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Key Insights from Eric Ries’ Lean Startup Conference

By Dr Jeffrey Tobias.

I just returned from the Lean Startup Conference. Whew! Fourth time in a row. And how it has changed!

When I first attended four years ago, there would have been around 150 people. This time, well over a thousand. And multiple people from most of America’s largest organisations such as Proctor & Gamble, Cisco, General Electric, etc.

Insights From the Lean Startup Conference
  1. It is clear that the Lean Startup methodology is moving more and more into mainstream corporate USA as well into government bodies.
  2. Organisations are looking to transform themselves – they know the “What” i.e. they know they need to transform. What they don’t have is the “How”, and they are looking to Lean Startup as to the “How”.
  3. While the conference was good, it somehow lacked the detail of previous events, and was more a show and tell of business organisations in transition, rather than the nitty gritty of the methodology. Perhaps Eric Ries feels that most people know the detail by now, but that is actually not the case.
  4. There was more discussion of Design Thinking at this conference than ever before. IBM is at the tail end of employing 1500 designers. It is clear that some people are appreciating the link between Lean Startup and Design Thinking. At the Strategy Group we have known about and have been using this linkage for quite a while already.
  5. Without wanting to boast, we feel that the work we are doing here in Australia with our clients is at the cutting edge of what I heard at the conference. Now to boast – in most instances, ahead of the game!
  6. GE continues to be a standout. They have adopted Lean Startup (and branded it Fastworks) and continue to deploy the methodology worldwide with great success. It is part of the transformation of the entire organisation to the Industrial Internet. In our mind, GE is the posterchild of Lean Startup.
  7. Lots of great quotes such as ”The rate of change today in technology is the slowest it will be for the rest of your life”.
  8. More quotes from Eric Ries: “The physical [Silicon] Valley is a state of mind” and “People don’t get assigned to work in a startup, so how do they know what to do”
  9. Excellent speech from Guy Kawasaki. What I really liked was his invention of the MVVVP – the Minimal Valuable Validated Viable Product. Classic.

Overall an excellent conference. What is clear to us at The Strategy Group is that our combination of Design Thinking and Lean Startup as cornerstone methodologies is right on the money. The smart organisations are using these methodologies, and we have been deploying them for years now. The world is catching up, and it is great to feel that we really are leading the charge in our organisation.

Our mantra of “We need to get excited about being uncomfortable”, because what got us here won’t get us there, is resonating globally with the smart organisations. As it is here with our clients in Australia.

Keynote Summary from the Lean Startup Conference

Here’s a summary of points from key speakers at the conference:

To learn how our Design Thinking and Lean Startup methodologies can help your organisation get ahead of the curve email me on

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