Build Measure Learn

"First and foremost, scientists build models. They run experiments to validate those models" - Ash Maurya, author of Running Lean In last week's newsletter I talked about tracking our own experiments more closely in 2015, and offered to give feedback on whatever experiments our readers were running at their startup. As with all experiments, there were some key questions I wanted to help answer: What are you trying to learn from this experiment? Is this the best

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The mining and construction boom which has powered Australia's economic growth over recent decades is waning.  The digital revolution and innovation will be crucial to our future, but what does the narrative connecting our old economy and new economy sound like? Being based in Perth and heavily involved in the local tech community, I have long drawn a parallel between mining companies and tech startup companies. A junior explorer company begins with a hunch - there is something of great

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When we mentor our teams, one problem that typically arises is the definition of the “what”, given that in software, one could build close to anything imaginable on the planet. So we press them to ask the following: in your business, what kind of job is the client hiring? We don’t usually think of it this way, but believe me, it’s an extremely powerful way of explaining not only what we deliver, but what the

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Ugly Baby

In parents' eyes, their baby is the most beautiful creation in the world. The same is true of almost every startup founder. Towards the end of a catchup with one of my friends just before Christmas, he explained to me what he calls "ugly baby syndrome". We are never going to tell the parents of a new-born child that the apple-of-their-eye is anything less than beautiful, but when it comes to creating a new business

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It is that time of year when we go from looking back and reflecting, to looking forward to whatever craziness awaits us... What comes next for you in 2015? The other day, Seth Godin shared a terrific (tongue-in-cheek) Annual Plan Construction Set for Big Companies. Today, I want to share three tidbits of advice which I hope will help entrepreneurs like you hit the ground running this new year. 1) Vision plus Focus > Strategy plus Plan As

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In the past 10 years or so, Startup culture has done a terrific job in educating aspiring founders on the skills, tactics and hacks we need to establish a new business model. Which, by the way is the best definition of a startup – a business for which no financial model and or customer solution already exists. But because what we do in startup land is so new, there are also many new business concepts

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Hi Sydney, My name is Fernando and I come from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Land of La Pampa Húmeda, Patagonia Argentina, Dulce de Leche, Asado, Alfajores, Empanadas, Mate and Messi. As for Australia, I’m getting used very quickly to the Aussie BBQs, Vegemite, Meat Pies, Lamingtons, Cricket, Rugby and Footy among other amazing things. In the past, I have run the Buenos Aires Lean Startup Machine and Lean Startup Meetup Group, plus coached for Startup NEXT

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Phil wrote a punchy piece earlier this year about the balancing act between brutal truth and hope being a condition of startup success. "Without brutal truth, we live the startup dream until we run out of money and go back to our day job. Without hope, we never begin." This is baked into every day of our life as founders. It is part of the underlying rhythm as we make our way along the entrepreneur's journey - all the way

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The most exciting thing I’ve seen in the Australian business community this year is large companies- think ASX 100 getting their startup on. Many are finally realising that this new tech, lean approach to innovation and change isn’t just a side show, it’s quickly becoming the main game. It’s a bit like a rock band that goes on tour as the support act, and by the end of it becomes the main act. In response,

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It’s easy to get yourself deep inside some kind of wormhole when we live in startup land. We hang out with startup founders, we attend technology conferences, we read the same blogs, we follow the same companies and entrepreneurs, and we frequent the same cafes. In many ways we can end up in some kind of entrepreneurial echo chamber where everything we experience becomes a reflection of what we already believe. Just look at your

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Pay It Forward

I spent the weekend facilitating at #SWPerth, one of six Startup Weekends taking place across Australia (and one hundred more all over the world) as part of the Global Startup Battle. My mind always gets blown at these events. We define an entrepreneur as "someone who pursues opportunities beyond their current level of resources". When all anyone in the room has is an idea, 48 hours and a naive sense of optimism, the resources are obviously

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By: Kevin Dooley

We are born entrepreneurs. And then we spend the next 12 years at industrialised schooling which quickly whips any kind of creative free thinking spirit out of us. Yes, we learn to conform, follow rules, colour inside the lines, fill in the boxes and get told that the idea of collaborating is actually cheating. Yes, the one thing that makes us such a dominant species (division of labour and skill sharing) is called cheating at

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Startups are trendy. It’s really trendy to say that you are the founder of a startup. It sounds kinda cool and all this imagery of Silicon Valley success infiltrates the mind. Big shiny digital brand names, funky office spaces, and the fantasy of joining the one percent with some crazy 8 figure exit create a strong pop culture interest in the scene. And so we have this gravity pulling us towards starting our own startup.

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For the past 56 hours, we have been working with 22 teams, to solve the greatest problems facing the city of today. Our hackers are creating a smart city, delivering valuable systems to change how the city of the future runs. Participants come from Singtel's Telco group, and have traveled from all over the globe for the chance to bring their concept to reality. Top teams from tonight's pitching will incubate their startup in at Pollenizer

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Your current idea is good enough. Waiting for a great startup idea is a fool's errand. It isn’t going to arrive, and it doesn’t even need to. Many of the famous and amazing household name startups we know started as something much different to what brought their success. Let’s consider these examples: • Flickr: started out as an online gaming company • Youtube: started out as a video dating website • Twitter: was born out

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A pivot isn't just something we say to make us feel like we are a lean, nimble, innovative startup. A pivot doesn't mean we go back to square one and start again. A pivot isn't spinning in circles, looking for a path ahead. In basketball they call that travel. In startup science, we call it a lack of focus. A pivot takes advantage of the lessons we have already learned. A pivot impacts all the assumptions which

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Digital Analog

I love the internet. I really do. Humankind has never been so connected. We can start a business from our spare room, sell something to customers on the other side of the world, and ship them a digital product in the blink of an eye. With apologies to the wheel and the steam engine, there has never been a greater enabler than the internet. As entrepreneurs, though, sometimes we get too excited by this amazing

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The real value of blogging Ok, I’ll just come straight out and say it: Of all things I have done in my work and career, blogging has by far been the most valuable and had the biggest impact (personal and financial) of all work related activities I have undertaken. Sounds kind of lofty and an overstatement of reality, but I mean this deep down in my heart. Blogging helped me to see and think in

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99 Problems

The other day Phil wrote about The Golden Idea, now I want to pick up on that theme and take the next step down the typical entrepreneur's path - developing your idea into a business plan. For the sake of this exercise, let's call our "typical entrepreneur" Me In 2008... When I first joined Pollenizer I wrote about some of the startup failures and learnings which brought me here: We Be was an interactive social networking platform targeted

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By: Sean McMenemy

Looking at businesses like Facebook from the outside can send a message that it is OK to build something awesome and figure out the monetisation later. Please don't do that with your startup. I have a couple of times, and it is painful. On both occasions we worked very hard on early stage concepts only to discover that it would always be very challenging to make money. Here's how I like to work on REVENUE and COSTS cells

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