DC Lean Startup: “Back to Basics” – event notes

DC Lean Startups:  “Back to Basics” Meetup

“In God we trust; all others bring data.” —  W. Edwards Demming

The event was a fine overview of the basic principles of Lean by Teague Hopkins (@teaguehopkins), followed by presentations from three entrepreneurs who have employed Lean in their own growing businesses.

Lean is a methodology worth learning.  At it’s core it’s about getting to market faster, and failing/learning/refining your product faster so you can determine whether anybody is actually interested in paying for your solution.  Teague drew a nice contrast to Agile development methodology, which is about minimizing Tech risk

This seems especially relevant given the way fundraising has changed recently — especially in the consumer digital space, as VC attention shifted toward B2B —  to require companies to demonstrate traction in the market.  (I haven’t studied this enough to understand if there is a chicken/egg dynamic at work.)

In an excellent, high-energy talk Cont3nt.com’s CEO Anton Gelman (@antonreport) offered a useful checklist of sites that make creating a fully-functioning, visually compelling, testable and social-and-analytics-enabled web prototypes.  Full scoops are in his presentation, but the TL;DR version:

    1. GoDaddy — domain registration
    2. WordPress — content platform whose themes and plugins “will do 90% of the job for most web development projects”
    3. Pagely.com — “awesome WordPress hosting”
    4. Themeforest.com — “spectacularly rich themes” that typically run around $40 for individuals
    5. Buddypress.org — OOTB social networking capabilities for your site
    6. Google Analytics — ‘nuff said
    7. Optimizely — great platform to enable A/B testing on your site
    8. Facebook — still the best way to attract users (i.e., testers) to your site, and faster than canvassing outside
    9. Jotform.com — excellent tool for making all manner of forms, including those that connect to your user tracking, social, payment platforms, etc. “The greatest!”

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