Lean Startup Machine Mexico City Review

I want to write a quick recap of the Lean Startup Machine Mexico City event. What I liked and what I didn’t like.

Just to give you a bit of background, the main goal of this weekend is to actively work on validating a startup business idea. The main tool is the Javelin Board and is worked on by a group of 4-5.

Javelin-ExperimentBoard

Last man standing

Last men standing

+ Networking
I met a ton of really interesting and awesome people, just to name a few:
@enortham
@KariCau
@Mario_Chavez
@solrac925

– Team
On the last day out of 5 starting members we were 2! Granted we were the only group where this happened. The main reason was that our team leader was only interested in a certain type of solution and once we rejected that, he lost interest.

+ Organization
The event was organized really well. They had material and all equipment necessary. Plus we got food every day which was a plus :)

– Workshops
The workshops were very poor. It was either a video or a short presentation without slides. The actual increase in knowledge (provided you read the book The Lean Startup by Eric Ries) after this weekend was close to 0 for me.

+ Experience
The lack of new knowledge was definitely made up by a lot of practice. I definitely learned how to validate an idea and more importantly I did experience this hands on. One memory I will take away is that ALL team’s initial ideas were rejected. This alone made this workshop a positive experience for me.

Knowledge gained

Here are the key things I learned

  • Every customer has a problem, but not every solution has a customer
  • People are willing to answer your questions if you ask
  • Define your customer segment, validate a problem that you expect before thinking about (or worse creating) a solution
  • The Javelin Board is more useful than it looks on first sight…
  • To validate an idea ask about past experiences/past pain. And not: could you imagine/future pain.

Advice for people planing to join a Lean Startup Machine Event

  1. Network as much as you can. Build relationships with great people. Everybody is open to talk to you, you just need to make the first step. I personally set goals for each day about who I want to meet.
  2. Pick a group that has a product idea that doesn’t exist yet. Any team with an existing product will have a very hard time making an extreme pivot and dropping all their past work.
  3. Pick a product that a lot of normal people could use. You will have to do customer interviews close to your event venue. If you pick a super niche product you won’t find any potential customers easily.
  4. Prepare your pitch and include a memorable product name.

Alright, that was my Lean Startup Machine Mexico City Review. I think this event provides decent experience on learning how to validate a new startup idea.