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Faking it: MVPs that Don't Require Code

We're thrilled to have four founders -- Terry Hsiao of HookMobileDanielle Tate of MissNowMrs, Rebecca Thorman of Kontrary (and several other startups), and Tedd Evers of TripTuner -- joining us to talk about how they tested ideas BEFORE coding anything.

We're also excited for a round of rapid-fire MVP experiences as told by:

* Patrick Smith
* Bilaal Ahmed
* Ryan Polich
* Angela Lauria
* Jason Tugman
* Ben Willman

As usual, we'll head to Graffiato afterward for conversations and libations!

--------FEATURED SPEAKER BIOS---------

Terry Hsiao has founded three startups including InphoMatch (later rebranded Mobile 365) which was acquired by Sybase (Now SAP) for $425M in 2006. Currently, he serves as CEO of HookMobile, a cloud services provider for mobile apps and games. Terry's been appointed by Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell to serve on the Board of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Investment Authority. He's also a member on the Board of Governors at MIT Sloan School of Management, Monte Jade DC Chapter, the Advisory Board at Rutgers University College of Engineering, and the Confucius Institute at George Mason University (GMU). Terry earned an Honors BSEE from Rutgers University and an SM (MBA) from MIT's Sloan School of Management.

Danielle Tate is the founder and president of, a name change expert, author of a top newlywed blog, bridal magazine contributor and on-camera personality. After a long struggle to change her name after her marriage in 2005, Danielle left her six figure medical sales career to create, an online name-change service for brides and newlyweds nationwide.


Rebecca Thorman writes a different take on careers, marketing, start-ups, design and life for professionals and creatives on Kontrary. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, the Huffington Post, Forbes, Los Angeles Times, the Washingtonian and Wall Street Journal. She works remotely for the start-up company, co-organizes the DC Lean Startup Circle, and loves to test ideas.


Tedd Evers founded Triptuner in May 2011 after 10+ successful years in online travel. Most recently he was Chief Revenue Officer for travel video startup, a post that brought him back to the US after leading the hotels business at Barcelona-based, a leading European online travel site. Prior to that, Tedd held a number of positions at There, he managed global hotel chain partnerships and led the launch of the Caribbean and European hotel product. 


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  • A former member
    A former member

    Liked having multiple startups present various do's and don'ts, especially liked the speed round. Thanks Steph, Patrick, and Rebecca for pulling this together!

    May 23, 2012

  • Carleton R.

    Not as much MVP insight as I expected. Or wanted. Maybe I'm too junior but I thought there should have been more about basic MVP, what works and what doesn't and why. There was a some of that wrapped in a lot of extraneous stuff. Thought Triptuner and the first talk were good because it explained the MVP and why it did and didn't work.

    May 23, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    The stories of testing a business, not simply a product, with little technical investment, or in some cases, know-how, were really compelling. Rebecca's story was nothing short of amazing. Think of what she would have had to invest 10, perhaps 5 years ago to "test out" her business concept.

    May 23, 2012

  • Tony F.

    Very informative and entertaining! Enjoyed the various speaker perspectives and experiences.

    May 23, 2012

  • Tara C.

    This was a great event! I am in active development in my current startup, but of course have several other ideas brewing so these stories were inspiring and tools are great to know about.

    May 23, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Diverse speaker lineup, great insights, lots of learning. Kudos to organizers.

    May 23, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Amazing speakers and great hosts.

    May 23, 2012

  • Nick

    this was the best one yet. light and lively. great diversity amongst speakers and the speakers were entertaining.

    May 23, 2012

  • Michael C.

    Great talks with interesting speakers.

    May 23, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    What a great lineup! I'm looking forward to sharing my lean experience when I started Linktank (

    May 21, 2012

  • Erik D.

    A great notion on how to validate your business model before you do anything: pretotyping...

    May 14, 2012

  • Kevin D. Unfortunately any new movement of business or tech comes with a new way of talking about it. Honestly I don't think you'll get much out of a Lean Startup meetup without knowing a few basic terms like MVP. There is a ton of great content out there by Eric, Steve Blank, Ash Maurya that talks about MVPs.

    1 · May 1, 2012

  • Manjit S.

    I too am wondering the same thing ;-(

    May 1, 2012

  • Paul D. B.

    Uhm, what the heck is an "MVP?" I think that it is interesting that you assume that everyone knows the meaning of this acronym.

    -- Paul D. Bain

    May 1, 2012

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