12 Tips for Early Customer Development Interviews (Revision 3)

Giff Constable lean

Update: check out my book on customer development Talking to Humans   Note: also see my 11 Customer Development Anti-Patterns post.  Each time I give a talk introducing people to qualitative “customer development” conversations, I try to revisit my points.  A few months ago, I gave this talk to an entrepreneurship class at Columbia Business School, and once again the …

from The Innovator’s Solution

Giff Constable innovation, lean

I’ve been spending much of the last several months working with a Fortune 100 company, helping them design and create an internal innovation / incubator practice.  To that end, I’ve been going back and re-reading some of the better books on the topic.  Here is a quote that will resonate with those who believe in agile/lean techniques: “In searching for …

When to ship?

Giff Constable innovation, lean

Last week, I helped organize a small roundtable of product and design leaders across several successful NYC startups. One question we discussed was “how do you know when to ship?” There was clear consensus that one should split when you *market* vs when you start letting users touch a working piece of software. The rule of thumb on starting to …

“They refused to give it back”

Giff Constable innovation, lean

If you are interested in corporate innovation, you will enjoy Scott Anthony’s article in the September HBR magazine, The New Corporate Garage. Key takeaways: 1. exciting things happen when you can engage in simultaneous business model innovation and technical innovation 2. it was interesting how many of the author’s examples involved hardware, where big companies have an advantage and where …

Improving the mobile failure rate

Giff Constable lean, technology, UI/UX

Like much of the tech community, I find mobile incredibly exciting. It brings new use cases and design/tech/marketing challenges galore. But you have to raise your eyebrows at the sheer number of new apps being created right now that only collect dust. There are plenty of startups with dead-end ideas, and that comes with the territory, but especially egregious to …

Why Is Lean Startup So Hard?

Giff Constable lean

A few months back, I gave a tech-talk at Pivotal Labs on the reasons why people fail to implement lean startup ideas, even when they like the theory. I’ve been meaning to post the notes to the slides, so here you go: When “lean startup” first came out, it was greeted by two erroneous responses: “this is a roadmap to …

Only Great Is Good Enough

Giff Constable innovation, lean

Today Twitter brought to my attention an article in The Independent where Sir Jonathan Ive discussed how close Apple came to shelving the iPhone because of design flaws. “You have that horrible, horrible feeling deep down in your tummy and you know that it’s OK but it’s not great. And I think some of the bravest things we’ve ever done …

(Slides) Bringing a Lean Product Process to Your Organization

Giff Constable lean

I’m on my way back from Boston after giving a talk at the Northeast PHP conference. As I promised the attendees, here are my slides. However, the real backup for the talk is my post on the topic from a couple weeks ago. Moving to Lean Product Process from Giff Constable

Lean Startup Stories: Voxy

Giff Constable lean

Paul Gollash, the founder and CEO of Voxy, just came and spoke at our NYC Lean Startup meetup, and I wanted to share some of his stories. These notes are from my memory, but hopefully reasonably accurate. Voxy is a language learning startup that is around 2 years old, VC-backed and has grown to about 25 people. But at the …

A Guide to Lean Product Management

Giff Constable lean

In my previous post, I said that teams need to stop shipping features and focus on creating value. I promised a tactical view of how an existing organization (i.e. not a ground-floor startup) could bring about that change. I will start with a little tl:dr summary: 10 Characteristics of a Lean* product team: you are composed of small, goal-driven, cross-functional …