Shanghai-based TechYiZu just organized their very first Lean Startup Machine event couple weeks ago at People Squared’s “Yanping Attic” co-working space, with the guest appearance of Ray Xu, one of Lean Startup Machine’s very own organizers who had flown from the US to attend the event.
So, what is Lean Startup at all?
Lean Startup (Machine) in a Nutshell
“Lean Startup” is a term (process) coined by Eric Ries, and involves rapid, iterative prototyping to test assumptions and to develop a product that customers actually want (lean doesn’t refer to being a startup running on the ‘cheap’, but refers to a mindset focusing on reducing ‘wasted work’ by building products that there are real consumers for).
The Lean Startup Machine is an intensive three-day workshop, which teaches Lean Startup methodologies and the relevant applications for product, customer, and business model development.
The workshops kicked off last night with attendees pitching their product ideas and the formation of teams, that attendees would be working with for the duration of the weekend. Each team was coached by Ray Wu on developing their problem hypothesis, solution hypothesis and a series of assumptions that will be core to the success of each team’s business model.
The goal of The Lean Startup Machine is to “Get Out Of the Building,” and speak with real customers to collect cash or non-cash currency, which serves as validation or invalidation of each team’s riskiest business model assumptions. (Non-cash currency is considered a behavior that demonstrates intent to use a product, and can range from usage time, email submission, or a signed letter of intent.)
The whole process of the workshop exercise is to promote the problem-centric approach to business ideation, by continuously validating or invalidating assumptions. With each invalidation, each team is forced to pivot their solution toward a true customer pain.