Ignite Opening Night

Ignite Opening Night: Lightning Lean Inspiration Talks (Open to all attendees)

Ignite offers a dozen speakers the chance to deliver lightning talks on their advice around and experience with Lean Startup. It’s always been a big hit at Lean Startup Week, and not just because it doubles as a happy hour where attendees can meet and toast with one another. As part of our Ignite programming, you’ll hear talks focused on:

MVG—Minimal Viable Governance—the New Black for Startups Without the Red Tape
While there might seem to be an inherent contradiction between governance and startups, Minimal Viable Governance (MVG) is the secret ingredient needed to take a great idea to scale and attract the right investors. Startups’ lack of corporate overhead is a common reason for their appeal. But while free flow is appealing, few realize that it isn’t necessarily a matter of choice. Guidelines for MVG can lay the correct foundation for future growth and create a highly acquirable company. And corporates will have a lot to learn in the process.

Enter the cognitively diverse board, the heart of MVG, that can bring a view from the parapet (not play in the details). Bringing expectations of freedom within clear boundaries, and reporting on minimal critical data, as well as being a sounding board, they can provide insights and oversight that can drive performance further than can be imagined whilst calibrated against the need for a social license to operate.

Together, the excitement and action from within the business, plus the Minimal Viable Governance to drive the business with prudent control, creates a synergy neither can produce on their own.

Four Ways to Kill the Conflict That’s Killing Your Team
Cross-functional conflict starts small. One bad interaction between two people can turn into entire teams or departments not getting along. The next thing you know, small issues become festering wounds that slow development down, limit creativity, and torpedo morale. The easy fix is to ignore the conflict until the project is done or some of the players are swapped out. The hard fix—but by far the most important one for true leaders—is to learn how to deal with conflict head on. Jessica Hall will lay out four rules for dealing with inevitable conflicts when working across disciplines and departments to ship product.

Focusing on the Right Metrics for Lean Hiring
One of the hardest parts of running a hiring process is figuring out what to measure and how. Without the right metrics and a way to collect them consistently, it’s impossible to apply lean principles. Not only do you have to deal with the tradeoff between spending time on data collection vs. getting the job done, just like you would when building product, but hiring is a human process, which makes it harder to do experiments. With these constraints in mind, Aline Lerner will cover how to set up the right actionable metrics for achieving your hiring goals, whether you want to reduce costs, increase the number of hires, raise the bar, improve diversity, or something else. She’ll talk about everything from setting up a funnel to measuring your real cost per hire to quantifying the efficacy of nebulous things like interview questions, branding initiatives, and more.

Joyrides: The Lean Startup-Inspired Tool to 10x Your Business
While most agencies are willing to gamble on the traditional sales approach of wasting countless hours in writing and revising proposals, Hien Lam, co-founder of Ohm Works, believes there’s a better way. He calls his lean-inspired concept “Joyrides,” which involves short-term, lower-cost workshop experiments with clients that validate ideas before anyone writes a line of code or crafts a page of marketing material. He’ll share how anyone, regardless of industry, can put this concept to use to de-risk projects, validate customer vision, and build trust with clients.

Software is Leaner and Other Lies: Lessons from Hardware and the FDA
Hardware is hard to produce because it’s time consuming, risky, and expensive. You have one chance to get your MVP right before running out of cash, which can turn the concept of applying Lean Startup into a daunting task. Learn practical tactics for refining your MVP that can be applied to software and hardware products—allowing, yes, even companies invested in hardware the opportunity to experiment, learn, and iterate faster.

Partner Talk: 5 Startup Myths That Will Destroy Your Company
“Go Big or Go Home,” “Be a Visionary,” “Hire ‘A’ Players”… the Internets are rife with startup advice. Bad startup advice. How do you know which way is up? In this 5 minute lightning talk, Brant Cooper breaks down the hard truths and demystifies the essential path to sustainable growth for startups.

Partner Talk: Using Experiment-Driven Design in Enterprise Settings
Lean Startup, Design Thinking, and Agile development all share the same underlying philosophy, but often it feels like we’re speaking different languages when we use them. In this talk Skot Carruth will share how his firm, Philosophie, brings them all together to better practice lean in the enterprise environment.

From Mean Management to Lean Leadership
Tapping the innovative brains of the workforce is so critical to thrive, if not survive in this world. How do you inspire and empower your teams to take risks, yet maintain alignment so that all are rowing in largely the same direction for maximum focus? The richness of perspectives brought by diversity brings along the challenge of effective & efficient decision-making. How do you get closure and move to action, ensuring support (not sabotage) despite disagreements? How do you lead your employees to solutions far better than you can imagine by asking powerful questions? This talk addresses the above challenges with balanced, pragmatic strategies and tactics that work where the rubber meets the road, with specific focus on the role of managers akin to personal trainers to help build these organizational muscles.

Turning Teams Into Lean Powerhouses
Abbie Moore reveals how she used Lean Startup principles to introduce the methodology to the entire team at Adopt-a-Pet.com, and how anyone at any organization can do the same. Using the mantra “The team is your customer,” Abbie shares how customer development, forming a hypothesis, prioritizing assumptions, recruiting early adopters, and using a form of the build-measure-learn cycle are all important parts of turning any team into a Lean powerhouse.

Partner Talk: Four Principles to Scale Lean Startup Organically
In an enterprise setting, what do you do once you’re ready to scale Lean Startup principles beyond a core innovation team? How do you overcome scalability, sustainability, and never-ending funding needs to help expand naturally throughout the larger organization—growing by adaptation and replication as opposed to continuous funding? Ed Ceballos will share four key principles to consider when scaling Lean Startup organically in any organization.

Lean on Yourself
Think about it for a minute: What if you put Lean Startup principles into practice in your personal life? Tara Velis explores what happens when you use Eric Ries’s build-measure-learn feedback loop model as a tool for personal growth. This talk will take you on a journey of self-improvement through multivariate testing, MVPs, failure, and iteration.


Join us for Lean Startup Week on Oct. 30-Nov. 5 in San Francisco! Register here.