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.

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

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

Learning Outcome

  • 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

Target Audience

All

schedule Submitted 3 years ago

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