The Beginning, Introduction to Lean Startup Principles w/ Ben Willman & Peter

First in a series of events and workshops, Ben and Pete have a great evening lined up, where we will walk you through the steps of applying Lean Startup to your own business, complete with hands-on exercises. This will introduce you to the core concepts, teach you the steps involved, and show you where to go next. Tweet#leanstartupacademy-dc if you are attending to get the word out.

Our first intro session is Monday, March 24th!

Core Concepts:

•  The Product Lifecycle & "Crossing the Chasm" 
•  Customer Discovery 
•  Finding Your Biggest Fans 
•  Build-Measure-Learn Loop 
•  Assumptions vs. Validated Learning 
•  Success & Failure 
•  Problem/Solution Fit 
•  Pivots 
•  MVPs 
•  Getting "Out of the Building" 
•  Interviews 
•  Prototypes 
•  Concierge 
•  Wizard of Oz 
•  Pirate Metrics

About the presenters:

Ben Willman is currently a Presidential Innovation Fellow working at the Department of Veteran Affairs working to bring modern product development practices to how the VA serves veterans through hundreds of millions of dollars in software each year. He has been involved with startups in New York and DC since the mid 90's as a founder/CTO of UstreamIt( a streaming media startup) as well as being a software developer and technology manager. He has been active in the DC Lean Startup community for the past four years including speaking at the DC Lean Startup Circle as well as an Organizing Team member of the Lean Startup Machine and a mentor in events in DC, New York and Philadelphia. As a long-time developer of many technology products he is aware that in most cases the risk to a startup is not whether it can be built but rather whether customers are interested and will ultimately pay for it. That is what the Lean Startup methodology attempts to get at. He is also avidly interested in Human Centered Design (Design Thinking) as a roadmap to understanding customers and enjoys marrying Lean Startup / Human Centered Design principles. He also enjoys perform improv comedy at the Washington Improv Theater.

Pete Oliver-Krueger is a Lean/Agile/UX coach and trainer in the DC area with 20 years of experience in Agile Technology Management, Lean Startup-style Customer Development, Business Strategy Planning, and Usability Testing.  He has been active in the Lean Startup community for the past four years, including speaking at DC Lean Startup Circle, presenting at the Lean/Agile DC conference, organizing the first Lean Startup Machine - Philadelphia, and mentoring events in DC and Philadelphia. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, he got his start at CMU's Robotics Institute, later joining the team that launched the first accredited Web-based university in the world.  His software architectures power multiple systems for government agencies like the FDA, NASA, WMATA, and the Pentagon, and he has led many high-profile teams, including the relaunch of TD Ameritrade's new online trading platform.  He also mentors social entrepreneurs across the country like Flikshop, a mobile app which connects families and inmates, reduces recidivism rates, and provides new opportunities for disadvantaged youth.


Thank you for your patience! As you may have seen in the comments, Ben had the honor of being chosen for a Presidential Fellowship (and had a new baby!) which put this group on pause for a while. But he has now teamed up with Pete, an enterprise Agile Product Manager and Lean Startup evangelist, and we are on our way!

We will run this meetup itself in Lean Startup fashion. We will schedule intro sessions like this one about once a month. So if you can't make it this month, join us next month.

From there we will schedule multiple break-out sessions. Break-out sessions might include book discussions, or topic drill-downs with hands-on practice on your startup idea.

And it's not Lean Startup if we don't ask for a commitment, so each event will have an appropriate charge that will cover food, drinks, and space rental. If enough people sign up for a given break-out session, then it's a go!

So let's get started, and we'll see you on Monday, March 24th!

Ben & Pete

Join or login to comment.

  • Reita S.

    Can you post the deck?

    March 29, 2014

    • Reita S.

      Just following up….

      April 20, 2014

  • Christina

    Awesome! I want more.

    March 24, 2014

  • Ben

    Thanks for putting this together. A very informative Meetup. Great opportunity to network with like-minded entrepreneurs. Looking forward to the next event.

    March 24, 2014

  • Orlando R.

    This is just a general question. Does anyone haver experience or know of a person that has worked in Blackbaud’s Sphere platform? If so, let me know. Thanks.

    March 19, 2014

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