Applying Agile to a Bootstrapped Startup
The default state of a Start up is Failure - Chris Dixon. On 18-Sep-2008, on the day Lehman Brothers collapsed, I started developing a prototype ( which later became ApartmentADDA.com ), with an unclear picture of the problem definition, not much access to the target Users and zero funding.
Having experienced Agile as a Developer at ThoughtWorks, I tried applying some of the agile concepts. Found it a fabulous fit - true to its promise of light in the darkness of uncertainty and imprecise problem statements.
In this talk I will take you through my Start up Journey - the first 5 years when we were Bootstrapped - how we were able to nail the Problem Definition and find the Product Market fit and how we overcame severe resource constraints - not only in Product Development, but in other functions like Sales, Marketing and Support.
I will make a case on how applying Agile prudently to a Bootstrapped Start up can change the Default State of a Startup - which is Failure - to that of a Success.
Outline/Structure of the Talk
Will give a very Brief overview of the market, problem and solution - so you can appreciate the story better. Will dwell on the following topics
- Holy Rules that were broken - If you are a Developer you will love this.
- How we handled Product Demos
- Extending YAGNI beyond Development.
- Embracing Constraints - how we applied concepts from Goal.
- Frugal & Effective Marketing
- How 5 Whys helped our Sales Pitch
- Things that Worked Well and Did not Work well
- If you are an entrepreneur or you are working in a start up - you will have a new perspective on what Agile can do for your start up
- Think beyond Project Management / Product Development and apply Agile to other aspects like Sales & Marketing