tl;dr – If you live outside of the US I would like to promote to any article you write about writing applying Lean Startup/Customer Development principles in your country or culture. Just fill out the form below and I will link to your post – and possibly mention you in a webinar Eric Ries’s Lean Startup conference is hosting.
I’m deeply humbled and honored to have been asked by Eric Ries’s Lean Startup Conference to co-Host a free webinar on September 24/25 called Beyond Silicon Valley: Applying Lean Startup Around the Globe1.
My Story – Reflecting on Two Years with the Asia Startup Community
Nearly 2 years ago my family moved to Beijing, China where we now live. After surviving 6 months of immersive Chinese language study I started helping startups across Asia apply Lean Startup & Customer Development tactics to build their companies. I founded the Beijing Lean Startup Meetup, mentored at top-tier regional accelerators JFDI, Chinacellerator, AccelerateHK, and Kickstart, ran the first Startup Weekend NEXT Program in China, and hosted a workshop for Steve Blank’s visit to Beijing.
Oh, and I also had Startup Help Calls with over 100 entrepreneurs worldwide over Skype.
What I Learned – What Works in Silicon Valley Doesn’t Work Everywhere
Through these hundreds of meetings I’ve learned that…well…I have a lot to learn about startups, particularly that what works in Silicon Valley doesn’t work everywhere. I saw teams borrow tactics advocated by me and others that just didn’t work well in practice. I saw teams struggle to get the buy-in of mentors, co-founders, and investors who had a hard time putting Lean Startup principles in culturally-relevant context.
Most of what is written by/about Lean Startup concerns:
White men from California or Northeastern United States … applying these business techniques to …. other white people from California or Northeastern United States.
While there are some notable exceptions (Ash Maurya, Cindy Alvarez, for instance), if you look across the world’s educational institutions, books and blogs you’ll see an obvious pattern. It turns out most of the world’s entrepreneurs don’t look at all like me.
Should it really surprise me that my experiences in the US didn’t translate globally?
If you care about this topic, I hope you will join Takashi Tsutsumi (“aka The Steve Blank of Japan“), Justin Wilcox, and I at Beyond Silicon Valley: Applying Lean Startup Around the Globe.
We will share what we’ve learned working with teams worldwide at the webinar – but we also want to be able to share your experiences, in your words.
Let Me Help Tell Your Story – I Will Link to It in an Upcoming Blog Post
Have you or a startup you know tried to apply Lean Startup Principles in your culture or country? What worked? What didn’t?
How do the words “Lean Startup” translate in your native language – positively or negatively? Did mentors and investors understand what you are talking about? Did customers? Did you have hard time convincing team members and employees of the value of search?
Share your story on your blog and I’ll link to it on an upcoming blog post on this topic – and share what I can during the webinar.
It doesn’t matter ….
…. if you are well-known. In fact I’d actually prefer from people who are just getting started.
…. how successful you have been. Take a look at my blog and you’ll read mostly stories of failure.
…. if you have a blog. Just create one. Write something.
You probably think your story is too small or you don’t matter – I promise you that you are wrong. Simply by being outside of the US and writing about this topic you are far, far more unique than you realize.
- Yes, my friends in Asia…a webinar that is not happening at 3AM our time. 😉 ↩