Last week I had the pleasure of meeting you at the Lean Start-up Machine event in NJ where we learned a very effective practice for validating and launching a Start-up venture.
I really enjoyed the experience because there was a lot of information crammed into those 3 short days, and to be honest, I was impressed with the concept and execution. Despite my enjoyment, I know we were trying to do too much, too fast for many of us to really have started a solid business.
Think about it: in one weekend you got together with a group of strangers, tried to figure out who your customer was, guessed their biggest problems, ran around town trying to interview them to confirm your assumptions, pivoted or built an MVP to test your idea, tried to get them to sign up or pay for a product that didn’t yet exist, and finally pitched the idea to investors.
Personally, I was exhausted the following Monday. But let me get to the reason why I’m reaching out to you today…
During the course of the weekend, I spoke with some of the entrepreneurs whose pitches didn’t get enough votes, but once given the chance to fully explain their concept… many sounded like kick-ass ideas. Also, I know a few teams that did work on projects needed more time for customer development.
So me, forever being the entrepreneur and having a keen eye for recognizing opportunity, decided this could be a problem worth solving.
After the event, I spoke with Desi and Charlie about putting together a more intensive workshop that would allow each entrepreneur to work on their own ideas, with their own team, for about 4 weeks.
The workshop would take place at the JuiceTank and include some weekdays so that B2B Start-ups could have the chance to better reach their prospective customers.
Charlie and Desi both gave me the thumbs up, but Charlie said that there may be a shortage of organizers, mentors, and/or team members for entrepreneurs that didn’t have their own teams.
I was on my way out the door at that point, but I wanted to pull this thing together, so with my laptop bag on my shoulder and miscellaneous papers in my hands, I ran around the room to the remaining participants trying to fill the gaps.
Organizers – Since this was my bright idea, and because as a marketing consultant, I speak and make presentations to entrepreneurs anyway, I figure I would be the one to organize the workshop. Charlie said he would help as much as he could (when he gets back from vacation) so I don’t think this aspect is going to be a real problem. Most of us already have a decent understanding of the Lean Start-up principles, so we may just have a brief segment to refresh what we have learned.
I will also introduce a way I rapidly test ideas “without getting out of the building” because I realize a lot of people are uncomfortable approaching strangers on the street. The benefits of my method is: once you find a channel to conduct your customer interview and understand their problem, when you create your solution, it’s easier to find more of them using the same channel.
Mentors and Team members – If you were at the event and didn’t pitch an idea, then we would appreciate your participation as a mentor. Desi said because we are all LSM alumni that qualifies us to mentor at any other LSM event. I personally will be attending the next few LSM events in the NY-NJ-PA area to get further training on the principles and coordinating the workshop.
Also, there were a group of students from Ruckers that presented their Start-up idea. They have an entrepreneur group of 400 students. I spoke with the president and VP and they both said they would be happy to lend us some “man power” during the workshop so Start-up founders who don’t have a team could have help.
So that pretty much covered all the open loops, except one key component… “Is this idea something people really want?”
The idea appeals to me, but I cant fly solo.
[content_box_yellow width=”85%”]So in true LSM fashion, I am reaching out to my intended audience (people who have attended LSM NJ this past week) to find out if there is any demand before I spend more time working on this project.
- Are you interested in participating?
- Do you live close enough to travel to JuiceTank a few times a week, over the course of a month?
- Do you even want help working on your Start-up?
I’m not sure how much the workshop will cost yet, because I will have to get numbers from Charlie, but:
- What would you feel is a fair investment for a month long workshop?
Right away, I can tell you we are not going to include those “all-you-can-eat meals” the LSM guys spoiled us with. Whoever attends can just run out to grab lunch or dinner whenever they are hungry because everyone will be working on their projects independently.
But perhaps, we’ll load the fridge with beverages and have some snacks in the canteen. That seems like the hospitable thing to do, right?
OK, so that pretty much sums it up.
You’ve heard the whole idea in a nutshell. If it sounds good to you, then here’s what I would like you to do next.
Enter your name and email in the form along with your answers to the questions above. It would also be helpful if you could leave a comment about:
- Something you would like to see added to this workshop that wasn’t at LSM?
- Or the single most important thing you would like to accomplish within the month at the workshop?
We can use the feedback to create the outline for the workshop together to make sure everyone knows exactly what to expect.
Further communication about this project will only be with those that express interest.
And remember, even if you don’t have an idea, we’d still like you to come aboard to help with organizing, mentoring, or as a team member.
Looking forward to working with you soon,
I collected a lot of business cards and contact info while at LSM, but I was able to fill in the gaps with those I missed thanks to the team at Zuppa.biz so shout-out to them and their project. This is proof their concept has value!