Monday, July 20, 2015

Lean Startup and the Importance of Doing the Right Thing

I just watched a great video from the Lean Startup conference, by Dan Milstein:

It's 20 minutes long and worth watching.  However, before you run off and do that, I'll let you know why I thought it was interesting. 

In it he discusses the detriment of working on the wrong thing.  It's fascinating (but true), when he says that you are better off working on NOTHING at all, than working on the wrong thing.  This is a complete contradiction to the workplace biases and pressures that are so common. 

Secondly, he talks about how to determine what is the right thing.  In it, he gives an example of a teleportation technology, and a simple healthcare app (which reminded me a lot of my post on Type I/Type II companies).  If the technology is uncertain, but the market is guaranteed, then spend time on the technology, not the market.  If the technology is certain, but the market is not, then spend time validating the market.  Because so many IT/app companies really have little technology risk, so much of the Lean Startup movement focuses on market validation.  However, in the energy space, where I live, I think that the markets are known and regulated, and it is the technology risk that is the bigger piece.

However, as interesting as that was, his real point was that the greatest uncertainty (and therefore the greatest value for the company to understand) can shift several times in the company development.  It is the ability of the company to recognize the shifting risks and adjust what they are working on (to avoid working on the wrong thing), that is the greatest value to the company.

It's a great video.  Have a watch.