Lean Startup Machine Boulder

I judged Lean Startup Machine Boulder yesterday afternoon. I had a blast and thought the program was really impressive. I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into and usually protect my weekends pretty aggressively from stuff like this so I can spend time with Amy and recover / catch up from the week but for some reason Trevor Owens (Lean Startup Machine CEO) and Ray Wu convinced me to come out and play.

I’m a huge Eric Ries / Lean Startup fan and believe that the methodology can be quickly taught. What I saw yesterday is further evidence of this – 13 teams spent from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon using the Lean Startup Methodology, the concept of customer development, and the lean startup canvas to go from idea through a series of validated learnings to get to a better idea. It’s not a coding / hacking weekend – it’s an applied process of the Lean Startup Methodology.

The event took place in the Scrib co-working space in downtown Boulder. I hadn’t been there yet so it was a good chance to meet the founders of Scrib, see the space in use, and get a sense of the energy. It was excellent and I expect Scrib will be a great contribution to the Boulder Startup Community for a long time to come.

After we saw 5 minute presentations from each team, the judges sequestered for a while and came up with first and second place. The winner of Lean Startup Machine Boulder was I Want My Bike Back and second place went to Dig Rentals. We came up with fun awards for all of the other teams and there was no doubt in my mind that it was a useful event for everyone.

Lean Startup Machine has a goal of doing 50 events in 2012 and 200 events in 2013. The next ones are in San Francisco (5/25), Toronto (6/8), Rotterdam (Netherlands – 6/8), Los Angeles (6/15), Boston (6/15), and Seattle (6/29). If you are in any of these cities, I encourage you to check it out.

  • Thanks for the awesome post Brad! It was not only great having you as a judge, but also your support leading up to the event really made us feel welcome in the Boulder community.

  • Really appreciate it Brad! So much love from Boulder!

  • Thanks for your support Brad! Really means a lot to us!

  • neighborrow

    Great point about not being a hackathon (“not that there’s anything wrong with that” -Senifeld) but an applied process. It’s also a learning process that can be applied to other startups and even other life decisions!

  • Dale Traxler

    Thanks for participating Brad. The I Want My Bike Back team and I appreciate the mention. We had a blast and learned a lot. Getting out of the building using the lean startup methodology was highly effective for us!

    • Congrats to y’all!

  • On behalf of the Dig Rentals team: Thanks for coming out to Lean Startup Machine, Brad, and for your vote of confidence in our idea! We agree that Scrib has an awesome space and vibe, and we’re excited about all of the ideas that were generated (and tested!) at Lean Startup Machine.

  • James Mitchell

    Are there companies who are already doing what I want my bike back do? I would be interested in purchasing such a device/service for a few of my items.

    My iPhone has a “Find your iPhone” feature. It has been useful to me once when I left my phone at a restaurant. It my not useful the one time someone stole my phone, as the location was not precise enough to find the thief.

    • I don’t know if there are products like this already on the market. Presumably this will be their next phase to test more deeply.

  • James Mitchell

    Dig Rentals is just one of hundreds of categories where Craigslist does not do a good job and it would be quite easy — from a technical design a better website point of view — to do a better job, since Craigslist sets such a low bar. The problem is that they have a dual market problem (is that the correct term), they have to find tenants and landlords at the same time.

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  • Thanks Brad, for supporting LSM and for all that you do for entrepreneurs in Boulder and elsewhere!

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