Lean Startup is a great process to build new businesses. But when it comes to going from theory to practice, our faith in the process is tested and most often, teams give up to a "seemingly" simple and faster approach of building produces - based on gut feel and seeing what sticks.


It’s a Friday evening. There are two people in the conference room and they have been talking to their laptops for about 15 minutes. Vaidy is the founder and Arun is a Product Manager. At the other end of the Skype call, is an owner of a well-known yoga studio in Bangalore.

Another 15 minutes go by and Vaidy mentions “We’ll charge 5% of all the transactions that go through GoodKarma.”

GoodKarma is an application with a mission to help yoga practitioners grow through deliberate and consistent practice. One of the shorter-term goals of GoodKarma is to help yoga studio owners run their studios better.

The person on the other side gets worked-up “5% is just too high!” Vaidy calmly justifies why 5% is, in fact, a small number for the benefit he is getting.

Another 10 minutes go by. Arun and Vaidy are high-fiving!
They’ve just signed up the 5th customer this month, who’s agreed to start a trial on GoodKarma and be a paying customer.

Vaidy: “We better start building the product, fast!”


In this talk, I'll present our story of building a product using Lean Startup methods. How we went from an Idea to the story above and then shipping the product out. The challenges we faced and how we overcame them.

 
 

Outline/structure of the Session

  • How we built a cross-functional team and pivoted 4 times in the last 5 months.
    Many of the pivots, even before we wrote any code.
  • How we are spinning our build-measure-learn loops faster and using the theory of constraints to pick what to work on.
  • I’ll also share the common pitfalls and how to avoid them.

Learning Outcome

After listening to the talk, my hope is that Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs will come to expect these challenges, endure with the process and overcome them using creative thinking.

Target Audience

Entrepreneurs, Intrapreneurs and Product Managers

schedule Submitted 3 months ago

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  • David Hussman
    By David Hussman  ~  3 months ago
    reply Reply

    I like that you are telling a story about a real world experience. I support you in sharing how you overcame the many challenges that LSU (and agile done right) quickly surface. Try to go past LSU and in to the change you made based on your learning.

    Also, show people your product. Its fun to see the product and then hear the story.

    Thanks for the submission

     

    • Manish Chiniwalar
      By Manish Chiniwalar  ~  3 months ago
      reply Reply

      Thanks for you comment and supporting the talk, David.
      I do intend to share how we overcame the challenges and how the product has evolved over time. 

      If you think you and the community will find the talk useful, I'd appreciate if you could upvote :)

  • Shiv Sivaguru
    By Shiv Sivaguru  ~  3 months ago
    reply Reply

    The note about pivoting 4 times in the last 5 months triggered this question:

    What was the clarity of the problem and value proposition of the solution when you started 5 months earlier.

    Were the pivots because of assumptions related to the problem to solve or to the approach to solve?

    • Manish Chiniwalar
      By Manish Chiniwalar  ~  3 months ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Shiv, thank you for your comment. 

      What was the clarity of the problem and value proposition of the solution when you started 5 months earlier.
      The problem started off as a personal pain and mission to "Help yoga practitioners grow using consistent and deliberate practice."
      We started off by "documenting our plan A" and through Problem Interviews, Design Sprints, Solution Interviews, MVPs uncovered the pivots we had to make.

      Were the pivots because of assumptions related to the problem to solve or to the approach to solve?
      The pivots were for both. But majorly, customer segment. And Changing the customer segment usually, has a larger change in the business model.

  • Nitin Ramrakhyani
    By Nitin Ramrakhyani  ~  3 months ago
    reply Reply

    Manish,

    This looks pretty interesting story. Though, the deck was pretty much running through standard Lean Startup canvas deck. If you can share the actual canvas that you guys filled, this could be more useful to the audience to see how they can apply it in real life. Assuming, you intend to do the same? 

    • Manish Chiniwalar
      By Manish Chiniwalar  ~  3 months ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Nitin,

      You are right. The slide deck was for a previous workshop we did and I'm still working on slides for this talk.

      I do intend to provide more details on the GoodKarma Story.