The Lean Startup Conference 2015

November 16 - 19, 2015 - San Francisco, CA

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2015 Lean Startup Conference Program Details

Talks about Product Development/MVP

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Monday, November 16, 2015

Workshops12:00 PM - 5:30 PM

For Platinum and Gold Passes only.

  • Driving Change Within the Enterprise4:00-5:30 PM
    Room: BATS

    Even when large organizations have the appetite for change, it’s hard to put philosophy into practice. In this workshop, Cindy Alvarez will talk about approaches that have worked (and not worked) to get teams across Microsoft to be Lean and experimental. Hands-on exercises will include working with skeptics, practice interviewing, and running “premortems”.

  • Secrets of Game Thinking4:00-5:30 PM
    Amy Jo Kim, Shufflebrain , @amyjokim
    Room: C210

    Do you want to:

    • understand how games leverage skill-building to drive long-term engagement?
    • create an experience that engages your customers throughout their life cycle?
    • build a simple, compelling MVP that drives engagement and promotes skill-building?

    If you answered YES, this workshop is for you. We’ll pull back the curtain, and reveal how successful games and game-like products engage players for months – even years – with skill-building systems, progressive challenges, and unlockable powers. You will learn to:

    • design a 4-stage Customer Narrative that captures your end-to-end experience
    • build a simple, compelling Core Loop that engages your super-fans
    • create a development roadmap outlining what to build first – and why

    This lively, hands-on design workshop is targeted at anyone who wants to understand how to harness game design insights to drive long-term engagement. Product teams are strongly encouraged to attend together.


  • Winning MVPs - Using Data From Your MVP to Win Support For Your Idea4:00-5:30 PM
    Hugh Molotsi, Hummingbill, VoiceLots, Delighterr , @hughmolotsi
    Room: Southside

    Hugh Molotsi and Bennett Blank from Intuit will share what they have discovered creating MVPs via Intuit’s innovation hub, Intuit Labs. Intuit Labs helps teams develop their ideas from early stage concept to funded initiative, building innovation capabilities in each employee along the way. Hugh and Ben will share a few tricks they learned in their journey, pitfalls to avoid and case studies you can apply to your own innovation program or project.

    During this hands-on, interactive session you’ll learn:

    • Important factors to consider for a successful MVP
    • The key metrics that matter for your MVP
    • How to use your MVP to create a winning “inside pitch”
    • Live audience Q&A from Ben and Hugh

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Morning Plenary9:45 AM - 12:30 PM

  • So You Want to Build the Next Facebook
    Room: Herbst

    Most founders want to build a billion dollar business, but they sometimes forget that giants like Facebook didn’t start out as giants. In this talk, Laura Klein, author of UX for Lean Startups, outlines some of the most important strategies that companies used to build and learn before they grew. .

Master Class1:00 PM - 1:45 PM

For Platinum and Gold Passes only.

  • How to Ship Your Ideas1:00 - 1:45 PM
    Room: C260

    Are you busting at the seams with ideas for that next great software product, but feel overwhelmed trying to figure out how to bring those ideas to life? Perhaps you’re feeling stuck and bombarded by the questions in your head asking things like, “Is this idea really any good?” or “Will it attract paying customers?”, or “How in the world do I go about recruiting the right talent who can successfully help me ship a product?”. Entrepreneur, engineer, author, and speaker, Poornima Vijayashanker, will teach you how to tackle these questions and beyond. Channeling her experience as the founding engineer of, and launching BizeeBee and Femgineer, Poornima has developed a proven step-by-step process for successfully shipping the idea or ideas you’ve been dreaming about. She has shared her expertise and insights with entrepreneurs of various backgrounds around the world, lectured at her Alma Mater, Duke University, and served as the Engineer-in Residence for 500 Startups, a top accelerator in Silicon Valley. From her book, How to Transform Your Ideas into Software Products, Poornima will teach you how to: Validate your idea before you spend time and money on it; Talk to prospective customers without feeling awkward or pushy; and hire talented people to build your product for you.

Afternoon Breakouts2:00 PM - 4:45 PM

  • Digital Investing: The Last Frontier2:15 - 3:00 PM
    Devon McConnell, Wells Fargo Advisors
    Room: General's Residence Dining Room

    The financial services industry is now at a change moment. There are two major change drivers today – customers’ digital expectations and increased regulations. It’s the perfect storm. And it’s driving us to look at the very basic operating models we work under to meet new demands. Devon McConnell, Head of Digital for Wells Fargo Advisors will share how she and her team are leading an internal transformation to bring agile and lean practices to build out the firm’s digital experience for a new group of investors. Money is deeply personal. Building a compelling and trustworthy experience is critical, but wrought with uncertainty. Devon explores how she has incorporated the focus of emotional design into key projects at Wells Fargo Advisors, now and in the future.

  • Lean Startup Accelerator for Enterprises to Create New Businesses2:20 - 2:40 PM
    Takashi Tsutsumi, Learning Entrepreneur's Lab , @t_tutu
    Masato Lino, Learning Entrepreneur's Lab , @Craque
    Room: C210

    Learning Entrepreneur’s Lab is a Lean Startup accelerator for a variety of enterprises in Japan, ranging from a top-notch consumer electronics company to an industrial equipment manufacturer to the leading company in the food and beverage industry. In their presentation, Takashi and Masato will share lessons learned and a case study of how Lean Startup Accelerator is conducted in Japan.

  • Harvard Business Review’s Digital Transformation3:30 - 4:00 PM
    Eric Hellweg, Harvard Business Review , @ehellweg
    Room: BATS

    Eric Hellweg, HBR’s Executive Director of Product Management and Digital Strategy, will discuss how the team at HBR has transformed the brand from a primarily print product to one with digital at its core, using lean principles and by instilling a “product management mindset” –and a true product management function—inside this traditional media organization.

  • Re-imagining Job Creation: Using Paint3:30 - 3:50 PM
    Room: C210

    Liz Powers has worked with homeless and disabled individuals for 9 years. She was frustrated hearing clients be put down. She wanted to create a movement celebrating strengths and creating jobs. Liz will describe how she bootstrapped ArtLifting to turn $4k of investment into revenue in the 6 figures. Topics include: creating for-profit social enterprise, bootstrapping, minimizing risk, and rapid geographic expansion.

  • Prototyping Your Experiences3:30 - 4:30 PM
    Chris Luomanen, Thing Tank LLC
    Room: C260

    How can we understand disruptive experiences, that nobody has tried yet, because we just invented them? You could ask users to guess what they think they would think. Or you could find a way to bring key aspects of that experience to life for users as quickly and cheaply as possible. This talk will cover why we build experience prototypes, and how to figure out what experience prototypes might help you to develop your product or service.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Morning Plenary9:45 AM - 12:30 PM

  • Eliminating Your Ego: Product Market Fit
    Room: Herbst

    Gagan Biyani joins us to talk about applying Lean Startup to launch Sprig, a dine-on-demand meal service. He’ll discuss learnings from his previous company, Udemy, to the challenges he faced when building a food service startup, and the multiple pivots they made in order to get to the right product-market fit.

Afternoon Breakouts2:00 PM - 4:30 PM

  • Lean Product Development in a Highly Regulated Finance Environment: American Express2:15 - 3:00 PM
    Andrew Breen, American Express , @buckybanjo
    Room: General's Residence Dining Room

    Learn how a startup is being created inside of American Express using Lean Startup. Andrew Breen, VP of Product, will discuss their successes (and failures) in this highly informative talk. He’ll share his experiences applying Lean Startup principles to develop technology products inside a conservative, highly regulated enterprise.

  • The Lean Hardware Toolbox3:30 - 4:30 PM
    Marcus Gosling, , @marceire
    Room: Southside

    In mass-production, you only have one chance to get the product right. The in-flexibility and expense of the physical product supply-chain prohibits an experimental, iterative approach. Inspired by lean startup, hardware entrepreneurs are developing new tools and methodologies for exploring and validating their product ideas prior to mass manufacture. 3D printing and off-the-shelf development kits are being used to support rapid product iteration and low-volume early adopter sales. Existing commercial products are being hacked by entrepreneurs to prototype and explore completely new experiences. Prototypes are becoming instrumented to collect data on engagement and usage patterns in the field. Illustrated with case studies from the hardware startup accelerator this talk will share a range of emergent patterns and best practices in lean hardware development.

  • Minimum Viable Taxes: Lessons Learned Building an MVP Inside the IRS3:30 - 4:30 PM
    Andrea Schneider, Internal Revenue Service , @AZSchneiderinMD
    Room: General's Residence Dining Room

    Although the IRS can process your refund quickly, it does not have a reputation for quick internal change; it still uses many applications from the Kennedy administration. But Andrea Schneider, Senior Manager of Product Management in Online Services, is helping the IRS launch a MVP early in next year’s filing season that will allow taxpayers to access basic tax information online, including their balance, tax records, and payment histories, as well as make a payment. She, along with Lauren Gilchrist, Product Manager at Pivotal Labs, who is partnering with the IRS to build the MVP, will discuss their biggest challenges along the way and share advice for experimenting and iterating inside large bureaucracies.