The last time Ash Maurya was in Amsterdam with Live on Demand, it was just for a lecture and Q&A.
Now Otto, Adrie and Rune gathered enough fans to book him for a hands on 2-day workshop on June 22 and 23 in Amsterdam. A nice occasion to ask the creator of the Lean Canvas some questions regarding his next book and the contents of the workshop.
You have worked with many entrepreneurs: which problem comes up most during your workshop? And what is the solution?
The number one issue I see in my workshops is what I term ‘the entrepreneur’s bias for their solution’. Most entrepreneurs walk into the workshop believing that all they need to do is figure out how to fund then build their solution and everything else will take care of itself.
Most products fail, not due to a failure of building solutions, but because we build stuff nobody wants. The answer is teaching them to slow down and fall in love with the problem, not their solution.
Is it possible for big corporates with an established environment to (still) implement lean?
Every methodology works in theory, until you add people. LEAN is still in its early stages and hasn’t matured for mainstream corporate deployment yet. That said, many big corporates are applying these principles within their smaller and more nimble innovations teams. Others are pushing the limits and adapting the methodology to fit their unique environments and culture. Both are promising steps in the right direction and I believe we will get to wider adoption (like Agile did) with time.
The Lean Canvas exists since august 2009. Is there anything you would like to change or anything that gives you reason to create a Lean Canvas 2.0?
From a design perspective, if I could start over, I might change the order of the boxes to make it more visually intuitive. At this stage though, I don’t think doing that would be worth the effort and it would probably cause more confusion.
The Lean Canvas is a tool for starting the business model conversation. Because it fits on a single page, it can’t answer every question. My solution to that challenge isn’t changing the Lean Canvas but rather extending it with additional 1-page tools. In my next book, Scaling Lean,
1. A Traction Model: For ballparking (forecasting) the output of the business model.
2. A Validation Plan: For documenting a high level strategy for stress testing the riskiest assumptions in the business model.
3. An Experiment Report: A checklist for designing, running, and reporting good experiments.
The first quote anyone sees when Googling you is ‘Life’s too short to build something nobody wants’ – What made you say this?
I’ve built many products over the years. What bothered me wasn’t my success rate, but my cycle time between ideas. A some point, I realized that I wasn’t getting any younger and had more ideas than resources to test all of them. Of all the resources (time, money, effort), time is the scarcest and only moves in one direction.
That’s what got me started down this path. It was more important to me to figure out how to build the right product versus pretending to be right.
On your blog, it says “I wrote Running Lean for myself. Scaling Lean is for you – the entrepreneur.” What’s next?
I believe startups are built through conversations. Running Lean focuses on the entrepreneur to customer conversation. Scaling Lean focuses on the entrepreneur to stakeholder conversation.
My big hairy audacious goal (BHAG) is helping create more successful entrepreneurs in the next 10 years than at any other time in history. What I write about next will be determined by what I find to be the next obstacle towards achieving this goal. Coming off a new book, I haven’t yet prioritized what that is yet.
Who should definitely go to your workshop? What do they take home?
Anyone starting or growing a new business idea in a startup or corporate innovation environment is the target audience. The workshop is hands-on. You walk in with your idea and walk out with a business model, validation plan, and your next right action.
Do you like working with Live on Demand?
The model of Live on Demand aligns perfectly with how we build products ourselves. Start with traction, then fill in the gaps. So yes, it’s been a pleasure partnering with Live on Demand.
Want to learn more from Ash Maurya? There are still 13 seats available for his workshop with Live on Demand. Check out the program or get a ticket before it’s too late.