Interview with Ash Maurya – Running Lean

With the increase in the consumer demand and change in the market dynamics, the number of new products that are launched in our market have increased tremendously. The passion of these young entrepreneurs have inspired thousands of young minds to develop new solutions to new/existing problems. However the success of these products are largely driven by the consumer expectation and passion is only a driving force.

Ash Maurya, a serial entrepreneur is running a 2-day workshop about building successful products at Agile India 2014. In this 2-day hands-on workshop, you’ll learn a systematic methodology, developed through rigorous testing of Lean Startup, Customer Development, and Bootstrapping techniques on hundreds of products, that will show you exactly how to build what people want.

Ash Maurya

He is the founder of Spark59 and also the author of ‘Running Lean’. Currently he is working on his new book ‘The Customer Factory’.

Running Lean

We had a short chat with him to understand his views about building successful products.

1. What is one important lesson that the large enterprises should learn from startups and vice versa?
Bringing a new product to market, whether at a large enterprise or startup, is riddled with extreme uncertainty. Most products fail.
The key to raising these odds is prioritizing learning around what’s riskiest (not easiest) in the business model.
The first phase of the journey is getting to a business model that works. This can be characterized as a “search” problem where speed is key. The best mode of operation here is the startup. Enterprises that want to explore new or disruptive innovation should model themselves after startups.
The second phase of the journey is scaling that business model. This can be characterized as an “execution” problem where systems and processes become increasingly important. Here the startup needs to mature it’s practices and can learn a lot from existing enterprises.
2. How does Lean Startup help companies to deliver a customer centric product?
The job of a business model is to create, deliver, and capture customer value.
The Lean Startup embodies the customer in every part of the process. All experiments have to end in customer learning and you aren’t making progress until you can demonstrate customer value.
It is through this continuous feedback loop with customers that we break the product development silo and build more products that people want.
3. Your Lean Canvas is an excellent tool to help companies articulate their business model in a simple format. Are there any gotchas that companies should be aware when using the Lean Canvas?
The biggest pitfall with any kind of modelling is falling into the analysis/paralysis trap. I recommend time-boxing business model creation to no more than a day and then shifting all the effort to business model validation using the other tools in the Lean Stack suite.
4. India has a budding Startup culture. What would be your advice to startups?
I truly believe we are going through a global entrepreneurial renaissance which represents an incredible opportunity for all of us.
But while we are building more products than ever before, the sad reality is that the success rate of these products hasn’t changed much.
The odds are still heavily stacked against starting a new business and most of these products will unfortunately fail.
The good news is that a lot of these big bang failures can be outright avoided and instead replaced with a more systematic approach to building successful products.
The number one reason why products fail is not because we fail to build what we set out to build but because we waste needless time, money, and effort building the wrong product.
I attribute the entrepreneurs unbridled passion for their solution to be the top contributor to this failure.
The key is shifting your perspective from having more passion about just your solution to having as much (if not more passion) for your customers and their problems.
5. What is the take away from your Running Lean workshop ?
This will be hands on workshop with part lecture and part  hands-on exercises where you will work on moving your business forward using lean techniques.
The first day will be all about modelling your business into a more more manageable and testable framework. While the second day will be all about stress testing this business model through carefully designed experiments.
By the end of this 2-day workshop, you will have an actionable plan for what to do next to move your business or product idea forward.

This workshop has limited seats. Book early to avoid disappointments: http://booking.agilefaqs.com/agile-india-2014#workshops