At each of the lean startup master classes, we’ve turned to a special expert on entrepreneurship to provide us with special insight; Ali G teaches us
about two enduring kinds of failed products: the Ice Cream Glove and the
Hoverboard. If you look at the typical startup, you will see the vast majority of their energy and time invested in building new technology. We act as if the biggest risk to startup success is that the technology won’t work. But in reality, most products fail because they are the Ice Cream Glove, that is, because there are no customers who will buy them.
One of the lean startup techniques I’ll be discussing at this week’s session at the Web 2.0 Expo is called continuous deployment. It’s a process whereby all code that is written for an application is immediately deployed into production. The result is a dramatic lowering of cycle time and freeing up of individual initiative. It has enabled companies I’ve worked with to deploy new code to production as often as fifty times every day.
Tim O'Reilly has recently been advocating that as an industry we focus on building stuff that matters. In response, I want to try and present a way of building startups that can realize that dream. We're living in a time of renewed possibility for startups. Major trends – from the pain of the economic crisis to the disruption of web 2.0 – are breaking the old models and paving the way for a new breed of company. I call it the Lean Startup. The Lean Startup is a disciplined approach to building companies that matter.