— Jose Gonzalez

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Entrepreneurship

What if policy makers worked like entrepreneurs and engineers? Sometimes, public policy initiatives are very difficult to replicate due to the lack of management best practices, freely available data  and code. For one moment imagine working on a project or designing a public policy that would:

  • Management best practices:
    • Let people know on what are you working at every time
    • Less generals and more soldiers: have a lean management structure with the least herarchical levels possible
    • Avoid information silos
    • Manage requirements and not activities
  • Other best practices:
  • Have a version control system: ability to track who added what and seamlessly roll back to previous versions
  • Automated testing of assumptions
  • Simple deployment: run this script and see the results
  • Code reviews: public repos on github with everything needed to replicate the project and add more contributors to it
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Startup wordcloud

Image source: www.startupweekend.org

As a fan of Michael Lewis‘ “Money Ball,” I found this blogpost by Dharmesh Shah on startups.com to be “on the money”. The book provides great advice for startups and management, and while all 17 quotes referenced by Shah are poignant, here are my favorites:

  • We’ve got to think differently
  • Your goal shouldn’t be to buy players, your goal should be to buy wins “… You don’t need a VP of anything, you need a doer of stuff that needs to get done…”
  • Why do you like him? Because he gets on base
  • We’re going to change the game.
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lean-startup

In this excellent HBR article, Steve Blank describes how lean start-ups and agile development are changing the game. Entrepreneurs are evolving from doing business plans to creating minimum viable products and validating the ideas immediately with their potential costumers.

The goal is to add value and create good products for costumers to buy not to create big companies and then create products.

In his words “the founders of lean start-ups don’t begin with a business plan; they begin with the search for a business model. Only after quick rounds of experimentation and feedback reveal a model that works do lean founders focus on execution”

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Ash Maurya  presents an excellent blogpost about product/market fit lean startups and validation. Some highlights:

” .. .four stages to the customer development process as iteration loops with the following success end goals:

  1. Customer Discovery – Achieve Problem/Solution Fit
  2. Customer Validation – Achieve Product/Market Fit
  3. Customer Creation – Drive Demand
  4. Company Building – Scale the Company

The Customer Discovery stage ends with a Problem/Solution fit and a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). During Customer validation you validate your MVP by attempting to sell it – Nothing speaks clearer than a sale. Successful iteration here should result in a repeatable and scalable sales model…”

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” The difference between an A team and an A+ team is the difference between a million in revenue and a billion in revenue. ”

Excellent interview with Paul English, co-founder of Kayak. My favorite parts:

  • When asked “Why do you start companies”, Paul has one of the best answers I’ve ever heard: I start companies because it gives me an opportunity to create teams.
  • The difference between an A team and an A+ team is the difference between a million in revenue and a billion in revenue.
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