Today I had the privilege of attending the first Lean Startup workshop put on by Eric Ries. I came across Eric’s teachings and consequently Steve Blank‘s Customer Development while working at Vivaty. At the time it seemed everything we were doing was the exact thing Eric and Steve advised against. Needless to say I became a big convert, so much so that I plunked down my own money to attend the first workshop Eric put together and I wasn’t disappointed. I was already sold on the material and more exposure to it would be well worth it however Eric also forced us to do something I always dread at workshops – participation exercises. Whenever instructors force the audience to do these exercises they say it will help impart the information, and they’re usually correct despite the pain. What I learned from these exercises will probably take a while to fully sink in. It was also to learn from the other attendees through these exercises. I have to give it to Eric, he was trying to impart a lot of information and I think he made a great start. I have a much better grasp of the concepts than I did before the workshop. Eric is very sincere about his passion to spread the concept of The Lean Startup. Like many in Silicon Valley he wants to see what innovation it can spur.
My only complaint is that one day isn’t enough. Eric has a lot of material to cover and was only able to focus on what he felt was the most powerful, leaving the rest for the workbook. Needless to say I have a lot of reading to do.
Interestingly enough Tim Ferriss of The 4-Hour Workweek was there. I always expected him to be the constant marketer but he is actually very humble and down to earth. I look forward to catching him at WordCamp tomorrow.
In closing I feel compelled to pass along a great video Eric showed during the workshop. It so captures the traditional start-up.