Welcoming Eric Ries to the Radar Team

The Radar blog is a community of thinkers organized around the O’Reilly mission to change the world by spreading the knowledge of innovators. Some of the folks with posting privileges on Radar are O’Reilly employees: Brady Forrest organizes the ETech, Where 2.0 and Web 2.0 Expo events, Mike Loukides, Andy Oram, Brett McLaughlin, and Mike Hendrickson are editors of many of the books you know and love, Ben Lorica does data analysis in our research group, Andrew Savikas heads up our digital publishing efforts, Dale Dougherty is the publisher of Make:, Sara Winge runs the Radar group and organizes our annual Foo Camp.

Others work part-time with us, such as our open source maven Alison Randal, who co-chairs the Open Source Convention, and “Master of Disaster” Jesse Robbins, who co-chairs the Velocity conference on large scale web operations. Some are alumni such as Nat Torkington and Marc Hedlund, who have gone on to other jobs but remain very much part of the O’Reilly family.

But others are interesting people we have met along the journey like Artur Bergman, Jim Stogdill, and Nick Bilton. These are people who’ve stimulated our thinking and helped us reflect on areas we want to learn about. In each case the goal is the same – talk about “Stuff That Matters” and generate meaningful conversation. With that in mind, I wanted to welcome Eric Ries to the Radar community.

I met Eric a few months ago, and immediately realized that he was someone I could learn a lot from, and whose ideas I wanted to spread as widely as possible.
Eric has been championing the concept of The Lean Startup; a methodology that helps startups learn and adapt faster than the competition. Startups get lean through a mixture of agile development, leveraged product development and implementing direct, tight customer feedback loops. The result is a new type of company – one that uses operational excellence to drive down costs and accelerate learning.

Eric’s methodology has been honed by running successful startups (and learning from running unsuccessful ones) along with experience gathered through consulting, mentoring, and advising entrepreneurs. The Lean Startup is deeply prescriptive and practical; it is a vision for a new way to start, build and grow your company—starting on day one.

One of the things that excites me about the Lean Startup is that it doesn’t just apply to the traditional “two guys in a garage.” The questions that I have seen technology startups face time and again are increasingly relevant to institutions of all kinds: Who exactly is my customer? What exactly do they want? How do I deliver my product quickly and effectively at lower cost? Lessons learned in the crucible of entrepreneurship are applicable to enterprise and to government as both struggle to do more with less, to grow to reach new markets, and to innovate.

You will find Eric here occasionally on Radar as well as on his blog. Additionally, Eric has partnered with O’Reilly to produce a series of upcoming workshops intended to help people master the concepts of The Lean Startup.

Here is a video that Radar’s Joshua-Michéle Ross shot with Eric recently.

tags: ,