The Lean Startup Conference

Learn from entrepreneurs

December 9 - 11, 2013 San Francisco, CA Register now


Our workshops, held on December 11, are exclusively available for our Gold and VIP pass holders. Standard pass holders may attend the sponsored workshops by Rackspace and Modus Create.

You can find the schedule for workshops here.

At A Glance


Turn the Battleship! Use Lean Startup Principles to Add Mobile to Your Enterprise App Portfolio -- Sponsored by Modus Create

Crystal Room

Sponsored Workshop Featuring: Staff from Modus Create, a sponsor of The Lean Startup Conference. Everyone has “mobile” on their product roadmap, but how do you identify where to start and how to quantify the effort? This 90-minute, hands-on session will run through five Lean Startup planning exercises you can learn today and use tomorrow. You’ll take away best practices for creating shared understanding, goal alignment, risk- and complexity-scoping, and cross-roadmap dependencies.

This sessions is designed for CMOs, CIOs, CTOs, Product Leads, Engineering Leads and Design Leads at established companies who are looking for practical insights into developing a successful mobile strategy.

The workshop is given by Modus Create, a product studio working with Fortune 1000 and venture funded product companies to create highly leveraged outcomes with emerging technology.

This workshop is open to any conference attendee, not just Gold and VIP pass holders.

Using Cloud Infrastructure to Innovate Rapidly -- Sponsored by Rackspace

Pavilion Room

This workshop focuses on how you can use cloud infrastructure to build and innovate rapidly. It includes a case study on Rackspace’s experience in the Build-Measure-Learn loop, followed by a walkthrough of the 5 Pillars of Cloudiness to help you design cloud applications today for future success. The session comprises three segments:

  • The Performance Cloud: Build Faster

  • GitHub, Jenkins, and Cloud Files: A Love Story

  • The 5 Pillars of Cloudiness

This workshop is open to any conference attendee, not just Gold and VIP pass holders.

Leap In--How to Apply Lean Startup Principles to Internal Teams Such as HR, IT and Finance

Crown Room

Leap In–How to Apply Lean Startup Principles to Internal Teams Such as HR, IT and Finance

Through our experience teaching Lean Entrepreneur workshops in large organizations, we’ve discovered something interesting: Internal teams such as HR, Finance, and IT have found success applying Lean Startup principles within their departments. If you’re interested in hearing these stories and learning how to bring innovation to your internal corporate processes, this workshop is for you. The hands-on session will help participants learn to interact with internal customers, reduce new initiative risks through experimentation and make better decisions based on this data. Teams from HR, Finance, Legal, Operations, Facilities, Marketing, Sales and IT are encouraged to attend, although the content is also suitable for engineering, design, and product teams.

Participating teams will learn: 1. Our top surprises from internal process teams 2. Strategies for implementing Lean Startup principles within departments 3. Rapid experimentation tactics that can be applied to projects immediately 4. How to identify new value-creating opportunities based on internal customers’ needs 5. How to reduce risk by identifying the minimum viable product

Lean Analytics for Intrapreneurs

Pavilion Room

Steve Blank says a startup is “an organization designed to search for a scalable, repeatable business model.” The Croll/Yoskovitz corollary is that an established company is an organization designed to perpetuate a business model. That means an intrapreneur—someone trying to change things from within a large organization—has a really difficult job. The organization in which you work actively resists the changes you’re trying to make. Worse, it uses old ways of keeping score while you’re trying to change the game that’s being played.

In this workshop, building on last year’s sold-out session, Lean Analytics co-author Alistair Croll looks at how to apply Lean Startup approaches and analytical methods to big companies. We’ll examine the stages new projects go through, taking examples from history and marketing strategy. We’ll share ten never-before-seen case studies from global organizations. And we’ll look at how to think about data and metrics when innovating from within. If you want to disrupt—instead of being disrupted—join us.

Learn-Measure-Build: Craft Useful Experiments By Running Backwards

Gold Room

Experiments are central to the Lean Startup approach, but it turns out that running a good experiment is a tricky business. Many experiments deliver ambiguous results, and that’s a failure. The whole point of experimentation is to reduce risk and make confident go-forward decisions. This full-day workshop introduces a practical, four-step approach to designing experiments that can be replicated in any Lean Startup environment. You’ll get practical, hands-on experience with efficient techniques for collaborating as a team, making decisions quickly, and establishing priorities.

In the morning, you will: Learn the difference between an experiment and a solution test. Discover the four steps to crafting an experiment with a clear result. Practice identifying assumptions and defining testable hypotheses. Understand the anatomy of an experiment. Design an experiment to test a real-life hypothesis.

In the afternoon, you will: Refine the experiment based on cost, time, and manpower. “Get out of the classroom” to run a real-world experiment on your fellow conference-goers. Define a result and make a go-forward decision. Identify the seven characteristics of successful experiments.

Cost of Delay: Why You Need It, How You Get It, What You Do With It

Fountain Room

Ask the members of a typical development team what a week of cycle time is worth and you’ll get answers that vary by 50 to 1. Allow them to act on what they believe, and you’ll create conflict and misaligned decisions. We call the value of time on the critical path the Cost of Delay (CoD). CoD helps you make smarter economic choices and it helps you explain the logic of your choices to management. It’s surprisingly easy to calculate and lets you make rational tradeoffs between important project objectives. This workshop will show you why you need CoD, how you can calculate it, and how you can use it to make better decisions. You’ll learn how to sell the idea to management and how to embed it in your management processes. Drawing on 30 years of experience using this method, Don will also identify the most common excuses for not calculating CoD, and how to overcome them.

Science of Pricing: Tools to Optimize Price Without Sacrificing Conversions

Crystal Room

[Bring your laptop…we’re going to build!]

Pricing is a pain in the @$$. You research your competitor’s prices or do some rough cost estimates but whatever you come up with, feels like a guess: Either you’ve priced too high and you’re scaring customers away or You’ve priced too low and you’re leaving money on the table. The Secret of Startup Pricing: studies show most innovative products have an ideal price point - one that optimizes both revenue AND customers.

In this workshop, you’re not going to hear about price testing - you’re going to DO price testing.

Must-have Customer Development Expertise: Advanced Interview Skills

Fountain Room

You know you’re supposed to get out of the building and talk to the market. But spreadsheets are easy and people are hard. How do you find the right people? How do you ask questions that make your learning actionable? How do you know you’re on the right track? In this workshop, we’ll cover who to talk to, when to use interviews, problem vs. solution interviews, and best-practice tips and techniques. You’ll create an interview guide, practice your interview skills, and make a kill/pivot/persevere decision based on what you learned. The skills you take away will help you make better, more efficient product decisions immediately.

Continuous Delivery: Deploy Safer, Learn Faster

Venetian Room

This workshop is a a deep dive into the technical practices of continuous delivery. We’ll start with getting the basics right: continuous integration, configuration management, and test automation. Then we’ll discuss creating and evolving a deployment pipeline to detect and reject bad changes, trading off fast feedback and comprehensive testing. Next we’ll cover patterns of low-risk deployments, including blue-green deployments, dark launching, the cluster immune system, and feature toggles, and discuss how to leverage these patterns to perform A/B testing. There will be lots of opportunity for discussion and we’ll leave time at the end to go deeper into topics of interest to the group.

Innovation Accounting: A Blueprint for Defining, Measuring, and Communicating Progress With Internal and External Stakeholders

Venetian Room

While running experiments is a key activity in a Lean Startup, running effective experiments that lead to breakthrough insights is considered more art than science. At the earliest stages of the product lifecycle, when we have relatively few customers, we struggle with making sense of seemingly small scale and qualitative customer feedback. At latter stages, we have the opposite problem–too much data. Here we struggle to find the right signals from the noise.

Even though the mechanics of running experiments are quite straightforward, most lean practitioners fail to run effective experiments:

  • They fail to correctly identify the right experiments to run,
  • They over build their experiments, and
  • They don’t measure the right metrics.

This workshop will teach you how to avoid these pitfalls and instead use an innovation accounting framework to effectively define, measure, and communicate the true progress of your product.