The accelerating pace of change is something I go on about a lot on this blog and more generally – I think it is one of the most important things to understand on a societal level and also a huge driver of value from large corporations to startups (startups are better at dealing with change).
Lean Startup Machine is the brainchild of Trevor Owens, Josh Horn, and Ben Fisher, a hackathon-style competition where teams come together on a Friday evening and build a brand new startup – by Sunday. It’s an impossibly short amount of time. To make it more difficult, unlike your standard issue hackathon, the judging on Sunday is not just about who can make a cool-looking prototype. Teams launch real products to real customers. The judging criteria is all about validated learning. Teams are expected to talk to customers, build minimum viable products, and even pivot as necessary. Luckily, the teams are assisted by some of the best startup mentors in the industry.
the results [from the Jan 2011 San Francisco Lean Startup Machine] were amazing. Out of eleven teams, the three finalists we picked all had discovered honest-to-goodness viable businesses. Each had pivoted several times and had built one or more MVPs. One even had $100 in revenue (in escrow) from real live customers. Beyond the three finalists another few teams had made solid discoveries and would probably have been contenders if they’d just had a little more time. I bet more than half the teams wish they had just one more day – and could have achieved something great in that time.
Think about that for a second. If only they had one more day. Think how valuable a single day is, when used to its maximum potential. And now think how casually we throw a day of work away, when it’s just one tiny part of a huge batch, as in a monthly release cycle.