more quickly, with less friction and greater success.

      Using Lean Startup Principles to Close the Digital Divide

      A strong speaker last year, Navarrow returns with the origin story of his new initiative. He’ll talk about how using Lean Startup principles helped him understand how to engage new audiences and create more diverse teams within an organization.

      Pricing

      Science of Pricing: Tools to Optimize Price Without Sacrificing Conversions

      [Bring your laptop…we’re going to build!]

      Pricing is a pain in the @$$. You research your competitor’s prices or do some rough cost estimates but whatever you come up with, feels like a guess:
      Either you’ve priced too high and you’re scaring customers away or
      You’ve priced too low and you’re leaving money on the table.
      The Secret of Startup Pricing: studies show most innovative products have an ideal price point – one that optimizes both revenue AND customers.

      In this workshop, you’re not going to hear about price testing – you’re going to DO price testing.

      Risk

      Risk, Information, Time and Money (in 20 Minutes)

      Working in a startup environment, you’re constantly facing subtle, tricky choices: of all the things you could work on, which ones are worth your time? Which ones will actually move the business forward? How should you spend your next hour? Your next day? You and your team will make a thousand such decisions–the ultimate success or failure of your venture is largely determined by the sum total of those choices. Starting from these questions, Dan will explore the principles underlying the Lean Startup, helping you determine the best way to spend your time.

      The Big Ideas Behind Lean Product Development

      People with a deep understanding of profitable engineering workflows often cite Don among the writers who have influenced them most profoundly. He’ll share insights not only for engineers, but for civilians, too, to help you better see the structure of Lean and apply it most effectively.

      Cost of Delay: Why You Need It, How You Get It, What You Do With It

      Ask the members of a typical development team what a week of cycle time is worth and you’ll get answers that vary by 50 to 1. Allow them to act on what they believe, and you’ll create conflict and misaligned decisions. We call the value of time on the critical path the Cost of Delay (CoD). CoD helps you make smarter economic choices and it helps you explain the logic of your choices to management. It’s surprisingly easy to calculate and lets you make rational tradeoffs between important project objectives. This workshop will show you why you need CoD, how you can calculate it, and how you can use it to make better decisions. You’ll learn how to sell the idea to management and how to embed it in your management processes. Drawing on 30 years of experience using this method, Don will also identify the most common excuses for not calculating CoD, and how to overcome them.

      Scaling

      Evolving and Growing with Lean Startup

      Sharethrough has been using Lean Startup methods since it was founded five years ago. Valerie will talk about the growing pains the company has faced as it has matured and how they’ve aimed to keep a Lean Startup approach very much in play.

      The Big Ideas Behind Lean Product Development

      People with a deep understanding of profitable engineering workflows often cite Don among the writers who have influenced them most profoundly. He’ll share insights not only for engineers, but for civilians, too, to help you better see the structure of Lean and apply it most effectively.

      Instituionalizing Innovation

      A very popular speaker at last year’s Lean Startup Conference, Diane is back to give an update on her mind-opening work to apply Lean Startup methods across Summit Public Schools. Her lessons are useful not only for educators but for anyone in a sector that seems resistant to experimentation and change.

      How Validation and Vision Co-exist

      Few companies have been as bold as Meetup in integrating Lean Startup practices throughout their product development cycle. Andres has been a leader in that process, bringing customer contact and experimentation to all levels of the organization, and he’ll examine how the company balances big-picture vision with everyday validation.

      Preparing for Catastrophic Success

      Palantir is one of the breakout B2B successes of its generation, having burgeoned since 2004 from five people to more than a thousand. Ari will talk about they work to preserve the learning culture that built the company as they now operate at scale–and continue to grow.

      Build a New Product, Infect a Whole Organization

      When Code for America started a new international initiative this year, the process pushed the whole organization to look at how it could run faster, with more experiments. Catherine will talk about launching, building and leading the new program, Code for All, the complexities of building a global network of civic hackers that fosters shared values while at the same time respecting local context, and the infectious effect the new program had on Code for America overall.

      Jazz Engineering

      Organzitions go through predictable cycles. They begin by experimenting violently, but when they hit the hockey-stick curve, they need to execute on as few things as possible to meet demand–and then, as they attract competitors, they need to both at once. We know of nobody better than Kent to talk about the role programmers play in this cycle, and how can they up their game to support both execution and experiments.

      Jazz Engineering–the Deep Dive

      Kent will follow up his morning talk on the role of engineers in a hyper-growth company with an afternoon session that goes deeper into the topic and includes a meaty Q&A. Bring your questions for one of the people we’ve learned the most from on product development.

      Cost of Delay: Why You Need It, How You Get It, What You Do With It

      Ask the members of a typical development team what a week of cycle time is worth and you’ll get answers that vary by 50 to 1. Allow them to act on what they believe, and you’ll create conflict and misaligned decisions. We call the value of time on the critical path the Cost of Delay (CoD). CoD helps you make smarter economic choices and it helps you explain the logic of your choices to management. It’s surprisingly easy to calculate and lets you make rational tradeoffs between important project objectives. This workshop will show you why you need CoD, how you can calculate it, and how you can use it to make better decisions. You’ll learn how to sell the idea to management and how to embed it in your management processes. Drawing on 30 years of experience using this method, Don will also identify the most common excuses for not calculating CoD, and how to overcome them.