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3D printing, barriers to entry, call centre, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, commoditize, Computer Numeric Control, continuous integration, corporate governance, experimental subject, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Lean Startup, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Metcalfe’s law, minimum viable product, Network effects, payday loans, Peter Thiel, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, pull request, risk tolerance, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, skunkworks, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Toyota Production System, transaction costs
These give rise to tuning variables that control a startup’s engine of growth. Each iteration of a startup is an attempt to rev this engine to see if it will turn. Once it is running, the process repeats, shifting into higher and higher gears. Once clear on these leap-of-faith assumptions, the first step is to enter the Build phase as quickly as possible with a minimum viable product (MVP). The MVP is that version of the product that enables a full turn of the Build-Measure-Learn loop with a minimum amount of effort and the least amount of development time. The minimum viable product lacks many features that may prove essential later on. However, in some ways, creating a MVP requires extra work: we must be able to measure its impact. For example, it is inadequate to build a prototype that is evaluated solely for internal quality by engineers and designers. We also need to get it in front of potential customers to gauge their reactions.
Drew recounted, “It drove hundreds of thousands of people to the website. Our beta waiting list went from 5,000 people to 75,000 people literally overnight. It totally blew us away.” Today, Dropbox is one of Silicon Valley’s hottest companies, rumored to be worth more than $1 billion.5 In this case, the video was the minimum viable product. The MVP validated Drew’s leap-of-faith assumption that customers wanted the product he was developing not because they said so in a focus group or because of a hopeful analogy to another business, but because they actually signed up. THE CONCIERGE MINIMUM VIABLE PRODUCT Consider another kind of MVP technique: the concierge MVP. To understand how this technique works, meet Manuel Rosso, the CEO of an Austin, Texas–based startup called Food on the Table. Food on the Table creates weekly meal plans and grocery lists that are based on food you and your family enjoy, then hooks into your local grocery stores to find the best deals on the ingredients.
Unknowingly, we had fallen into a classic startup trap. We had been so successful with our early efforts that we were ignoring the principles behind them. As a result, we missed the need to pivot even as it stared us in the face. We had built an organization that excelled at the kinds of activities described in earlier chapters: creating minimum viable products to test new ideas and running experiments to tune the engine of growth. Before we had begun to enjoy success, many people had advised against our “low-quality” minimum viable product and experimental approach, urging us to slow down. They wanted us to do things right and focus on quality instead of speed. We ignored that advice, mostly because we wanted to claim the advantages of speed. After our approach was vindicated, the advice we received changed. Now most of the advice we heard was that “you can’t argue with success,” urging us to stay the course.
Startup Weekend: How to Take a Company From Concept to Creation in 54 Hours by Marc Nager, Clint Nelsen, Franck Nouyrigat
Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, business climate, invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, pattern recognition, Silicon Valley, transaction costs, web application, Y Combinator
See Team building Pivoting Plane.ly Product/service differentiation Project management agile development lean methods scrum board traditional method waterfall method Proof of concept. See Minimum viable product (proof of concept) Protobakes Prototypes. See Minimum viable product (proof of concept) Quotify Reiser, Shane Relationship building Release early, release often concept Research on entrepreneurship Rethink Water Ries, Eric Ringwald, Alexis Risk and entrepreneurship low-risk setting of Startup Weekend and minimum viable product concept Risk capital Risk mitigation Rockwell, Dan Roman vote (thumbs-up/thumbs-down) Roqbot Rossi, Jon Scaling leap Schramm, Carl Scrum Scrum boards. See also Brainstorming Seguin, Nick Shurstedt, Jerry Siauw, Danielle Silicon Valley Sixty second pitch elements of example pain-point problem description rationale for solution summary team building Smallbone, David Social media Social networking South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival Sparkrelief Sprints Stamos, John Stanford University Star Trek Star Trek: The Next Generation Startup America Startup Cofounders Startup Drinks Startup Foundation Startup Labs Startup leap Startup process cofounder leap entrepreneurship leap external growth leap funded leap scaling leap speed of startup leap Startup revolution Startup Weekend action-based networking attendees backgrounds of attendees benefits of and community continuation of work after Core Team empowerment experiential education.
Then you'll have some clue about what people want and you won't even have to waste the energy and time and money on building it. This is what business theorists call a proof of concept. We encourage people to go one step further at Startup Weekend and build what's called a minimum viable product. Rather than just having a website that shows people what the product will do once it's built, go ahead and build a stripped down version of it. As one of the pioneers of this theory, Eric Ries, explained in an interview with Venture Hacks, “The idea of minimum viable product is useful because you can basically say: Our vision is to build a product that solves this core problem for customers . . . we think that . . . early adopters [of] this kind of solution will be the most forgiving. And they will fill in the features that aren't quite there in their minds if we give them the core, tent-pole features that point [in] the direction of where we're trying to go.”
And they will fill in the features that aren't quite there in their minds if we give them the core, tent-pole features that point [in] the direction of where we're trying to go.” Dan Rockwell, who has launched a number of startups and participated in a Startup Weekend in Columbus, Ohio, offers a concise way of thinking about minimum viable products: They should be products with the minimum value, the minimum desired experience, the minimum cash lost, the minimum BS to endure—and the maximum momentum to burn. Rockwell's company, Big Kitty Labs, produces something called Protobakes, which are “functional code examples” of something you want to make at the level of a minimum viable product. He sees these protobakes as a means of facilitating conversation between you and your team, as well as your customers and your investors. To think about a product's growth as a kind of conversation is to understand how quickly and nimbly its development is coming along.
Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed by Alexis Ohanian
Airbnb, barriers to entry, carbon-based life, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, Hans Rosling, hiring and firing, Internet Archive, Justin.tv, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, Occupy movement, Paul Graham, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social web, software is eating the world, Startup school, Tony Hsieh, unpaid internship, Y Combinator
It was a rather unexciting list of search results, just like any other travel search engine you’ve ever used, except this one didn’t have any polish. I wasn’t too impressed. But Steve said they’d been noodling on some different ways to present the data that were going to be infinitely more user-friendly. I trusted him, but I went back to Brooklyn thinking he and Adam were a long way from that minimum viable product (or as the cool kids say, “MVP”). In my mind, searching for flights was already a solved problem. It worked well enough to allow me to sit at my laptop and, if I had enough tabs open, not bother my dad about finding me a good flight to San Francisco. But Adam knew it could be so much better. You see, Adam realized he had a problem booking flights back in college. He ended up memorizing airport codes from AAL to ZRH because the MIT debate team competed all over the globe, and Adam had the unenviable job of booking flights for everyone.
The similarity was unintentional—it came from my subconscious—but it just goes to show that we’re all standing on the shoulders of giants (or giant rodents). How to Win Deals and Influence Industry Titans Totally unlike reddit, hipmunk has zero user-generated content; the value of the site comes from how we display the content provided by airlines and hotels. Back then, we just needed flight information (remember, minimum viable product), but we couldn’t just scrape the data off airlines’ websites (scraping is essentially sending software to “read” and copy content from other websites). Most important, we wanted to get paid every time someone bought a flight that we helped him or her find on hipmunk. This was a great lesson: as the saying goes, we wanted to be “near our users’ wallets.” We were far from it with reddit, which made its money primarily through advertising, but we were totally there from launch day at hipmunk, thanks to some incredible hustle from Adam.
If you’re not willing to really understand the industry you’re aspiring to reinvent, don’t bother starting a startup. Having industry experience is not only invaluable for building a great product or service, it also shows investors the dedication a successful founder needs to have. Business First, Then Business Cards Once you’ve identified a real problem and done your research, start trying to solve it in the simplest way possible. Your first version should certainly embarrass you. “Minimum viable product” has become a startup cliché for good reason. Just build the simplest possible solution to a problem, and launch it. This probably won’t take as long as you might think. Each round of Y Combinator was designed to be three months long because Paul wanted it to be a summer program, so students could decide to take time off from school if their company was going well. This happened to also be a reasonable amount of time to go from idea to a live product.
Shipping Greatness by Chris Vander Mey
corporate raider, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, fudge factor, Google Chrome, Google Hangouts, Gordon Gekko, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, minimum viable product, performance metric, recommendation engine, Skype, slashdot, sorting algorithm, source of truth, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, web application
So you’re probably right, but the best way to prove you are is to give customers a product and see what they say. Serial software entrepreneur Eric Ries seems to agree with this approach, and makes a compelling case for building what he calls the minimum viable product in his book The Lean Startup (Crown Business). Ries defines the minimum viable product as the smallest fraction of your product that a sufficient number of customers will use in order to validate an assumption. You may only need a handful of customers to know you’re on the right track, and you may only need to validate one assumption at a time. Regardless of how big your minimum viable product is, you can still follow the product definition process. You will want to repeat it quickly to test assumptions and deliver great incremental progress to your customers. If your iterations are smaller and faster, you’ll spend less time guessing about what customers need and more time acting on what customers tell you—and that will lead to greatness.
I see them going through the same special torture that I underwent when I entered this industry—but I had the good fortune to have great teachers attendant at my hazing: Dartmouth, Amazon, Google, and my own mistaken ventures. My first teacher was my own company—I was arrogant enough to think that since I could write software I could do everything else required to ship it. You know, define the minimum viable product, manage the project, iterate, release, market, and so on. I learned many valuable lessons, hubris among them. I then joined another startup as the chief technology officer, and spent years trying to make it big. I learned (mostly) different lessons there, but repeated the class in hubris. Abashed, I went to Dartmouth, and studied at the Thayer School of Engineering and the Tuck School of Business, earning a master’s of engineering management degree.
Building Web Applications With Flask by Italo Maia
With small project budgets (nowadays, also the big ones), a robust solution called server virtualization was created where expensive, high-RAS physical servers have their resources (memory, CPU, hard-drive, and so on) virtualized into virtual machines (VM), which act just like smaller (and cheaper) versions of the real hardware. Companies such as DigitalOcean (https://digitalocean.com/), Linode (https://www.linode.com/), and RamNode (https://www.ramnode.com/) have whole businesses focused in providing cheap, reliable virtual machines to the public. Now, given that we have our web application ready (I mean, our Minimum Viable Product is ready), we must run the code somewhere accessible to our target audience. This usually means we need a web server. Pick two cheap virtual machines from one of the companies mentioned in the preceding paragraph, set up with Ubuntu, and let's begin! Setting up your database With respect to databases, one of the most basic things you should know during deployment is that it is a good practice to have your database and web application running on different (virtual) machines.
You're now capable of building full-featured Flask applications with secure forms, database integration, tests, and making use of extensions, which allow you to create robust software in no time. I'm so proud! Now, go tell your friends how awesome you are. See you around! Postscript As a personal challenge, take that project you have always dreamed of coding, but never had the spirit to do it, and make an MVP (minimum viable product) of it. Create a very simple implementation of your idea and publish it (http://bit.ly/1I0ehDB) to the world to see; then, leave me a message about it. I'd love to take a look at your work! Index A application deploymentabout / You deploy better than my ex code, placing in server / Placing your code in a server database, setting up / Setting up your database web server, setting up / Setting up the web server assertionsassert_context() / Extra assertions assert_redirects() / Extra assertions assert_template_used() / Extra assertions assert404() / Extra assertions auto-escapingabout / What can you do with Jinja2?
Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Black Swan, business intelligence, call centre, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, game design, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, loose coupling, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Oculus Rift, Paul Graham, QR code, Ruby on Rails, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Y Combinator
Index Note: page numbers in bold refer to illustrations, page numbers in italics refer to information contained in tables. 99designs.com 111 500 Startups accelerator 136, 160 Accel Partners 3, 158, 261, 304, 321, 336, 383 accelerators 136, 159–60, 160 accountants 164, 316 accounting software 164 acquisition (of users) costs 148–9, 184, 236–7, 275–9, 282 and Facebook 271, 272, 273–4 for five hundred-million-dollar apps 327, 341–3 for hundred-million-dollar apps 252, 259, 266, 267–74, 275–84, 295–307 and incentive-based networks 270–1 international 295–307 for million dollar apps 136–7, 139, 140–51, 148–9, 153 and mobile social media channels 271–3, 272 and mobile user-acquisition channels 269–70 strategy 222–31 for ten-million-dollar apps 211–12, 213, 222–31, 236–7, 248–9 and traditional channels 268–9 and ‘viral’ growth 225, 278, 279–84 zero-user-acquisition cost 278 acquisitions 414–25 buying sustained growth 417–18 by non-tech corporations 418–20 initial public offerings 420–2 Waze 415–16 activation (user) 136, 137, 139, 153–4, 211–12, 213 Acton, Brian 54, 394 addiction, smartphone 30–1 Adler, Micah 269 administrators 409 AdMob 414–15 advertising 43 business model 67, 89–90 costs 140 and Facebook 271, 272, 273–4 mobile 148–9, 268–70, 272–3, 272 mobile social media 272–3, 272 mobile user-acquisition channels 269–70 outdoor 264 shunning of 42, 54–6 video ads 273 aesthetics 131 after product–market fit (APMF) 180 agencies 195–7, 264, 343 ‘agile coaches’ see scrum masters agile software development 192–3, 299, 315, 357, 377 Ahonen, Tomi 45 ‘aiming high’ 40–1 Airbnb 160, 301 alarm features 48 Albion 111 alerts 293 Alexa.com 146 Alibaba 227 ‘ALT tags’ 147 Amazon 7, 29, 131, 164, 227, 276, 366, 374–5, 401, 406 Amazon Web Services 374 American Express 347 Amobee 149 analytics 134–5, 149, 199, 205, 210, 212, 217–21, 294 and cohort analysis 287–8 Flurry 135, 149, 220 function 217–18 Google Analytics 135, 219–20, 345 limitations 284 Localytics 135, 221 and marketing 263 mistakes involving 218–19 Mixpanel.com tool 135, 217–18, 220–1, 287, 290–1, 345 Andreessen, Marc 180, 418–19 Andreessen Horowitz 72, 80, 180, 321, 383, 385, 418–19 Android (mobile operating system) 6, 23–4, 38, 415 advertising 274 audience size 119 beta testing 202 building apps for 116–22 and international apps 296 in Japan 306 scaling development and engineering 357–8 time spent on 26 and WhatsApp 55 Angel Capital Association 162 angel investors 154, 155–6, 323 AngelList 99, 131, 155, 159, 233 Angry Birds (game) 6, 42, 47, 57–8, 87, 89, 97 and application programming interface 36 delivering delight 207 design 131 funding 321 game in game 348–9 international growth 297–9 platform 117, 118 product extension 356 virality 282 annual offsites 379 annual revenue per user (ARPU) 215, 219, 232, 236 anonymity 43, 56–7 anti-poaching clauses 247 antidilution rights 245 API see application programming interface app descriptions 143 app development billion-dollar app 8, 389–425 CEO advice 406–13 getting acquired 414–25 people 395–405 process 390–1 five-hundred-million-dollar app 325–87 funding 328, 383–7 hiring staff 334–6, 337–40 killer product expansion 350–63 process 326–8 scaling 326, 330–6, 331–2 scaling marketing 341–9 scaling people 364–72, 377–9 scaling process 373–82 scaling product development 357–63 hundred-million-dollar app 251–324 international growth 295–307 process 252–4 product-market fit 255–6 retention of users 286–94 revenue engines 257–66, 275–85 user acquisition 267–74 million-dollar app 81–171 app Version 0.1 123–35 coding 133–4 design 129–33 feedback 127, 134–5 funding 152–60, 161–71, 176, 235–49 identity of the business 106–14 lean companies 115–22 metrics 136–9, 139 process 82–4 startup process 85–105 testing 126–8 user acquisition 140–51 ten-million-dollar app 173–249 growth engine 222–31, 235–49 metrics 211–21 new and improved Version 1.0 198–210 process 174–6 product–market fit 180–97 revenue engine 232–4 venture capital 235–49 app stores 22, 27–8, 33–4 see also Apple App Store; Google Play app-store optimisation (ASO) 142, 225 AppAnnie 205 Apple 19, 20, 31–2, 393 application programming interface 35–6 designers 129 Facetime app 46 iWatch 38–9 profit per employee 402–3 revenue per employee 401 visual voicemail 50 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 313 see also iPad; iPhone Apple App Store 22, 27, 32–3, 75, 88, 89, 117, 226 finding apps in 140, 141, 142–5 international apps 297–9 making submissions to 152–3 and profit per employee 403 ratings plus comments 204–5 Apple Enterprise Distribution 201–2 application programming interface (API) 35–6, 185, 360, 374 ARPU see annual revenue per user articles of incorporation 169 ASO see app-store optimisation Atari 20 Atomico 3, 261, 321, 383 attribution 227–31 for referrals 230–1 average transaction value (ATV) 214–15, 219, 232, 236, 387 Avis 95 backlinking to yourself 146 ‘bad leavers’ 247 Balsamiq.com 128 Banana Republic 352 bank accounts 164 banking 156–7 Bardin, Noam 43 Barr, Tom 338 Barra, Hugo 120, 306 Baseline Ventures 72 Baudu 226 beauty 131 BeeJiveIM 33 before product–market fit (BPMF) 180 ‘below the fold’ 143 Beluga Linguistics 297 Benchmark 75 benefits 398–400 beta testing 201–4 Betfair 358 Bezos, Jeff 366, 374 Bible apps 45 billion 9–10 Billion-Dollar Club 5 billionaires 9 Bing 226 ‘black-swan’ events 54 BlackBerry 23 Blank, Steve 257 Blogger 41 blood sugar monitoring devices 38 board seats 242, 243–4 board-member election consent 169 Bolt Peters 363 Booking.com 320 Bootstrap 145 Botha, Roelof 76, 77, 80 Box 7, 90, 276, 396–7, 411 brains 10 brainstorming 108 branding 111–13, 143, 263–4 Braun 129 Bregman, Jay xiii, 14–16, 95, 124, 209, 303 bridge loans 323 Brin, Sergey 366 Bring Your Own Infrastructure (BYOI) 17–18 Brougher, Francoise 340 Brown, Donald 44 Brown, Reggie 104–5 Bubble Witch 421 Buffet, Warren 4 build-measure-learn cycle 116 Burbn.com 72–4, 80 business advisors/coaches 103 business analysts 343 business culture 395–8 business goal setting 310–11 business models 67, 83, 87, 88–91, 175, 253, 259, 327, 351–2, 391, 400, 423–4 business success, engines of 183–4, 423–4 Business Wire 150 CAC see Customer Acquisition Cost Cagan, Marty 314 calendars 49 calorie measurement sensors 38 Cambridge Computer Scientists 160 camera feature 48 Camera+ app 48 Candy Crush Saga 6, 47, 87, 89, 131, 278–81, 318, 349, 421–2 card-readers 41–2 cash flow 164 CEOs see Chief Executive Officers CFOs see Chief Financial Officers channels incentive-based networks 270–1 mobile social-media 271–3, 272 mobile user-acquisition 269–70 source attribution 227–31 testing 224–7 traditional 268–9 viral 280–2 charging phones 49–50 Chartboost 149 chauffer hire see Uber app check-ins, location-based 72, 74 Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) 309, 380 advice from 406–13 and the long haul 68 and product centricity 185–6 role 337 Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) 316 Chief Operations Officers (COOs) 309, 326, 337–40, 380 Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) 186–7, 195 Chillingo 298 China 24–5, 146, 226, 306–7 Cisco 402 Clash of Clans (game) 6, 28, 36, 47, 87, 89, 97, 118, 227, 348–9, 398 Clements, Dave 120 Climate Corporation 412, 419 clock features 47 cloud-based software 67, 90 Clover 419 coding 133–4 cofounders 85, 91–105, 188, 191 chemistry 92–3 complementary skills 93 finding 96–9 level of control 94 passion 93–4 red flags 102–3 successful matches 104–5 testing out 100–2 cohort analysis 237, 287–8 Color.com (social photo-sharing) app 113, 255 colour schemes 111 Commodore 20 communication open 412–13 team 194 with users 208–9 Companiesmadesimple.com 163–4 computers 20–1, 29 conferences 97–8, 202, 312–13 confidentiality provisions 244 connectedness 30 ConnectU 105 consumer audience apps 233–4 content, fresh 147 contracts 165–6 convertible loans 163 Cook, Daren 112 cookies 228–9 Coors 348 COOs see Chief Operations Officers Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) 148–9 Cost Per Download (CPD) 148 Costolo, Dick 77–8, 79–80 costs, and user acquisition 148–9, 184, 236–7, 275–9, 282 Crash Bandicoot 33 crawlers 146–7 Cray-1 supercomputer 20 CRM see customer-relationship management CrunchBase 238 CTOs see Chief Technology Officers Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) 148–9, 184, 236–7, 275–9 customer lifecycle 212–14 customer segments 346–7 customer-centric approach 344 customer-relationship management (CRM) 290–4, 343 customer-support 208–9 Cutright, Alyssa 369 daily active users (DAUs) 142 D’Angelo, Adam 75–6 data 284–5, 345–7 data engineers 284 dating, online 14, 87–8, 101–2, 263 decision making 379–82, 407–8 defining apps 31–4 delegation 407 delight, delivery 205–7 design 82, 129–33, 206–7 responsive 144 designers 132, 189–91, 363, 376 developer meetups 97 developers see engineers/developers development see app development; software development development agencies 196 ‘development sprint’ 192 Devine, Rory 358–9 Digital Sky Technologies 385 directors of finance 316–17 Distimo 205 DLD 97 Doerr, John 164, 310 Doll, Evan 42–3, 105 domain names 109–10 international 146 protection 145–6 Domainnamesoup.com 109 Dorsey, Jack 41, 58, 72, 75–7, 79–80, 104, 112, 215–16, 305, 312, 412–13 ‘double-trigger’ vesting 247 DoubleClick 414 Dow Jones VentureSource 64 down rounds 322–3 downloads, driving 150–1 drag along rights 245 Dribbble.com 132 Dropbox 7, 90, 131, 276 CEO 407, 410–11 funding 160 scaling 336 staff 399 Dunbar, Robin 364–5 Dunbar number 365 e-commerce/marketplace 28–9, 67, 89, 213–14 Chinese 306 Flipboard and 351–2 and revenue engines 232, 233–4, 276 social media generated 271–2 and user retention 288, 289 eBay 7, 28–9, 131, 180, 276 economic models 275 economies of scale 331–2, 331–2 eCourier 15, 95 education 68–9 edX 69 Ek, Daniel 357 Ellis, Sean 182 emails 291–3 emotion effects of smartphones on 29–30, 30 inspiring 223–4 employees see staff employment contracts 246–7 engagement 236, 278, 283 engineering VPs 337, 358–9 engineers/developers 190–1, 194–5, 361–2, 362, 370, 375–7, 405 enterprise 90, 233–4 Entrepreneur First programme 160 entrepreneurs 3–5, 7–8, 65, 262, 393–4, 409, 424 Ericsson 21 Etsy 107, 109, 110, 358 Euclid Analytics 149 Evernote 7, 90, 131, 399 ExactTarget 291 excitement 30 executive assistants 367 Exitround 419 experience 67–8, 264, 397 Fab.com 352 Facebook 7, 10, 26, 32, 48, 76, 226, 394, 422 and acquisition of users 271, 272, 273–4 acquisitions 416–18, 417 agile culture 375 alerts 293 and application programming interface 36 board 180 and business identity 114 and Candy Crush 280–1 Chief Executive Officer 406 cofounders 100–1 and Color 255–6 design 131, 206, 363 Developer Garage 97 driving downloads on 151 and e-commerce decisions 271, 272 and FreeMyApps.com 271 funding 419 and getting your app found 147 and the ‘hacker way’ 375 initial public offering 420–1 and Instagram 29, 51, 76–80, 90, 117 name 110 ‘No-Meeting Wednesday’ 376 product development 187 profit per employee 403 revenue per employee 401 scaling 336 and Snapchat 57 staff 339, 362, 363, 398, 401, 403 and virality 281 WhatsApp purchase 42, 54–6, 416–17, 417 zero-user-acquisition cost 278 and Zynga 279, 281 Facetime app 46 fanatical users 294 feedback 86, 127, 134–5, 182, 192–3, 198–201, 256, 396 loops 204, 211 qualitative 199 quantitative 199 see also analytics Feld, Brad 170, 241 Fenwick and West 168 Fiksu 264, 269–70 finance, VP of 317–18 finding apps 140–8, 148–9 FireEye 90 First Data 419 first impressions 107–10 Fitbit 38 fitness bracelets 38 flat rounds 322–3 Flipboard 6, 29, 42–3, 49, 51, 89–90 and application programming interface 36 Catalogs 351–2 cofounders 105 design 131, 207 funding 164 growth 351–2 platform choice 119 product innovation 351–2 user notifications 292 virality 281 zero-user-acquisition cost 278 Flurry 135, 149, 220 Fontana, Ash 233 Forbes magazine 40 Ford Motors 419 Founder Institute, The 168 founder vesting 166–7, 244 Foursquare 419 France Telecom 13 franchising 354 FreeMyApps.com 270–1 Friedberg, David 412 Froyo (Android mobile software) 7 Fujii, Kiyotaka 304 full service agencies 195–6 functionality 25–6, 45–50, 131 funding 72, 75–6, 84, 87–8, 152–60, 161–71, 179 accelerators 159–60 angel investors 154, 155–6, 323 for billion-dollar apps 391 convertible loans 163 core documents 169–70 for five-hundred-million-dollar apps 328, 383–7 founder vesting 166–7 for hundred-million-dollar apps 254, 258, 316–17, 318–24 incubators 159–60 legal aspects 163–4 and revenue engines 233–4 Series A 234, 238–40, 238, 240, 241, 242–6, 255, 319–21, 385 Series B 238, 241, 253, 260, 284, 319–21, 322, 384 Series C 384 signing a deal 167–8 for ten-million-dollar apps 152–60, 161–71, 176, 235–49 venture capital 72, 75, 156–8, 165–6, 235–49, 261–2, 383–5, 385, 418–19 game in game 348–9 gaming 42, 47, 318, 355 business model 67, 89 and revenue engines 232, 278–9 and user retention 288, 289 see also specific games Gandhi, Sameer 336 Gartner 271 Gates, Bill 4 general managers (GMs) 300–3 Gladwell, Malcolm 424 Glassdoor 361–2 Global Positioning System (GPS) 23 Gmail 72 GMs see general managers goal setting 40–1, 310–11 Goldberg, Dave 397 Goldman Sachs 385 ‘good leavers’ 247 Google 7, 19, 23, 27, 72, 88, 164, 226 acquisitions 43, 414–16, 418 application programming interface 35–6 beta testing 202 Chief Executive Officer 406–8 developer meetups 97 finding your app on 144, 147 Hangouts app 46 meetings 381–2 mission 404, 408–9 and the OKR framework 310 profit per employee 403, 405 revenue per employee 401, 405 scaling 332 and Snapchat 57 and source attribution 228–9 staff 339, 340, 361–2, 366, 401, 403, 404–5, 412 Thank God It’s Friday (TGIF) meetings 311–12 transparency 413 value 78 Waze app purchase 43 and WhatsApp 56 zero-user-acquisition cost 278 see also Android (mobile operating system) Google Ad Mob 149 Google AdSense 149 Google Analytics 135, 219–20, 345 Google Glass 38–9, 405 Google I/O conference 313 Google Maps 33, 35, 414, 416 Google Now 37 Google Play 88, 89, 117, 120, 226 and beta testing 202 finding apps in 141–5 profit per employee 403 ratings plus comments 204–5 Google Reader 72 Google Ventures 384 Google X 405 Google+ and business identity 114 and virality 281 Google.org 339 GPS see Global Positioning System Graham, Paul 184–5, 211 Graphical User Interface (GUI) 20 Greylock 321, 383 Gross, Bill 406–7, 409–10 Groupon 7, 51–2, 227, 344–5, 419 Grove, Andy 310 growth 267, 308–17 buying sustained 417–18 engines 184, 210, 222–31, 259, 265 and five-hundred-million-dollar apps 329–36 and Friday update meetings 311–12 and goal setting 310–11 and hiring staff 308–9, 411–12 and product and development teams 313–14 and staff conferences 312–13 targets 234, 260 see also acquisition (of users); international growth; scaling Growth Hackers 182 GUI see Graphical User Interface hackathons 99 Haig, Patrick 143 Hailo app xiii–xiv, 5, 36, 89, 386 big data 284–5 branding 112–13 cofounders 94–6 customer segments 346–7 customer-support 208–9 design 131, 132, 133, 206–7 development 123–7, 153–4 Friday update meetings 311 funding 162, 242 goal setting 310 growth 296–7, 299, 302–4, 308–11, 313, 315–17, 329–30, 334–6 hiring staff 308–9, 334–6, 338, 366–7 idea for 14–18 international growth 296, 297, 299, 302–4 market research 182 marketing 263, 264, 268, 270, 273, 341, 347–8 meetings 381 metrics 137–9, 216 name 107 organisational culture 396 platform choice 117, 120, 121 premises xiii–xiv, 177–8, 329–30, 371–2, 386 product development 189, 191, 196 retention 293–4 revenue engine 276 scaling development and engineering 357 scaling people 365–7 scaling process 377 team 258 testing 177–8, 201–4 and user emotionality 224 virality 280, 282 Hangouts app 46 Harris Interactive 31 HasOffers 149 Hay Day 47, 97 head of data 342 Heads Up Display (HUD) 38 heart rate measurement devices 37–8 Hed, Niklas 42 hiring staff 308–9, 334–6, 337–40, 365–70 history of apps 31–2 HMS President xiii–xiv, 177–9, 329, 371, 386 HockeyApp 202 HootSuite 151 Houston, Drew 407, 410–11 HP 180, 402 HTC smartphone 121 HUD see Heads Up Display human universals 44–5 Humedica 419 hyperlinks 147 hypertext markup language (HTML) 147 I/O conference 2013 202 IAd mobile advertising platform 149 IBM 20, 402 icons 143 ideas see ‘thinking big’ identity of the business 86 branding 111–13 identity crises 106–14 names 106–11 websites 113–14 image descriptions 147 in Mobi 149 in-app purchases 28 incentive-based networks 270–1 incorporation 163–4, 179 incubators 159–60 Index Ventures 3, 261 initial public offerings (IPOs) 64, 67–9, 78, 80, 246, 420–2 innovation 404–5 Instagram 6, 29, 48, 51, 67, 71–80, 88–90, 114, 117, 226, 278, 340, 417–18 cofounders 73–4 design 131 funding 75–6, 77–8 X-Pro II 75 zero-user-acquisition cost 278 instant messaging 46 Instantdomainsearch.com 109 integrators 410 Intel 310 intellectual property 165–6, 244, 247 international growth 295–307 Angry Birds 297–9 Hailo 296, 297, 299, 302–4 language tools 297 Square 295, 299, 304–6 strings files 296 Uber 299–302 International Space Station 13 Internet bubble 13 investment see funding iOS software (Apple operating system) 7, 23–4, 46, 75, 104 advertising 274 audience size 119 building apps for 116–22 and international apps 296 scaling development and engineering 357–8 time spent on 26 iPad 42–3, 118–20, 351 iPhone 6, 19, 22–3, 32, 38–9, 183, 351 advertising on 274 camera 48 designing apps for 117–18, 120 finding apps with 145 games 42, 47, 58 and Instagram 74–6 in Japan 306 and Square 104, 306 and Uber 301 user spend 117 and WhatsApp app 54–5 iPod 22 IPOs see initial public offerings Isaacson, Walter 32 iTunes app 22, 47, 88, 143 iTunes U app 69 Ive, Jony 129 iZettle 304 Jackson, Eric 40 Jain, Ankit 142 Japan 227, 304–6 Jawbone Up 38 Jelly Bean (Android mobile software) 7 Jobs, Steve 4, 22, 32, 323, 393, 425 journalists 150–1 Jun, Lei 306 Kalanick, Travis 299–300, 384, 422 Kayak 336 Keret, Samuel 43 Keyhole Inc. 414 keywords 143, 146 Kidd, Greg 104 King.com 349, 421–2 see also Candy Crush Saga KISSmetrics 291 KitKat (Android mobile software) 7 Klein Perkins Caulfield Byers (KPCB) 158, 261, 321, 383 Kontagent 135 Koolen, Kees 320, 339 Korea 30 Koum, Jan 42, 54, 55–6, 154, 321, 394, 416 Kreiger, Mike 73–6 language tools 297 Launchrock.com 113–14, 145, 202 Lawee, David 415 lawyers 103, 169, 170, 242 leadership 410–11 see also Chief Executive Officers; managers lean companies 69, 115–22, 154, 257, 320–1 Lee, Bob 340 legalities 163–70, 242–7, 301 letting go 406–7 Levie, Aaron 396–7, 411 Levinson, Art 32 LeWeb 97 Libin, Phil 399 licensing 356 life experience 67–8, 264 lifetime value (LTV) 184, 215, 219, 220–1, 232, 275–7, 279, 291, 342 Line app 46, 226 Lingo24 297 LinkedIn 97, 226, 406, 408–9 links 147 liquidation preference 242, 243, 245 non-participating 245 Livio 419 loans, convertible 163 Localytics 135, 221 locations 69 logos 111–14 LTV see lifetime value luck 412 Luckey, Palmer 39 LVMH 304 Lyons, Carl 263 Maiden 95 makers 375–7 see also designers; engineers/developers managers 189–90, 300–3, 375–7, 405 MapMyFitness 419 market research 115, 127, 182 marketing data 345–7 and Facebook 271, 272, 273–4 and incentive-based networks 270–1 marketing engineering team 344–5 and mobile social media channels 271–3, 272 and mobile user-acquisition channels 269–70 partner marketing 347–8 scaling 341–9 teams 262–6, 337, 342 and traditional channels 268–9 VPs 262–6, 337, 342 marketplace see e-commerce/marketplace MasterCard 347–8 Matrix Partners 283 McClure, Dave 136, 160, 211, 234 McCue, Mike 42–3, 105, 351 McKelvey, Jim 41, 104 ‘me-too’ products 181 Medium 41 Meebo 73 meetings 379–82, 412–13 annual offsite 379 daily check-ins 381 disruptive nature 376–7 Friday update 311–12 meaningful 381–2 monthly strategic 380 quarterly 380 weekly tactical 380 Meetup.com 98–9 Mendelsen, Jason 170 messaging platforms 226 time spent on 46 and user retention 288, 289 metrics 136–9, 139, 211–21 activation 136, 137, 139, 153–4, 211–12, 213 annual revenue per user (ARPU) 215, 219, 232, 236 average transaction value (ATV) 214–15, 219, 232, 236, 387 consensual 215–16 lifetime value (LTV) 184, 215, 219, 220–1, 232, 275–7, 279, 291, 342 and product-market fit 209–10 referral 137, 138, 139, 153, 154, 211–12, 213, 230–1 revenue 137, 138, 139, 154, 211–12, 213, 214–15, 219, 291 transparency regarding 312 see also acquisition (of users); retention (of users) mice 20 Microsoft application programming interface 35–6 revenue per employee 401 Windows 20, 22, 24 Millennial Media 149 minimum viable product (MVP) 123, 153 MirCorp 13–14 mission 261, 404, 408–9 Mitchell, Jason 51 Mitsui Sumitomo Bank 305 Mixpanel.com tool 135, 217–18, 220–1, 287, 290–1, 345 MMS see Multimedia Messaging Service Mobile Almanac 45 Mobile App Tracking 230, 231 mobile technology, rise of 19–39 MoMo app 306 Monsanto 419 moonshots 404–5 Moore, Jonathan 200 MoPub 149 Moqups.com 128 Mosaic 180 Motorola 21 Moz.com 143 Mullins, Jacob 419 Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) 47 Murphy, Bobby 43, 104–5, 152–3 music player apps 47 MVP see Metrics into Action; minimum viable product names 106–11, 142 NameStation.com 108 Nanigans 273–4 National Venture Capital Association 64 native apps 33–4 NDA see Non Disclosure Agreement negotiation 265 Net Promoter Score (NPS) 206, 209 net-adding users 206 Netflix 400 Netscape 164, 180 New Enterprise Associates 385 New York Times news app 32–3, 256 news and alerts feature 48–9 Nextstop 72 Nguyen, Bill 255–6 NHN 227 Nike Fuelband 38 Nintendo Game Boy 47 Nokia 21, 35–6 Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) 165 noncompetition/non-solicitation provision 244, 247 notifications 291–4 NPS see Net Promoter Score Oculus VR 39 OKR (‘objectives and key results’) framework 310–11, 380 OmniGraffle 128 open-source software 23, 34–5, 185 OpenCourseWare 68–9 operating systems 20–4 see also Android; iOS software operations VPs 337 org charts 258, 309 organisational culture 395–8 O’Tierney, Tristan 104 outsourcing 194–7 ownership and founder vesting 166–7 and funding 155, 156, 161–3, 318 oxygen saturation measurement devices 37–8 Paananen, Ilkka 118–19, 397–8 Page, Larry 4, 23, 382, 404, 407–8 Palantir 90 Palihapitiya, Chamath 187 Pandora 7, 47, 67, 131, 410 pay-before-you-download model 28 pay-per-download (PPD) 225 Payleven 304 payment systems 7, 33–4, 227, 304, 305 see also Square app PayPal 7, 227, 304, 305 Pepsi 196 Perka 419 perks 398–400 perseverance 67, 394, 410 personal computers (PCs) 29 perspiration measurement devices 38 Pet Rescue Saga 349, 421 Petrov, Alex 369 phablets 7 Pham, Peter 255 PhoneSaber 33 Photoshop 128 PIN technology 305 Pincus, Mark 311 Pinterest app 48, 226 and business identity 114 and e-commerce decisions 271, 272 and getting your app found 147 name 107 and virality 281 Pishevar, Shervin 300 pivoting 73–4 population, global 9–10 portfolio companies 261–2 PowerPoint 128 PPD see pay-per-download preferential return 243 premises 370–2 preparation 412 press kits 148, 150 press releases 150 Preuss, Dom 98 privacy issues 43, 56–7 private vehicle hire see Uber pro-rata rights 242, 243 producers 409 product chunks 360 product development scaling 357–63 scope 199 team building for 188–91 and team location 193–4 and vision 186–8, 191 see also app development; testing product expansion 350–63 product extension 354 product managers 189–90, 405 product-centricity 185–6, 314, 360 product-market fit 9, 180–97, 235–6, 248, 256–7 measurement 209–10, 212, 286–8 profit 267, 320, 342 profit margin 258–9, 318, 321 profit per employee 402–4, 403, 405 profitability 260, 277, 400 Project Loon 405 proms 12 proto.io tool 133 prototype apps 86, 174 app Version 0.1 123–35, 174 new and improved Version 1.0 198–210 rapid-design prototyping 132–3 PRWeb 150 PSP 47 psychological effects of smartphones 29–30, 30 pttrns.com 131 public-relations agencies 343 publicity 150–1, 225, 313 putting metrics into action 138–9 Puzzles and Dragons 47, 131 QlikView 221, 284–5 QQ 307 quality assurance (QA) 190–1, 196 Quora 76 QZone 307 Rabois, Keith 368, 369 Rakuten 227 Rams, Dieter 129 rapid-design prototyping 132–3 ratings plus comments 204–5 Red Bull 223 redemption codes 230 referrals (user) 137, 138, 139, 153, 154, 211–12, 213 attribution for referrals 230–1 referral codes 230 religious apps 45 remuneration 361–2, 362, 363 Renault 13 restated certification 169 retention (of users) 136–9, 153, 154 for five hundred-million-dollar apps 327, 341–3 for hundred-million-dollar apps 286–94, 288–9 measurement 286–8 for ten-million-dollar apps 206, 211–12, 213, 278 revenue 137–8, 139, 154, 211–12, 213, 214–15, 219, 236, 239–40, 267, 291, 331–2, 341–2, 354 revenue engines 184, 210, 232–4, 257–66, 265, 275–85 revenue per employee 400–2, 402, 405 revenue streams 27–9 Ries, Eric, The Lean Startup 115–16 Rockefeller, John D. 9 Rocket Internet 304 Rolando 33 Rosenberg, Jonathan 413 Rovio 58, 97, 118, 297–9, 318, 320–1, 336, 354, 409 see also Angry Birds Rowghani, Ali 77 Rubin, Andy 23 Runa 419 SaaS see software as a service Sacca, Chris 75–6 sacrifice 86–7 Safari Web browser 32 salaries 361–2, 362, 363 sales VPs 337 Salesforce 291 Samsung 23 Galaxy Gear smartwatch 38 smartphones 121 Sandberg, Sheryl 4, 100–1, 339, 397 SAP 304 scaling 259, 308, 312, 323–4, 326, 330–6, 331–2, 384–5 decision making 379–81 international growth 295–307 marketing 341–9 and organisational culture 396–8 people 338–9, 364–72 premature 334–5 process 373–82 product development and engineering 357–63 and product innovation 350–6 reasons for 333–4 skill set for 335–6 Schmidt, Eric 120 scope 199 screenshots 131, 144, 206 scrum masters (‘agile coaches’) 315, 359, 360 search functions 49 organic 141–2, 141, 145 search-engine optimisation (SEO) 142, 145–8, 225 Sedo.com 109 Seed Fund 136 Seedcamp 160 Sega Game Gear 47 segmentation 220, 287, 290, 346–7 self-empowered squads/units 360 SEO see search-engine optimisation Sequoia Capital 76, 77–80, 158, 255, 321, 383, 385 Series A funding 234, 238–40, 238, 240, 241, 242–6, 255, 261, 262, 319–21, 385 Series B funding 238, 241, 253, 260, 319–21, 322, 384 Series C funding 384 Series Seed documents 168 Sesar, Steven 263 sex, smartphone use during 31 Shabtai, Ehud 43 shares 156, 166–8, 244 ‘sharing big’ 51–2, 52 Shinar, Amir 43 Shopzilla 263 Short Message Service (SMS) 21, 46–7 Silicon Valley 71–4, 77, 79, 99, 162, 168, 180, 184, 255, 340, 361, 411, 422 Sina 227 sitemaps 146–7 skills sets complementary 93 diverse 409–10 for scaling 335–6 Skok, David 283 Skype app 7, 46, 111, 200–1, 226, 357, 419 Sleep Cycle app 48 Smartling 297 smartwatches 7, 38–9 SMS see Short Message Service Snapchat app 6, 43, 46, 56–7, 88, 89, 223, 226, 416, 418 cofounders 104–5 design 131 funding 152–3, 307, 320 name 107 platform 117 staff 340 valuations 333 virality 280, 283 zero-user-acquisition cost 278 social magazines 42–3 see also Flipboard social media 48 driving downloads through 151 and getting your app found 147 mobile channels 271–3, 272 and user retention 288, 289 Sofa 363 SoftBank 227 software development agile 192–3, 299, 315, 357, 377 outsourcing 194–5 see also app development software as a service (SaaS) 67, 90, 208, 214, 233, 276–7 Somerset House 329–30, 371 Sony 21, 47 SoundCloud 358 source attribution 227–31 space tourism 13–14 speech-to-text technology 50 speed 20 Spiegel, Evan 43, 56–7, 104–5, 152–3 Spinvox 50 Splunk 90 Spotify app 47, 357–8 SQL 284 Square app 6, 41–2, 58–9, 87, 89, 333, 350 branding 112 Chief Executive Officer 412–13 cofounders 104 design 131, 363 funding 320–1 international growth 295, 299, 304–6 marketing 348 metrics 215–16 name 107, 110 product–market fit 183 revenue engine 276 scaling people 367–8 scaling product innovation 352–3 staff 340, 367–8 transparency 312 virality 282 Square Cash 353 Square Market 353 Square Register 350, 352–3 Square Wallet 348, 350, 353 Squareup.com 144 staff at billion-dollar app scale 395–405, 423 attracting the best 91 benefits 398–400 conferences 312–13 conflict 334, 378 employee agreements 244 employee legals 246–7 employee option pool 244 employee-feedback systems 378 firing 370, 378 hiring 308–9, 334–6, 411–12 induction programmes 370 investment in 360 mistakes 369–70, 411–12 and premises 370–2 profit per employee 402–4, 403 revenue per employee 400–2, 402 reviews 370 scaling people 364–72, 377–9 scrum masters 315, 359, 360 training programmes 370 see also cofounders; specific job roles; teams Staples 419 Starbucks 338, 348 startup weekends 98 startups, technology difficulties of building 63–80 failure 63–5, 73–4 identity 106–14 lean 115–22, 154 process 82–4, 85–105 secrets of success 66–9 step sensors 38 stock markets 420–1 straplines 111 strings files 296 Stripe 160 style 111 subscriptions 90 success, engines of 183–4, 423–4 SumUp 304 Supercell 28, 47, 97, 118–19, 318, 336, 397–8, 401, 403 see also Clash of Clans; Hay Day SurveyMonkey 397 surveys 206, 209 synapses 10 Systrom, Kevin 71–80 tablets 7 Tableau Software 90 Taleb, Nicholas Nassim 54 Tamir, Diana 51 Tap Tap Revolution (game) 42 Target 419 taxation 164 taxi hailing apps see Hailo app TaxiLight 16 team builders 264 team building 188–91 teams 82, 174, 252, 390 complementary people 409–10 for five-hundred-million-dollar apps 326, 342–5, 357–63, 374, 386 growth 313–14, 326, 342–4 for hundred-million-dollar apps 258–61 located in one place 193–4 marketing 262–6, 342–4 marketing engineering 344–5 product development and engineering 357–63 ‘two-pizza’ 374 TechCrunch Disrupt 97, 99 technology conferences 97–8, 202, 312–13 Techstars 159, 160, 168 Tencent 307 Tencent QQ 226 term sheets 168, 169, 170, 243–4 testing 126–8, 177–8, 187–8, 192–3, 199–201 beta 201–4 channels 224–7 text messaging 21 unlimited packages 42 see also Short Message Service ‘thinking big’ 40–59, 82, 85 big problem solutions 41–3 disruptive ideas 53–9 human universals 44–5 sharing big 51–2, 52 smartphones uses 45–50 Thoughtworks 196 time, spent checking smartphones 25–6, 26, 45–50 Tito, Dennis 13 tone of voice 111 top-down approaches 311 traction 233, 252 traffic information apps 43 traffic trackers 146 translation 296–7 transparency 311–12, 412–13 Trilogy 13 Tumblr 110, 226, 399, 418 Twitter 41, 48, 54, 72, 226, 394 acquisitions 418 and application programming interface 36 and Bootstrap 145 and business identity 114 delivering delight 206 and e-commerce decisions 272 and FreeMyApps.com 271 funding 419, 421 and getting your app found 147 initial public offering 421 and Instagram 51, 76–7, 79–80 name 110 and virality 281 ‘two-pizza’ teams 374 Uber 6, 36, 87, 89, 333, 350 and attribution for referrals 231 design 131 funding 320, 384, 422 international growth 295, 299–302 name 107, 110 revenue engine 276 revenue per employee 401 scaling product innovation 355–6 staff 339, 399 user notifications 292 virality 280 Under Armour 419 Union Square Ventures (USV) 3, 158, 242, 261, 262, 288, 321, 323, 377, 383 unique propositions 198 UnitedHealth Group 419 URLs 110 ‘user experience’ (UX) experts 190 user journeys 127–8, 213–14 user notifications 291–4 user stories 193 users 83, 175, 252, 327, 390 activation 136, 137, 139, 153–4, 211–12, 213 annual revenue per user (ARPU) 215, 219, 232, 236 communication with 208–9 definition 137 emotional response of 223–4 fanatical 294 finding apps 140–8 lifetime value (LTV) 184, 215, 219, 220–1, 232, 275–7, 279, 291 metrics 136–9 net-adding of 206 ratings plus comments 204–5 referrals 137, 138, 139, 153, 154, 211–12, 213, 230–1 target 83, 115, 127 wants 180–97 see also acquisition (of users); retention (of users) Usertesting.com 200–1 USV see Union Square Ventures valuations 83, 161–3, 175, 237–8, 238, 253, 318, 319, 322, 327, 333, 391 venture capital 72, 75, 156–8, 165–6, 235–49, 261–2, 383–5, 385, 418–19 Viber app 6, 46, 1341 video calls 46, 47 viral coefficient 282–4 ‘viral’ growth 225, 278, 279–84 Communication virality 281 and cycle time 283–4 incentivised virality 280–1 inherent virality 280 measurement 282–4 social-network virality 281 word-of-mouth virality 281–2 virtual reality 39 vision 261, 393–4, 408–9, 414, 415 voice calls 46–7 voice-over-Internet protocol (VOIP) 46 voicemail 50 Wall Street Journal 43, 55 warranties 246 Waze app 6, 43, 97 acquisition 415–16 design 131 name 107 zero-user-acquisition cost 278 web browsing 49 Web Summit 97 websites 113–14, 144–8 WebTranslateIt (WTI) 297 WeChat app 46, 226, 306 Weibo 48 Weiner, Jeff 408–9 Wellington Partners 4 Weskamp, Marcos 207 Westergren, Tim 410 WhatsApp 6, 42, 46, 54–6, 87, 90, 226, 394 acquisition 42, 54–6, 416, 416–17, 417 cofounders 96 design 131, 144 funding 154, 320–1 platform 117–18 valuations 333 virality 280 White, Emily 340 Williams, Evan 41, 65 Williams, Rich 344 Wilson, Fred 110, 242, 288, 323, 377 Windows (Microsoft) 20–1, 22, 24, 24 Winklevoss twins 105 wireframes 127–8 Woolley, Caspar 15–16, 95, 124, 338 WooMe.com 14, 87–8, 101–2, 263 Workday 90 world population 9–10 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 313 wowing people 8–9 WTI see WebTranslateIt Xiaomi 306 Y Combinator 159–60, 184–5, 211, 407, 410–11 Yahoo!
Now you need to get your head around what you’re actually going to build. Everything starts with Version 0.1 – it’s the very first iteration, the prototype, of your app (Version 1.0 is reserved as the first version shipped to the public). In this version you want to focus on the most basic set of features that will make your app unique, useful and different. It’s often called the MVP (or the minimum viable product). At this point you want to focus on only the parts that are absolutely necessary to show why your app delivers something new and novel – something that wows your users. For Hailo it was focusing on how a user could see nearby taxis on a map, then hit the ‘Pick Me Up Here’ button and have a driver accept the hail. We also added in the ability to see the driver come towards you. That was enough to make people feel a wow moment.
They were straight out of college with zero experience. They hacked together their app and submitted it to Apple’s App Store. At best it was average-looking; someone harsher might have called it ugly. It was certainly not very complex. But it did have a basic user registration function, allowed you to add friends, and also allowed you to send messages to those friends that disappeared after 10 seconds. The app was very much an MVP, a minimum viable product. They invited a bunch of college and high school students to use it, and they invited their friends. Their user-acquisition metric was self-sustaining (because of the inherent network effect of users inviting their friends). Their user activation (effectively creating an account) converted at close to 100 per cent because it was a super-simple registration (just a user name and password).
Airbus A320, Alfred Russel Wallace, Arthur Eddington, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, British Empire, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, crew resource management, deliberate practice, double helix, epigenetics, fear of failure, fundamental attribution error, Henri Poincaré, hindsight bias, Isaac Newton, iterative process, James Dyson, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Joseph Schumpeter, Lean Startup, mandatory minimum, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum viable product, publication bias, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, selection bias, Silicon Valley, six sigma, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, US Airways Flight 1549, Wall-E, Yom Kippur War
This approach contains a great deal of jargon, but is based upon a simple insight: the value of testing and adapting. High-tech entrepreneurs are often brilliant theorists. They can perform complex mathematics in their sleep. But the lean start-up approach forces them to fuse these skills with what they can discover from failure. How does it work? Instead of designing a product from scratch, techies attempt to create a “minimum viable product” or MVP. This is a prototype with sufficient features in common with the proposed final product that it can be tested on early adopters (the kind of consumers who buy products early in the life cycle and who influence other people in the market). These tests answer two vital questions. The first is the fundamental one of, Will people buy our product? If the MVP sufficiently resembles the proposed final product, but none of the early adopters have any interest in it, then you can be pretty sure that the entire business plan is worth ripping up.
.* And this is why, as we noted in chapter 1, bloodletting survived as a recognized treatment until the nineteenth century. Bloodletting with a control group. So far in this book we have examined cases of unambiguous error. When a plane crashes you know the procedures were defective. When DNA evidence shows that an innocent man is convicted, you know the trial or investigation was flawed. When a minimum viable product is rejected by early adopters, you can be sure the final product will bomb. When a nozzle is clogging up, you know it will cost you money. These examples gave us a chance to examine failure in the raw. Much real-world failure is not like this. Often, failure is clouded in ambiguity. What looks like success may really be failure and vice versa. And this, in turn, represents a serious obstacle to progress.
At the level of individuals the question is more open. Do individual organizations progress faster when they iterate their way to success or when they come up with bold ideas and stick to them doggedly? In high tech, as we have seen, the world is moving so fast that entrepreneurs have found it necessary to adopt rapid iteration. They may have bold ideas, but they give them a chance to fail early through the minimum viable product (MVP). And if the idea survives the verdict of early adopters, it is iterated into better shape by harnessing the feedback of end users. In other words, competition has favored entrepreneurs that take bottom-up learning seriously rather than those that do not. And that is a powerful operating assumption in a rapidly changing world. If valid learning can be achieved through iteration at a fast pace and low cost, it is crazy to pass up the opportunity.
The Connected Company by Dave Gray, Thomas Vander Wal
A Pattern Language, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Atul Gawande, Berlin Wall, business process, call centre, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, complexity theory, creative destruction, David Heinemeier Hansson, en.wikipedia.org, factory automation, Googley, index card, industrial cluster, interchangeable parts, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, loose coupling, market design, minimum viable product, more computing power than Apollo, profit maximization, Richard Florida, Ruby on Rails, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, Vanguard fund, web application, WikiLeaks, Zipcar
These approaches function like complex adaptive systems, where the parts of the system can learn, adapt, and coevolve like a biological community. Agile Development As early as the 1950s, IBM programmers were working on software for things like submarine-control systems and missile-tracking systems, which were so complex that they could not be conceived of and built in one go. Programmers had to evolve them over time, like cities, starting with a simple working system that could be tested by users (sometimes called the minimum viable product or MVP), and then gradually adding more function and detail in iterative cycles that took one to six months to complete. In a 1969 IBM internal report called simply, “The Programming Process,” IBM computer scientist M.M. Lehman described the approach: The design process is…seeded by a formal definition of the system, which provides a first, executable, functional model. It is tested and further expanded through a sequence of models, that develop an increasing amount of function and an increasing amount of detail as to how that function is to be executed.
., Freedom to Experiment, The Nordstrom Way McDonald’s (company), Reducing Variety–Absorbing Variety, Reducing Variety, Absorbing Variety, Support–Balancing the Needs of Constituents, Balancing the Needs of Constituents reducing variety, Reducing Variety–Absorbing Variety, Reducing Variety, Absorbing Variety support structure, Support–Balancing the Needs of Constituents, Balancing the Needs of Constituents McIntyre, Tim, Cascading Effects Can be Initiated by Employees McKelvey, Bill, The Red Queen Race, Adaptive Tensions Microsoft Corporation, What is a Platform? minimum viable product (MVP, Agile Development Mintzberg, Henry, Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom–A Portfolio of Experiments, Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom, A Portfolio of Experiments Moments of Truth (Carlzon), Moments of Truth Moore, Karl, Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom Moore’s Law, Demands on Companies are Increasing in Volume, Velocity, Variety, How Kodak Faded Away moral authority, Three Types of Strategy, Influence—Give Meaning and Moral Authority to the Purpose, Moral Authority, Principles Trump Processes, It Takes Trust to Build Relationships moral leverage, Moral Authority moral warfare, Three Types of Strategy Morita, Akio, Purpose Sets the Context for Organizations to Learn Morning Star (company), Morning Star’s Self-Organizing Marketplace–The Nordstrom Way, Morning Star’s Self-Organizing Marketplace, The Nordstrom Way Mosser, Fred, Adaptive Moves Can be Competitive—and Cooperative Mullikin, Harry, The Nordstrom Way Multidivisional organizations, The Podular Organization–The Podular Organization, The Podular Organization MVP (minimum viable product), Agile Development MySpace service, The Platform MyStarbucksIdea.com site, Permeability N Napier, Lanham, Principles Trump Processes National car rentals, Serious Netflix service, Adaptive Moves Can Create Opportunities for Others, Coevolutionary Relationships Can be Very Complex, Netflix, a City of Services, Netflix, a City of Services, Netflix, a City of Services network weaving, Network Weaving networks, Power in the Network, Power in the Network, Power in the Network, A Process is Not a Service, Small Worlds, Small Worlds, Scale-free Networks–Power in Networks, Power and Control in Networks, Power in Networks, Control–Exercising Power in Networks, Control, Exercising Power in Networks–Three Principles of Network Power, Exercising Power in Networks, Influence, The Platform, The Platform, Three Principles of Network Power, Three Principles of Network Power about, Small Worlds control in, Control–Exercising Power in Networks, Control, Exercising Power in Networks exercising power in, Exercising Power in Networks–Three Principles of Network Power, The Platform, Three Principles of Network Power, Three Principles of Network Power influence in, Influence platforms in, The Platform power in, Power in the Network, Power in the Network, Power in the Network, Power and Control in Networks scale-free, Scale-free Networks–Power in Networks, Power in Networks service, A Process is Not a Service small-world, Small Worlds New York Times, Failure of Purpose Newell, Gabe, Strategy by Discovery Nielsen study, Power in the Network Nordstrom (company), When in Doubt, Get in Touch with Your Customers, Building Long-Term Relationships with Customers, Absorbing Variety, Self-Organizing Teams at Rational Software customer service, When in Doubt, Get in Touch with Your Customers, Building Long-Term Relationships with Customers, Absorbing Variety self-organization teams, Self-Organizing Teams at Rational Software NPR videotape, Cascading Effects Can be Initiated by Enemies or Competitors NPS (Net Promoter Score), The Net Promoter Score, Net Promoter at Apple–Net Promoter at Apple, Net Promoter at Apple, Net Promoter at Apple, Net Promoter at Logitech–Net Promoter at Logitech, Net Promoter at Logitech, Principles Trump Processes about, The Net Promoter Score Apple, Net Promoter at Apple–Net Promoter at Apple, Net Promoter at Apple, Net Promoter at Apple Logitech, Net Promoter at Logitech–Net Promoter at Logitech, Net Promoter at Logitech Rackspace, Principles Trump Processes Nupedia site, What is a Platform?
minimum viable product (MVP, Agile Development Mintzberg, Henry, Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom–A Portfolio of Experiments, Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom, A Portfolio of Experiments Moments of Truth (Carlzon), Moments of Truth Moore, Karl, Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom Moore’s Law, Demands on Companies are Increasing in Volume, Velocity, Variety, How Kodak Faded Away moral authority, Three Types of Strategy, Influence—Give Meaning and Moral Authority to the Purpose, Moral Authority, Principles Trump Processes, It Takes Trust to Build Relationships moral leverage, Moral Authority moral warfare, Three Types of Strategy Morita, Akio, Purpose Sets the Context for Organizations to Learn Morning Star (company), Morning Star’s Self-Organizing Marketplace–The Nordstrom Way, Morning Star’s Self-Organizing Marketplace, The Nordstrom Way Mosser, Fred, Adaptive Moves Can be Competitive—and Cooperative Mullikin, Harry, The Nordstrom Way Multidivisional organizations, The Podular Organization–The Podular Organization, The Podular Organization MVP (minimum viable product), Agile Development MySpace service, The Platform MyStarbucksIdea.com site, Permeability N Napier, Lanham, Principles Trump Processes National car rentals, Serious Netflix service, Adaptive Moves Can Create Opportunities for Others, Coevolutionary Relationships Can be Very Complex, Netflix, a City of Services, Netflix, a City of Services, Netflix, a City of Services network weaving, Network Weaving networks, Power in the Network, Power in the Network, Power in the Network, A Process is Not a Service, Small Worlds, Small Worlds, Scale-free Networks–Power in Networks, Power and Control in Networks, Power in Networks, Control–Exercising Power in Networks, Control, Exercising Power in Networks–Three Principles of Network Power, Exercising Power in Networks, Influence, The Platform, The Platform, Three Principles of Network Power, Three Principles of Network Power about, Small Worlds control in, Control–Exercising Power in Networks, Control, Exercising Power in Networks exercising power in, Exercising Power in Networks–Three Principles of Network Power, The Platform, Three Principles of Network Power, Three Principles of Network Power influence in, Influence platforms in, The Platform power in, Power in the Network, Power in the Network, Power in the Network, Power and Control in Networks scale-free, Scale-free Networks–Power in Networks, Power in Networks service, A Process is Not a Service small-world, Small Worlds New York Times, Failure of Purpose Newell, Gabe, Strategy by Discovery Nielsen study, Power in the Network Nordstrom (company), When in Doubt, Get in Touch with Your Customers, Building Long-Term Relationships with Customers, Absorbing Variety, Self-Organizing Teams at Rational Software customer service, When in Doubt, Get in Touch with Your Customers, Building Long-Term Relationships with Customers, Absorbing Variety self-organization teams, Self-Organizing Teams at Rational Software NPR videotape, Cascading Effects Can be Initiated by Enemies or Competitors NPS (Net Promoter Score), The Net Promoter Score, Net Promoter at Apple–Net Promoter at Apple, Net Promoter at Apple, Net Promoter at Apple, Net Promoter at Logitech–Net Promoter at Logitech, Net Promoter at Logitech, Principles Trump Processes about, The Net Promoter Score Apple, Net Promoter at Apple–Net Promoter at Apple, Net Promoter at Apple, Net Promoter at Apple Logitech, Net Promoter at Logitech–Net Promoter at Logitech, Net Promoter at Logitech Rackspace, Principles Trump Processes Nupedia site, What is a Platform?
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
Albert Einstein, Clayton Christensen, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Lao Tzu, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, microcredit, minimum viable product, North Sea oil, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, Vilfredo Pareto
Eyring, February 6, 1998. http://www.lds.org/manual/teaching-seminary-preservice-readings-religion-370-471-and-475/the-lord-will-multiply-the-harvest?lang=eng. 7. Ibid., “Can we reverse the Stanford Prison Experiment?” 8. See his website, http://heroicimagination.org/. 9. We got this idea from Glenn I. Latham’s The Power of Positive Parenting (North Logan, UT: P&T Ink, 1994). 10. Seen on the wall at Facebook. 11. Popularized by Eric Ries in an interview at Venture Hacks, March 23, 2009, “What Is the Minimum Viable Product?” http://venturehacks.com/articles/minimum-viable-product. 12. Peter Sims, “Pixar’s Motto: Going from Suck to Nonsuck,” Fast Company, March 25, 2011, www.fastcompany.com/1742431/pixars-motto-going-suck-nonsuck. 18. FLOW 1. Michael Phelps and Alan Abrahamson, No Limits: The Will to Succeed (New York: Free Press, 2008). 2. Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business (New York: Random House, 2012). 3.
Within eighteen months, the founders sold Instagram for $1 billion. Both of these companies spent a long time trying new iterations until they had achieved what growth hackers call Product Market Fit (PMF). That is, the product and its customers are in perfect sync with each other. Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup, explains that the best way to get to Product Market Fit is by starting with a “minimum viable product” and improving it based on feedback—as opposed to what most of us do, which is to try to launch with what we think is our final product. Today, it is the marketer’s job as much as anyone else’s to make sure Product Market Fit happens. Rather than waiting for it to happen magically, marketers need to contribute to this process. Isolating who your customers are, figuring out their needs, designing a product that will blow their minds—these are marketing decisions, not just development and design choices.
The Wide Lens by Ron Adner
barriers to entry, call centre, Clayton Christensen, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, M-Pesa, minimum viable product, mobile money, new economy, RAND corporation, RFID, smart grid, smart meter, spectrum auction, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, supply-chain management, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs
However, this also doubled the price: the Roadster battery alone costs an estimated $36,000 (the base MSRP for the 2011 Roadster is $109,000), undermining its economic attractiveness to the mainstream. * Read the epilogue to the Better Place case on p. 235. * In the world of product development, a recent movement has been toward “lean start-up,” a key technique of which is the minimum viable product (also referred to as the minimum feature set). The minimum viable product approach espouses market testing with bare-bones prototypes that allows for maximum learning from test customer feedback with the least amount of product development. This enables cheaper and faster iterations in the product development cycle. It contrasts with the philosophy of presenting (relatively) feature-rich prototypes that will allow test customers to offer more complete reactions.
Exponential Organizations: Why New Organizations Are Ten Times Better, Faster, and Cheaper Than Yours (And What to Do About It) by Salim Ismail, Yuri van Geest
23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Burning Man, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Chris Wanstrath, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, Dean Kamen, dematerialisation, discounted cash flows, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, Galaxy Zoo, game design, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hiring and firing, Hyperloop, industrial robot, Innovator's Dilemma, intangible asset, Internet of things, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, lifelogging, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, means of production, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, p-value, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, profit motive, publish or perish, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, subscription business, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, X Prize, Y Combinator, zero-sum game
These new business models have, potentially, eight new value drivers to generate revenues, differentiate them from competitors, and allow for a long-term strategy to align with adjacent ExOs in a particular industry to fully disrupt incumbents, rather than just one individual good or service offered. Talk about a powerful double-disruption scenario. Step 7: Build the MVP A key output of the Business Model Canvas is what’s called the Minimum Viable Product, or MVP. The MVP is a kind of applied experiment to determine the simplest product that will allow the team to go to market and see how users respond (as well as help find investors for the next round of development). Feedback loops can then rapidly iterate the product to optimize it and drive the feature roadmap of its development. Learning, testing assumptions, pivoting and iterating are key in this step.
As David Butler, Coke’s vice president of innovation and entrepreneurship, said recently, “That has become our vision—to make it easier for starters to be scalers and scalers to be starters.” To deliver on this startup philosophy, Coca-Cola is working with Steve Blank and Eric Ries to implement their Lean Startup philosophy across the entire corporation [Experimentation]. Multiple small efforts, each with an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) will iterate assumptions and make this approach available to anyone in the company via an initiative called Open Entrepreneurship. The effects of Experimentation have been immediate: Butler reports that due to the initiative, Coke’s sustainability goals have already improved by 20 percent. Coca-Cola also has become a founding member of Singularity University Labs, where disruptive teams can, away from the mother ship [Autonomy, Leveraged Assets], work with startups on next-generation products and services.
3D printing, Airbnb, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, clean water, fear of failure, Google X / Alphabet X, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Thomas L Friedman, Toyota Production System, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, Zipcar
The rapid test-and-learn approach has caught on throughout the entrepreneurial world, fueled in part by Eric Ries’s Lean Startup phenomenon. Ries maintains that entrepreneurs, existing companies—or anyone trying to create something new and innovative—must find ways to constantly experiment and quickly put new ideas out into the world for public consumption, rather than devoting extensive resources and time to trying to perfect ideas behind closed doors. Ries urges businesses to focus on developing what he calls “minimum viable products”—in effect, quick, imperfect test versions of ideas that can be put out into the marketplace in order to learn what works and what doesn’t. But this is more than a business strategy. The basic principles of the test-and-learn approach apply in almost any situation where people are trying to solve problems in dynamic, uncertain conditions. How do you make a hard-boiled egg’s shell disappear?
Ries says you start with the acknowledgment that “we are operating amid all this uncertainty—and that the purpose of building a product or doing any other activity is to create an experiment to reduce that uncertainty.” This means that instead of asking What will we do? or What will we build? the emphasis should be on What will we learn? “And then you work backwards to the simplest possible thing—the minimum viable product—that can get you the learning,” he says. What is your tennis ball? (and other entrepreneurial questions)20 Drew Houston, founder of the online storage service Dropbox, thinks all would-be entrepreneurs should try to answer the above question. “The most successful people are obsessed with solving an important problem, something that matters to them,” according to Houston. “They remind me of a dog chasing a tennis ball.”
3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, banking crisis, barriers to entry, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business climate, call centre, car-free, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, commoditize, congestion charging, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, decarbonisation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, frictionless, Gini coefficient, hive mind, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, openstreetmap, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Turing test, turn-by-turn navigation, Uber and Lyft, Zipcar
Nor did they want to put in street addresses (even though the auto-complete made it so easy). They just wanted to put in the city. Nor would they put in a specific time (such as 3:30 p.m.), or be willing to tell us how many seats they had in their car. How the heck did people expect to offer a ride or find a ride with so little information? My engineers spent the next months undoing what we had just done—simplifying, simplifying, simplifying. Today we talk about building a minimum viable product. And with Zipcar, this is what we had effectively done because of our lack of money, time, and knowledge of the sector. With GoLoco, I was better financed and knew what I was doing—or so I thought. Wrong! It’s hard not to overbuild your starting platform. You’ve given it so much thought! You’ve spent so much time doing surveys and focus groups! And even when you are trying to build what in your heart you believe is the absolute bare minimum to reach your audience, it is highly likely that you are still overbuilding.
This is when we start up the steep-growth part of the curve. And here I leave the narrative of the failed U.S.-based GoLoco and begin telling the story of Frédéric Mazzella, my friend and founder of the successful French ridesharing company BlaBlaCar, who drove competently through phase two. Four long years passed between Fred’s first vision and the development of a platform that could finally sing. He personally programmed the initial minimum viable product but knew that he would soon need to hire professional engineers. He too worked through the reality of sloppy peer production and learned how to improve the quality of peer-to-peer offerings. He experimented with several business models. And he had some very good luck (French rail strikes in 2007, and the 2010 eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull that shut down European air transport for eight days, stranding millions of passengers) just when he needed it; he was also well prepared to take advantage of that and make the service known.
Hacking Growth: How Today's Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success by Sean Ellis, Morgan Brown
Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, bounce rate, business intelligence, business process, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, DevOps, Elon Musk, game design, Google Glasses, Internet of things, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, minimum viable product, Network effects, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, subscription business, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, working poor, Y Combinator, young professional
Building on these methods was natural for Sean and other start-up teams, because the companies that Sean advised and others that developed the method were stacked with great engineering talent familiar with the methods, and because the founders were inclined to apply a similar approach to customer growth as the engineers applied to their software and product development. Central to agile development is increasing the speed of development, working in short “sprints” of coding, and regularly testing and iterating on the product over time. The Lean Startup adopted the practice of rapid development and frequent testing, and added the practice of getting a minimum viable product out on the market and into the hands of actual users as soon as possible, to get real user feedback and establish a viable business. Growth hacking adopted the continuous cycle of improvement and the rapid iterative approach of both methods and applied them to customer and revenue growth. In the process, the growth hacking method broke down the traditional walls between marketing and engineering in order to discover novel methods of marketing that are built into the product itself, and can only be tapped with more technical know-how.
To my Mom, thank you for being an unfailing champion, even in times when I probably didn’t deserve it. Your never-ending love is a true gift. To my Dad, who has always driven me to expect more of myself and do the best I could, I am grateful to have your standard to live up to. And to my brother, Graeme, my best friend, thanks for a lifetime of friendship and memories. I love you all. —Morgan INTRODUCTION 1. Eric Ries, “How Dropbox Started as a Minimum Viable Product,” TechCrunch, October 19, 2011, techcrunch.com/2011/10/19/dropbox-minimal-viable-product/. 2. I’d then moved over to work on growth at LogMeIn, a service started by the Uproar founder that allowed users to access their files, email, and software from any computer in the world. We managed to turn the company into the market leader despite a massive marketing campaign waged by its main competitor, GoToMyPC.
Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant
Albert Einstein, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, availability heuristic, barriers to entry, business process, business process outsourcing, Cass Sunstein, clean water, cognitive dissonance, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, double helix, Elon Musk, fear of failure, Firefox, George Santayana, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, job-hopping, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum viable product, Network effects, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, risk tolerance, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Wisdom of Crowds, women in the workforce
creative careers were closed to women: Dean Keith Simonton, “Leaders of American Psychology, 1879–1967: Career Development, Creative Output, and Professional Achievement,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 62 (1992): 5–17. first ideas are often the most conventional: Brian J. Lucas and Loran F. Nordgren, “People Underestimate the Value of Persistence for Creative Performance,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 109 (2015): 232–43. Daily Show cocreator Lizz Winstead: Personal interview with Lizz Winstead, February 8, 2015. minimum viable product: Eric Ries, The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses (New York: Crown, 2011). false negatives are common: Charalampos Mainemelis, “Stealing Fire: Creative Deviance in the Evolution of New Ideas,” Academy of Management Review 35 (2010): 558–78; Aren Wilborn, “5 Hilarious Reasons Publishers Rejected Classic Best-Sellers,” Cracked, February 13, 2013, www.cracked.com/article_20285_5-hilarious-reasons-publishers-rejected-classic-best-sellers.html; Berg, “Balancing on the Creative High-Wire.”
Berg finds that on average, women make better creative forecasts than men: They’re more open to novel ideas, which leaves them less prone to false negatives. * The lesson here isn’t to ask customers what they want. As the famous line often attributed to Henry Ford goes: “If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” Instead, creators ought to build a car and see if customers will drive it. That means identifying a potential need, designing what The Lean Startup author Eric Ries calls a minimum viable product, testing different versions, and gathering feedback. * One category of circus acts was universally disliked by managers, test audiences, and creators: clowns. It’s not a coincidence that one Seinfeld episode revolves around clowns striking fear into the hearts of adults as well as children. * The personality trait most associated with an interest in the arts is called openness, the tendency to seek out novelty and variety in intellectual, aesthetic, and emotional pursuits.
Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley by Antonio Garcia Martinez
Airbnb, airport security, always be closing, Amazon Web Services, Burning Man, Celtic Tiger, centralized clearinghouse, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, drone strike, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Emanuel Derman, financial independence, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, hive mind, income inequality, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, intermodal, Jeff Bezos, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, means of production, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Paul Graham, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Ruby on Rails, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, second-price auction, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, social web, Socratic dialogue, source of truth, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, urban renewal, Y Combinator, zero-sum game, éminence grise
Somerset, 200 Mayer, Marissa, 78 Mayfield Capital, 154, 156, 159, 162–63 McAfee, 382 McCorvie, Ryan, 16–17 McDonald’s, 82, 450 McEachen, Matthew (“MRM”), 41, 46, 62–63 call to, 123 CEO position, 249 chaos monkey suggestion, 103 codebase and, 66, 73, 184, 234 coding, 146 comrade-in-arms, 91 as daredevil, 136–37 deal details and, 251–52 earnestness, 68 Facebook and, 223, 225 family, 135, 205 getting to know, 88 irritation, 102–3 lost with, 109 paying off mortgage, 494 as resourceful savior, 100–101 as steadfast, 67 McGarraugh, Charlie, 14–15 McLean, Malcom, 447 media publishers, 387 MediaMath, 390 Menlo Park, 84 bedroom community, 338 conferences, 119 headquarters, 469 moving to, 337 schools, 306 meritocracy, 74 Merkle, 384 mesothelioma, 81 Miami drug trade, 304 Michelangelo, 334 Microsoft Adchemy and, 153–54, 161–62 Atlas, 383, 453–55 calendar, 340 dogfooding, 43 monopolist, 286 program managers, 272 middle managers, 359 Miller, Arthur, 104 Miller, Frank, 434 Milton, John, 475 minimum viable product (MVP), 434 miracles, 51 misleading, offensive, or sexually inappropriate (MOSI), 310 Mixpanel, 62 mobile commerce, 484–89 mobile data, 382, 477, 484, 486 Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), 448 monetary value, 317–19 monetization bet, 4 data-per-pixel, 274 digital, 184 Facebook, 5, 209, 275, 278, 298, 318, 425, 444 folly, 361–72 Google, 186 growth, 141 influences, 9 savvy, 486–89 tug-of-war, 379 Twitter, 190 zero-sum game, 319 money fuck-you money, 102, 415–16 investors, 74 outside, 155 pre-money valuation, 212 seed, 96 of VCs, 174 Moore’s law, 25 MoPub, 476–77, 479–81 morality, 226, 256, 284 Morgenstern, Jared, 218 Morishige, Sara, 183 Morris, Robert Tappan, 60–61 Mortal Kombat 3, 178 Moscone, George, 181 Moskovitz, Dustin, 284 Motwani, Rajeev, 138 Museum of Natural History, 366 My Life as a Quant (Derman), 16 MySpace, 283–84 N00b, 269 Nanigans, 480–81 Narasin, Ben, 128–31, 143–44 NASDAQ, 405, 410 National Socialism, 356 native ad formats, 448–49 Neko, 482 Netflix, 83, 103, 328 Netscape Navigator, 286 Neustar, 384, 386 New Rich, 357 New York Times, 448, 486 New Zealand, 318 News Feed addictive, 482 ads, 482–84, 488, 492 click-through rates, 487 content, 309 creation, 2 distribution, 364 as magic real estate, 362 spamming users, 372 versions, 444 newspaper advertising, 36–37 Nielsen, 385 1984 (Orwell), 433 noncash valuation, 212 no-shop contract, 201 Nukala, Murthy crossing paths, 167–68 ego, 42–43 greed, 44 hazing by, 71 immigrant worker, 72 lecture from, 65–66 manipulative rage, 136 pep rally, 36 saying good-bye to, 73 self-preservation and, 162–63 tantrums, 45 as tyrant, 158 vindictiveness, 134 wooing by, 154 Obama, Barack, 299–300 obscenity, 268 OkCupid, 54 Olivan, Javier, 410 Omnicom, 437, 443 on-boarding, 260–67, 271 one shot, one kill motto, 298 one-on-one, 434, 457, 469 online dating, 54–55 Opel, John, 148 Open Graph, 280, 364 optimization, 276, 302 Oracle investors, 111 job at, 193 logo, 124 product shindigs, 181 recruiting, 70 Orkut, 379 Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, 193, 203, 253 Orwell, George, 433 outside money, 155 Ovid, 316 Oxford English Dictionary, 80 Page, Larry, 112, 428, 431 Pahl, Sebastien, 119 Palantir, 272 Palihapitiya, Chamath, 265–66 Palo Alto bosom of, 116 climate, 123 downtown, 333, 338 East, 404 hub, 109 old, 112, 158 posh, 84 shuttles, 289, 339 Stanford grads, 63 Pamplona running of bulls, 106–7 Pan-Arabism, 356 Pansari, Ambar, 210 Paper, 283 Parse, 155 Patel, Satya, 249–50 Patton, 369 Payne, Jim, 476 PayPal, 78, 124 personal wealth, 415 personally identifiable information (PII), 395 photo sharing, 286, 490–91, 493 photo-comparison software, 310 Pickens, Slim, 102 Piepgrass, Brian, 374 pings, 188, 327, 422 PMMess, 347–51, 407, 409 poker playing, 396–97 polyandry, 483 Polybius, 172, 316, 336 Pong, 150 Ponzi scheme, 16 pornography, 167, 262, 268, 312, 314, 315 post-valuation, 212 pregnancy, 58–59 pre-money valuation, 212 La Presse, 37 privacy Facebook and, 316–29 Irish Data Privacy Audit, 278, 320–23 PRIZM Segments, 385 product development, 47, 94, 191, 220, 334, 370, 389 product managers (PMs) as Afghan warlords, 273 earning money, 302 everyday work, 294 Facebook, 4, 6–7, 10, 91, 97, 202, 210, 271–79 Google, 192 habitat, 341 high-value, 246 ideal, 219 information and, 295 internal and external forces and, 316–17 last on buck-passing chain, 327 managing, 276 stupidity, 313 tech companies, 272 tiebreaker role, 292 product marketing manager (PMM), 277, 366 product navigators, 272 production, 94 product-market fit, 175 programmatic media-buying technology, 38 Project Chorizo, 296 pseudorandomness, 75 publishers, 37, 39 Putnam, Chris, 284 Qualcomm, 70 quants, 16–18, 24, 29, 141, 207 Quick and Dirty Operating System (QDOS), 149 Rabkin, Mark, 3, 312, 389, 398, 435 Rajaram, Gokul, 8, 10 accepting offer from, 248 banter with, 472–73 as boss, 3 bribery, 471 FBX and, 435 go big or go home ethos, 300 in great debate, 459 influence, 202 insubordination toward, 465 interview with, 221–22 leadership, 309 loss of trust, 468 lot with, 373 management of, 434 middle manager, 463–64 one-on-one and, 469 as product leader, 276–77 riding by, 346 stripping of duties, 452 word of, 252 Ralston, Geoff, 93 Rapportive, 96–97, 106 real-time bidding (RTB), 40–41 real-time data synchronization, 38 Red Rock Coffee, 84 RedLaser, 51 Reesman, Ben, 308, 389, 399–400, 475, 477 relativity, 25 replicating portfolio, 247–48 retargeting, 9, 381, 395, 438, 461 return of advertising spend (ROAS), 81 revenue dashboards, 274–75, 295–96 Right Media, 37–38 The Road Warrior, 134 Roetter, Alex, 185, 190, 493–94 romantic liaisons, 55–56 Romper Stomper, 202 Rosenblum, Rich, 21–22 Rosenn, Itamar, 368 Rosenthal, Brian, 389, 390 Ross, Blake, 444 Rossetti, Dante Gabriel, 303 rounds, 156 routing system, 324 Rubinstein, Dan, 312–13 Ruby on Rails, 155 Russia, 375–76 Sacca, Chris, 128, 141, 143 acquisition advice, 187–88, 212–13, 245–47 on deals, 205–7 ignoring inquiries, 201 pseudoangel, 113, 117–19 wisdom, 202 Safari, 484 safe sex, 58 safeguarding role, 315 sailboat living, 307, 332, 337–38 salaries, 358 San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), 181 Sandberg, Sheryl, 2, 10 data joining and, 465 gatekeeper, 4–5 intimates, 3–4 leadership, 410 managerial prowess, 311–13 meetings, 371, 382, 459 PowerPoint and, 7 recommendations to, 462 schmoozing, 367 wiles of, 408 Sarna, Chander, 67–68, 71, 72 sausage grinder, 296 scale, 300 Scalps@Facebook, 314 scavenging foray, 116 schadenfreude, 16–17 Schopenhauer, Arthur, 282 Schrage, Elliot, 3–4, 410 Schreier, Bryan, 123–25 Schrock, Nick, 400 Schroepfer, Mike, 2 Schultz, Alex, 374 scientific racism, 122 Scoble, Robert, 100 Scott, George C., 24, 369 security, 314–15 seed money, 96 Sequoia, 122–25, 130, 159 severance package, 470–71 severity-level-one bug (SEV1), 323 sexual molestation, 17 Shaffer, Justin, 219–21, 444 Shakespeare, William, 120, 427, 456 Shapiro, Scott, 378, 459 Shelly, Percy Bysshe, 337 Shockley, William, 122 shuttles, 289, 339 Siegelman, Russell, 146, 201, 213, 397 angel investor, 110–13 commitment, 141–43 negotiations, 116–17 Silicon Valley.
They also helped the other company navigate Facebook’s Byzantine internal politics to achieve some mutually beneficial goal. These ambassadors got to know their foreign powers very well, some even going a bit native (as diplomats too long in a foreign country do), empathizing with their charges’ agenda as much as with Facebook’s. * Most products in tech, at least on the Internet side, launch half-baked, as what’s called an MVP, or “minimum viable product.” This is the minimum level of functionality you can provide and still sanely call your creation a product. In FBX’s case, this meant the real-time auction worked with the basic ads-buying protocol we had designed, but we had none of the monitoring tools, debugging tools, or error notifications we’d need to properly manage this beast, nor the more advanced functionality, such as cross-browser identity matching, that we’d dreamed up.
barriers to entry, cleantech, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, Grace Hopper, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, labour mobility, Lean Startup, minimum viable product, Network effects, Peter Thiel, place-making, pre–internet, Richard Florida, Ruby on Rails, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, software as a service, Steve Jobs, text mining, Y Combinator, zero-sum game, Zipcar
They were each younger than 25 years old and called their company CLARA. They wanted to build a software-as-a-service company that helped gaming companies understand their communities. I was startled. These kids were not worried about the ISK or the government or the global financial crisis or anything. They were building something and wanted to sell it to create value. I was impressed. I found out that they needed capital to get their minimum viable product onto the market. There was a slight problem, as I had no money, so I reached out to my family and friends, convinced them to invest in Iceland and this young team called CLARA. My partners thought I was crazy but they indulged me. We invested in Iceland against all odds in 2009. When all the other Icelandic entrepreneurs found out that I had invested in CLARA, I had a flood of requests to meet new companies.
The Great Fragmentation: And Why the Future of All Business Is Small by Steve Sammartino
3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, collaborative consumption, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, Elon Musk, fiat currency, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, Google X / Alphabet X, haute couture, helicopter parent, illegal immigration, index fund, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, lifelogging, market design, Metcalfe's law, Metcalfe’s law, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, remote working, RFID, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, too big to fail, US Airways Flight 1549, web application, zero-sum game
He showed me the proof via the live video chat over Skype and his YouTube videos. A few short years ago, none of these tools existed so he would have had no way of proving himself. He also sent me his PDF plan of Project October Sky. Marketing rocket science I concluded I couldn’t really justify investing $10 000 into the project, but advised Raul I’d be happy to do something smaller together such as a minimum viable product if it could benefit both of us. He came up with the idea of sending a helium balloon into the near space field. He told me we could get more than 30 000 metres into the sky and film the curvature of the earth for under $1000. He went on to tell me that he wanted to do it for scientific and experimentation reasons, and that I could take on the marketing. In simple terms, if I’d fund it, he’d give me the filming rights and the decision on what to send up into space and film.
The Year Without Pants: Wordpress.com and the Future of Work by Scott Berkun
barriers to entry, blue-collar work, Broken windows theory, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, future of work, Google Hangouts, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Lean Startup, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, remote working, Results Only Work Environment, Richard Stallman, Seaside, Florida, side project, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the map is not the territory, Tony Hsieh, trade route, zero-sum game
The creation of teams was intended to foster more local autonomy and less dependence on Matt, but at the time of the Athens meet-up, teams were only weeks old. When Mullenweg left Athens, we immediately began work on Highlander. Of the many features we knew it would have to include, we narrowed them down to find the simplest, easiest, highest-value project we could release first (what's often called MVP or minimum viable product). Putting our list of feature ideas aside for the moment, we applied the same design thinking we'd done for posting. If the blogger's experience posting worked like this: then the visitor's experience commenting was like this: The largest burden of convincing a visitor to decide to comment was on the blogger. Bloggers who wrote a better post were more likely to get visitors to write comments in response.
3D printing, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, business climate, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative editing, commoditize, creative destruction, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, death of newspapers, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Gordon Gekko, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mother of all demos, Narrative Science, new economy, Occupy movement, old-boy network, peer-to-peer, period drama, Peter Thiel, pirate software, publication bias, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, uranium enrichment, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Zipcar
. … All you have to do to serve them well is build a minimal infrastructure allowing them to get together and work things out for themselves. Any additional features are almost certainly superfluous and could even be damaging.35 This way of thinking in software design has a long pedigree—back to the “scratch your own itch” of Eric Raymond’s The Cathedral and the Bazaar, but more recently in the best-selling The Lean Startup, whose core admonition is to arrive at the minimum viable product as quickly as possible. It’s a compelling vision for running a software company or even an online services company. But does it work as an approach to government? Not so much. As Gary Wolf puts it in the Wired profile: His cause is not helped by the fact that if the Craigslist management style resembles any political system, it is not democracy but rather a low-key popular dictatorship. … Its inner workings are obscure, it publishes no account of its income or expenses, it has no obligation to respond to criticism, and all authority rests in the hands of a single man.36 I don’t mean to single out Newmark.
Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler
3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, cloud computing, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dematerialisation, deskilling, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, ImageNet competition, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, Jono Bacon, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, Narrative Science, Netflix Prize, Network effects, Oculus Rift, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, performance metric, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, rolodex, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart grid, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, telepresence, telepresence robot, Turing test, urban renewal, web application, X Prize, Y Combinator, zero-sum game
The traditional methodology involved creating a product in secret, usually over a number of years, then bomb-dropping it on the public with one massive launch. Unfortunately, in a world of increasingly rapid change, spending a few years separated from one’s customers can mean bankruptcy. Enter agile design, an ideology that emphasizes fast feedback loops.9 Instead of launching a finely polished gem, companies now release a “minimum viable product,” then get immediate feedback from customers, incorporate that feedback into the next iteration, release a slightly upgraded version, and repeat. Instead of design cycles that last years, the agile process takes weeks and produces results directly in line with consumer expectations. This is rapid iteration. “We saw this with Gmail,” says Salim Ismail.10 “Instead of sending designers off to spend years coming up with the best twenty-five features anyone would ever want in an email program, Google released a version with around three features and asked their customers what else they wanted the program to do.
Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Dan Lyons
activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, call centre, cleantech, cloud computing, corporate governance, dumpster diving, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, Golden Gate Park, Google Glasses, Googley, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, pre–internet, quantitative easing, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, telemarketer, tulip mania, Y Combinator, éminence grise
The tale of Netscape added a new twist: On the Internet, at least when it comes to investments, nobody cares if you’re a dog. The Netscape IPO set off the dotcom frenzy. In Silicon Valley it was as if someone had flipped a switch. Suddenly there was a new business model: Grow fast, lose money, go public. That model persists today. It’s a simple racket. Venture capitalists pump millions of dollars into a company. The company spends some of that money coding up a “minimum viable product,” or MVP, a term coined by Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup, which has become a bible for new tech companies, and then pumps enormous sums into acquiring customers—by hiring sales reps, marketers, and public relations people who can get publicity, put on flashy conferences, and generate hype—brand and buzz, as HubSpot calls it. The losses pile up, but the revenue number rises. Basically the company is buying one-dollar bills and selling them for seventy-five cents, but it doesn’t matter, because mom-and-pop investors are only looking at the revenue growth rate.
Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity by Douglas Rushkoff
3D printing, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business process, buy low sell high, California gold rush, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, centralized clearinghouse, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, corporate raider, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global village, Google bus, Howard Rheingold, IBM and the Holocaust, impulse control, income inequality, index fund, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, medical bankruptcy, minimum viable product, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, passive investing, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social graph, software patent, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, trade route, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, unpaid internship, Y Combinator, young professional, zero-sum game, Zipcar
Finding an “angel” with ready cash was easier than finding a kid who knew how to mark up a Web page. Over the next decade, a basic playbook was established for how a startup gets to IPO or acquisition. Get an idea in college, find a programmer in the same dorm, build a prototype, write a business plan, present it at a conference, do an “angel round,” hire a couple more programmers to get to “minimum viable product,” raise a “Series A” round of investment, launch on the Web or App Store, achieve or manufacture huge numbers, write a new business plan with some scalable vision, raise a “Series B” round (if you absolutely need more funding), then get acquired or do an IPO. Terms such as angel round and Series A are now as common in programmer vocabulary as client and server. And, as young college-dropout CEOs quickly realize, this business vocabulary is more important than coding languages to their success in the startup game.
Frugal Innovation: How to Do Better With Less by Jaideep Prabhu Navi Radjou
3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bretton Woods, business climate, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Computer Numeric Control, connected car, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Elon Musk, financial exclusion, financial innovation, global supply chain, income inequality, industrial robot, intangible asset, Internet of things, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, low cost carrier, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, megacity, minimum viable product, more computing power than Apollo, new economy, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, precision agriculture, race to the bottom, reshoring, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, smart grid, smart meter, software as a service, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, women in the workforce, X Prize, yield management, Zipcar
He wants his company to be leaner, faster and better connected to customers, and to leverage digital and IT tools cleverly so that it can, for instance, close deals 50% more quickly and introduce new products 30% faster. To that end, in 2013 GE launched its FastWorks, a set of tools and principles that is helping GE marry scale and innovation with speed and agility. It has trained about 40,000 employees using workshops and online tools to build minimum viable products that quickly solve well-defined customer needs. Rather than over-engineering for the optimal solution and crafting complex business models, GE’s employees are learning to design and launch good-enough solutions, get quick customer feedback and then fine-tune them later as the teams learn more. In mid-2014, more than 300 projects across GE and around the world were using FastWorks. For example, GE used FastWorks to co-develop with Chevron and Los Alamos National Laboratory an innovative solution for flow metering in multiphase oil wells.
Startup CEO: A Field Guide to Scaling Up Your Business, + Website by Matt Blumberg
activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, airport security, Albert Einstein, bank run, Broken windows theory, crowdsourcing, deskilling, fear of failure, high batting average, high net worth, hiring and firing, Inbox Zero, James Hargreaves, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, pattern recognition, performance metric, pets.com, rolodex, Rubik’s Cube, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype
While the Lean Canvas uses some of the same criteria that I noted that I use above for vetting ideas, it’s the place where you start to document the specifics of those criteria so you can go out and test the things that must be true in order for your business model to work. Following is a section-by-section guide to test what must be true in each of the nine boxes of Maurya’s Lean Canvas. Problem What problem are you trying to solve, and for whom? In Steve Blank’s “Customer Development” model, defining your audience and your product come concurrently as you build a minimum viable product (MVP). Your solution needs to address a specific problem or pain point that affects a well-defined audience. You don’t want to develop “a solution in search of a problem” (see sidebar). The assumption you’re trying to test in this box on the Lean Canvas is that this type of person has this exact problem. FIGURE 2.1 Maurya’s Lean Canvas Business Plan Solution You can only describe your solution after defining your audience and their problems.
3D printing, A Pattern Language, additive manufacturing, air freight, Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, c2.com, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Douglas Engelbart, dumpster diving, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, future of work, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Hacker Ethic, Internet of things, Iridium satellite, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Mason jar, means of production, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, Oculus Rift, patent troll, popular electronics, QR code, Rodney Brooks, Shenzhen was a fishing village, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, software as a service, special economic zone, speech recognition, subscription business, telerobotics, urban planning, web application, Y Combinator
When the Kickstarter [initiative] was going, I’d get about one of those a day. Now I probably get about one of those a week. Mostly I get people who have an idea and haven’t tried to build anything yet. I think often we get held up on, “I have this idea. How do I build that product?” And, really, the thought process needs to be, “I have this idea. How do I build—to use a startup term—how do I build the minimum viable product?” But a better question is,“What can I tape together, stick together to do what I want this product to do, even if it doesn’t work right, even if it costs five times as much?” Personally, I always get held up on things like, “I have to design the perfect circuit board.” Instead, I should be building it on a breadboard first. So I think the best advice is to do it, build it, test it, and tell people about it.
activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, Airbnb, Atul Gawande, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, deskilling, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Firefox, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Google Glasses, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Internet of things, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, lifelogging, medical malpractice, medical residency, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, personalized medicine, pets.com, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the payments system, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Toyota Production System, Uber for X, US Airways Flight 1549, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Yogi Berra
“Athenahealth, BIDMC Ink Development Deal,” HealthLeaders Media, February 3, 2015. 232 Don Berwick, former head of Medicare Quoted in A. Gawande, “The Velluvial Matrix,” New Yorker, June 16, 2010. 232 In May 2014, activist investor David Einhorn Lopez and Penn, “Read David Einhorn’s Brutal Presentation.” Bush rebutted Einhorn in J. Wieczner, “Bush vs. Einhorn: How athenahealth’s CEO Met His Short-Seller,” Fortune, May 28, 2014. Chapter 25: Silicon Valley Meets Healthcare 235 “For thousands of years, guys like us” “Minimum Viable Product,” Silicon Valley (television series), HBO, 2014. 235 “Our investment convinced the IT world” Interview of David Blumenthal by the author, July 16, 2014. 236 “Health IT Sees First Billion Dollar Quarter” A. Gold, Politico Morning eHealth, July 17, 2014, available at http://www.politico.com/morningehealth/0714/morningehealth14675.html. 237 a … healthcare impresario named Matthew Holt Interview of Holt by the author, August 6, 2014. 237 He became interested in technology as a kid Interview of Nate Gross by the author, August 6, 2014. 238 One was Doximity www.doximity.com. 238 The other was Rock Health www.rockhealth.com. 240 The first is called Augmedix. www.augmedix.com.
Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life by Adam Greenfield
3D printing, Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, bank run, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cellular automata, centralized clearinghouse, centre right, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, cloud computing, collective bargaining, combinatorial explosion, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, Conway's Game of Life, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, dematerialisation, digital map, distributed ledger, drone strike, Elon Musk, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, fiat currency, global supply chain, global village, Google Glasses, IBM and the Holocaust, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet of things, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late capitalism, license plate recognition, lifelogging, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, megacity, megastructure, minimum viable product, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, natural language processing, Network effects, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, Pearl River Delta, performance metric, Peter Eisenman, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, post scarcity, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, RFID, rolodex, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, sorting algorithm, special economic zone, speech recognition, stakhanovite, statistical model, stem cell, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, transaction costs, Uber for X, universal basic income, urban planning, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce
Numbers like these are clearly a very strong incentive for talented developers to abandon the drudgery and anonymity of academic or corporate toil for chancier work in the startup sector, and so that is just what many of them now do. Surprisingly few of these entrepreneurially inclined developers actually intend to build and grow a sustainable business themselves, though. They are explicit about their intention to develop instead a “minimum viable product” as a technology or concept demonstrator, and more or less immediately thereafter flip their company to a deep-pocketed suitor. One of the upshots of this is that there’s a far larger, younger and more diverse cohort imagining and developing emerging technologies than ever before in history—and precisely because of means like GitHub, 3D printing and cheap Shenzhen production, virtually everyone among that cohort is able to generate prototypes of a sophistication that would have taxed the capabilities of the largest and wealthiest corporations of just a few years ago.
Site Reliability Engineering by Betsy Beyer, Chris Jones, Jennifer Petoff, Niall Richard Murphy
Air France Flight 447, anti-pattern, barriers to entry, business intelligence, business process, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, continuous integration, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, database schema, defense in depth, DevOps, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, Flash crash, George Santayana, Google Chrome, Google Earth, job automation, job satisfaction, linear programming, load shedding, loose coupling, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum viable product, MVC pattern, performance metric, platform as a service, revision control, risk tolerance, side project, six sigma, the scientific method, Toyota Production System, trickle-down economics, web application, zero day
Although internal customers are generally more tolerant of rough edges and early alphas than external customers, it’s still necessary to provide documentation. SREs are busy, and if your solution is too difficult or confusing, they will write their own solution. Set expectations When an engineer with years of familiarity in a problem space begins designing a product, it’s easy to imagine a utopian end-state for the work. However, it’s important to differentiate aspirational goals of the product from minimum success criteria (or Minimum Viable Product). Projects can lose credibility and fail by promising too much, too soon; at the same time, if a product doesn’t promise a sufficiently rewarding outcome, it can be difficult to overcome the necessary activation energy to convince internal teams to try something new. Demonstrating steady, incremental progress via small releases raises user confidence in your team’s ability to deliver useful software.