Between Lean Startup and Steve

Nov 13, 2014 by Barc Category: Blog, Uncategorized 0 comments

I’ve been reading Lean Startup again. A wonderful book that has compelled thousands of companies (and many of my friends) to throw ideas, companies, and employees against the wall, then pivot if they didn’t stick.

I like the simple, almost thoughtless, approach of Lean Startup: “Don’t hesitate. Let users tell you what works with your customers.”

Of course, as a student of Hegel and Heidegger, I can’t help but think, depending on when you throw the spaghetti at your potential customer, the answer could be, “Give me flat pasta for a flat earth” or “Give me a meatball in the middle since we’re the center of the universe.”

If we rely on our users to tell us what they want today, what we get is something that works for today, based on today’s understanding.

On the other side of the spectrum, of course, is everyone’s favorite curmudgeon: Steve Jobs. He didn’t really care what the survey says. He made it.

But Steve was an alien.

The rest of us have to rely on current tastes, right or wrong.

Of course, we still need to dream a little. I really like Henrik Kniberg’s triad. He says, in product development, if we’re not Steve, we should look to:

  • Data and metrics
  • User forums and feedback
  • Gut feel and experience

Since I’m not Steve, and never will be, I’ll rely more on the first two than the third.

But, boy, do I respect those, like Steve, who have been able to get their noodles to stick without any research at all.