Thank You, Eric Ries

Eric and Dave speaking at the "Lean Geek Smackdown" in Washington DC in March, 2010.  Who knew they'd be famous someday soon...

Eric and Dave speaking at the “Lean Geek Smackdown” in Washington DC in March, 2010. Who knew they’d be famous someday soon…

5 Years ago today I started reading a blog called Startup Lessons Learned from some guy named Eric Ries. I was one of about five subscribers when he started talking about an idea called “The Lean Startup“.  I didn’t know it at the time but it was the beginning of a movement that would change my career and life.

 Thank You, Eric

After leaving IMVU you could have done anything you wanted to do.  Instead, you talked – at first to nobodys like me – about a new way of building companies. Few people now remember the snide remarks, trolls, and unending skepticism you encountered when you first started.

We never needed this before!

[Insert famous person here] didn’t do this!

Do you have any proof your ideas work?

How ironic it was – the most innovative people … in the most innovative region … of the most innovative country – were so resistant to change.  You could have done anything else but you stuck with your ideas. You did it because you knew that too many startups were failing for bad reasons.

You spoke at meetups.  Answered emails.  Talked candidly about your own mistakes.  Wrote constantly.  Listened. Helped.  Evolved and refined your views from what you heard and learned.

And yet you didn’t preach, didn’t try to control the movement.  There was nothing to join, no approval to seek, no rules, no membership fees.  Few leaders would have had to strength of conviction of their ideas to allow the crowd to take over.  You let the best ideas win traction in the market.

You Gave Me a Career

To say the Lean Startup movement made me a better entrepreneur would be an understatement – it gave me a career.  At long last we had something tangible, something we could actually use instead of the voodoo and slogans of the past.

You helped us all understand how to avoid the worst possible mistakes, to give ourselves an opportunity to discover something that really works.  You created a management science for innovation.

And Now I’m Trying to Return the Favor by Helping Others

In my own small corner of the Earth I’m doing what I can to thank you – by doing for others what you did for me.  I try to help other entrepreneurs get started with this wonderful – if a bit crazy – career.

Justin Wilcox, Takashi Tsutsumi, and I will be hosting a free webinar tomorrow in 12 hours on the unique challenges of applying Lean Startup around the world.

You can register for free here.

It is for you if:

1.  You are a current or aspiring entrepreneur.
2.  You live on Planet Earth – especially outside of Silicon Valley.

The three of us have had a blast exchanging ideas and sharing our collective experiences in preparation.  As far as I know, it is the most comprehensive analysis of the topic to date.

(p.s. If you’re an entrepreneur in Asia, I hope you’ll take note that we’re having this event during the daytime – it doesn’t happen often)

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