A massive rain storm blew through San Francisco in the middle of last year’s Lean Startup Conference. We woke up to a city-wide power outage, and Day Two of the conference had stopped before it started. No lights, no wifi, and no A/V.
Power Outage at The Fairmont San Francisco. Photo credit: The Lean Startup Conference/Jakub Moser & Erin Lubin
What could have been a disaster evolved into a valuable, unplanned MVP: attendees embraced the three hours of darkness, while we organized “unconference” sessions and Q&A discussions, and gathered people in windowed rooms for impromptu meetings.
Community-led discussions. Photo credit: The Lean Startup Conference/Jakub Moser & Erin Lubin
These community-led experiences were so much fun — and became a source of such serendipitous, fruitful connections — that we’ve decided to iterate on the idea for the 2015 conference and make it a core part of our program.
Why You Should Join Us in 2015
Since 2010, The Lean Startup has helped countless ventures transform ideas into thriving businesses. The movement has inspired a powerful community that includes leaders from enterprise organizations, government agencies, nonprofits, and early stage startups.
Like previous years, the 2015 conference will feature 100+ expert speakers on topics ranging from corporate entrepreneurship to analytics, product development, engineering, sales, marketing, and design. Our ‘power outage MVP’ has inspired us to offer five new reasons why you should attend the conference (again) this year:
- We’re hosting more meetups, peer discussions, and expert Q&A sessions.
- We’ll be delivering more in-depth case studies and advanced lessons in experimentation, measurement, team enablement, MVPs, and innovation accounting than ever before.
- We’re creating hands-on sessions with leaders who are tackling the same challenges as you. Share your toughest problems, and we’ll help you solve them.
- We’re creating opportunities for startup and corporate leaders to collaborate and connect with each other.
- We’re hosting the conference one month earlier this year to avoid a big storm (lesson learned) and well before your holiday travels.
Peer-to-peer learning. Photo credit: The Lean Startup Conference/Jakub Moser & Erin Lubin
Whether you’re attending for the first time or the sixth, we’ll make sure you meet great people, tackle your biggest business challenges, learn, and have a blast. You’ll go home with actionable takeaways to implement — immediately — with your team.
Check out some of our favorite attendee stories from 2014:
“I went to the Lean Startup Conference because we were having challenges figuring out how to apply the principles in practice and were getting sidetracked with many different ideas and various ‘shiny objects’ that distracted us from engaging with customers. During the conference I took lots of notes on customer conversations through the sessions, asked tons of questions during the after-hours 1-on-1 sessions with experts, and received direct feedback from Eric Ries on the final day of the conference. Since then we’ve been able to have hour-long conversations with more than 20 of our customers, have designed scripts that allow any member of our team to have a quality conversation, and have designed three new products that came directly from customer feedback and are proving popular in initial testing.” — Emmanuel Eleyae, co-founder at Satin Lined Caps (SLAPS)
“The Lean Startup Conference has been instrumental to helping my team, one unit within a large organization, stay innovative. I’ve had my team attend the past three years, and we plan to attend again in 2015. There were two big lessons that we learned in 2014. The first was to remember the real reason that our customers come to us — and to add tools for our internal teams to build upon our core product faster. The second was to remember that we’ll never really innovate if we don’t keep trying new things and its my job to protect the new by creating a culture of experimentation.” — Darin Foster, director of product at Disney
“Our firm specializes in product development. We are also on staff at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business as project coaches for the Product Development and Market Research Course. We work in the medical device and industrial sectors, and our clients have expressed dissatisfaction with the traditional phased and gated approach. My business partner, Kathy Morrissey, and I went on a search for a more flexible and lean approach to getting product to market quicker. Specific challenges for our firm is the cultural piece of implementing these types of practices in a large company. We attended in 2013, and we enjoyed it so much that we attended again in 2014. Our favorite sessions in 2014 included a session on leading by asking questions, in addition to a panel discussion on the challenge of implementing Lean Startup within large, complex organizations like GE. We’ll be back in 2015!” — Mary Drotar, co-founder at Strategy 2 Market
This post was written by Ritika Puri, resident storyteller at The Lean Startup Conference.