The Lean Startup Conference 2015

November 16 - 19, 2015 - San Francisco, CA

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2015 Lean Startup Conference Program Details

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Registration Opens; Breakfast and Networking8:30 AM

Location: Herbst Pavilion

    Morning Plenary9:45 AM - 12:30 PM

    • How to Intentionally Design a (Lean Startup) Culture
      Room: Herbst

      The ability to test and launch new value propositions and business models is essential to grow and thrive. Creating such a Lean Startup culture is exceptionally hard for existing organizations, especially for large ones. They are streamlined to execute known and proven business models. They are not optimized to invent new ones.

      In this talk Alex Osterwalder shows you how to intentionally design an innovation culture alongside a solid execution culture. The inventor of the Business Model Canvas and Value Proposition Canvas introduces Strategyzer’s latest tool, the Culture Map.

      This practical tool was co-developed with entrepreneur and author Dave Gray. It helps teams and companies asses their existing organizational culture and intentionally design a desired one.

    • How Data Can Save Hollywood
      Room: Herbst

      Remember when companies would launch massive software projects without A/B testing? It sucked! Believe it or not, there is a multi-billion dollar industry that still produces products like that today. That industry is Hollywood. Join me as I explore the final frontier of analytics: creativity. Creative geniuses often have an aversion to incorporating data into the creative process. Creativity is driven by intuition, they argue, and cannot be analyzed. Data kills creativity! But this is a fundamental misunderstanding of analytics, which is costing Hollywood billions of dollars a year. In this talk, I’ll discuss some of Hollywood’s greatest big-budget flops, and how analytics could have saved them. I’ll also provide examples of how innovative storytellers are breaking with tradition and using Lean principles to create modern blockbusters for tremendous gain. Join me in discovering the role Lean Startup can play in revolutionizing Hollywood.

    • 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.

    • Turbo-Charge Your Early Product Development
      Amy Jo Kim, Shufflebrain , @amyjokim
      Room: Herbst

      It’s easier than ever to create a new, innovative product, game, app or service. But most innovative projects never take off and reach their intended audience. What differentiates the ones that DO? What do teams who create genre-defining hits do differently? In this talk, you’ll learn 5 early design hacks that will help you find and delight your aspirational audience – illustrated with front-line stories from eBay, Ultima Online, The Sims, Rock Band, Covet Fashion, Happify and Pley. You’ll come away with a smarter approach to early product design – and 5 practical, actionable hacks that will increase your odds of success.

    • Lean Startup for Finance: Using Innovation Accounting for Valuation and Risk Management
      Room: Herbst

      Whether you’re in Finance — or just report *to* Finance — you’ll want to catch David Binetti’s talk on Innovation Accounting. David will show how to calculate the ROI and Risk of innovation projects while avoiding common traps that can doom entrepreneurs before they begin. TAGS: Enterprise, Startups, Analytics

    • Sponsored Talk: How to be "Scrappy" in a Fortune 500 Company
      Geeta Wilson, Humana, Inc., @geetsabrit
      Room: Herbst

      Discover how bringing the spirit of the start-up and adopting a “scrappy but not crappy” philosophy within a highly regulated Fortune 100 non-software development company is creating a customer-centric culture.

      This talk is sponsored by Humana.

    • Mindfulness Meditation
      Stacy Conlon, The Zen Girl, @TheZenGirl
      Room: Herbst

      Before we break for lunch, Zen GIrl Stacy Conlon will lead a brief mindfulness exercise to help everyone process the morning sessions and get ready for the afternoon.

    Lunch Break12:30 PM - 2:00 PM

    Food Trucks at Herbst Pavilion & General’s Residence

      Master Class1:00 PM - 1:45 PM

      For Platinum and Gold Passes only.

      • How to Choose Your Next Experiments
        Teresa Torres, Product Talk , @ttorres
        Room: C260

        In this session, you’ll learn how to create shared context so that everyone on your team knows how to prioritize your experiments. You’ll also learn about two common Lean Startup mistakes and how to avoid them. Come prepared to work through a mini case study.

        This is a Master Class session, open to Platinum and Gold badge holders.

      Afternoon Breakouts2:00 PM - 4:30 PM

      • Being a Lean Startup Entrepreneur: A Conversation with Frank Chen, Tejal Shah and Reshma Khilnani.2:00 - 3:00 PM
        Frank Chen, Andreessen Horowitz , @withfries2
        Tejal Shah, KidAdmit, Inc., @tejaltshah
        Room: Southside

        Frank Chen, a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, shares his insights and expertise with the Lean Startup community about what it takes to start and build a successful business. He’ll then sit down with Reshma Khilnani and Tejal Shah to discuss the challenges of being an entrepreneur, what they’ve learned on the road to success, and how they applied Lean Startup to help get them there.

      • How to Intentionally Design a (Lean Startup) Culture2:00 - 3:00 PM
        Room: BATS

        The ability to test and launch new value propositions and business models is essential to grow and thrive. Creating such an Lean Startup culture is exceptionally hard for existing organizations, especially for large ones. They are streamlined to execute known and proven business models. They are not optimized to invent new ones.

        In this hands-on workshop Alex Osterwalder shows you how to intentionally design an innovation culture. You will learn how to use the Culture Map, Strategyzer’s latest tool after the Business Model Canvas and Value Proposition Canvas. Through practical exercises Alex will show you how to asses your existing organizational culture and intentionally design and test a desired one.

        The Culture Map is the result of a collaborative project between Strategyzer and entrepreneur and author Dave Gray.

      • 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.

      • View from the Trenches: What Went Wrong with Our Lean Startup Program?2:00 - 3:00 PM
        Room: General's Residence Ballroom

        With all of the success of Lean in the startup community, this should be pretty easy to implement in the Corporate environment, right? After launching with very little to show in the way of success, the team in Ericsson’s Atlanta Idea Factory had to take a step back and evaluate what changes were necessary to implement Enterprise Lean Startup with success. One key principle had to be learned… People are an organization’s greatest asset, AND its greatest barrier to success.

      • The Startup Storyteller: Using Stories to Learn2:00 - 2:30 PM
        James Warren, Share More Stories & Johnson, Inc., @warrenjwric
        Room: C260

        Share More Stories empowers brands and people to connect through shared stories. And as founder James Warren and his team developed the company’s vision, strategy and prototype, they began realizing that stories weren’t just core to their product – they were core to their innovation and learning process as well. The stories people shared during development and after launch revealed deep customer needs, helped the team improve its value proposition and led to the identification of new customer opportunities. In his talk, James will share how he and his team used these stories to learn as much as possible, in order to accelerate the development and growth of their platform.

      • Minimum Viable Marketing2:30 - 3:00 PM
        Ritika Puri, Storyhackers & Lean Startup Company , @ritika_puri
        Room: C260

        Enterprise marketers are under extreme pressure to achieve higher conversion rates, profits, and growth. But how do you take an initiative from zero to seven or eight figures? The answer is simple: iterative improvement. This talk will teach you how Lean Startup and product development concepts can improve the efficiency and ROI of your marketing. You’ll come away with an understanding of how to build large-scale, effective marketing programs by starting very small.

      • The Human Side of Lean Startup: Functional Team Culture2:00 - 2:30 PM
        Freyja Balmer, Scripps Networks Interactive , @bettyrocker
        Michael Greene, Scripps Networks Interactive , @greeneysays
        Room: C205

        Whether you’re bringing Lean methods into a large organization or your own small startup, human factors matter. Dysfunctional teams cling to vanity metrics, produce work that doesn’t matter to anyone outside the building, squash creativity, and severely limit their ability to innovate quickly. Life is too short to do dumb work slowly with a bunch of passive-aggressive jerks, so join Freyja Balmer and Michael Greene, whose amazing team have most recently grown into the second largest digital food property, for a fun and probing session. We’ll talk about: Guidelines that work for building engaged, effective people into a cohesive team; Kickstarting your team’s own very best and most functional culture; Techniques for addressing specific problems with team dynamics. This session is for anyone who is looking for real talk on what makes people do great work.

      • Internal Customer Development2:30 - 3:00 PM
        Andrea Hill, ReadyTalk , @afhill
        Room: C205

        The Good News: You don’t need to secure VC funding to pay your mortgage. The Bad News: You have to find project sponsorship and support from a much smaller pool (your own organization).  Andrea Hill, Product Strategist and Intrapreneur at ReadyTalk, explains how focusing on internal customer discovery and securing a product sponsor paved the way for the launch of UbiMeet, the company’s first internal startup product.

      • Using LinkedIn for Customer Discovery2:00 - 2:30 PM
        Brandy Nagel, Georgia Tech VentureLab , @benag
        Room: C210

        During this “laptop open” session you’ll learn tips and tricks for finding the right people to interview. We’ll talk about how to identify and approach people to set up customer discovery interviews, making the best use of LinkedIn’s free services. Find early-vangelists, influencers, users and buyers — using connections and groups to start conversations.

      • Customer Development Power-Ups2:30 - 3:00 PM
        Room: C210

        Knowing your customers is difficult, and finding them can be an expensive endeavor. Gaurav Agarwal has learned a few easy, low cost tricks to help startups build a quick understanding of customers and market. His techniques leverage existing web analytics tools that are available to all. Aimed to help startups get more with less, when working in a resource-constrained environment.

      • GE–Fuel Cells: Running a Lean Startup Inside a Big Corporation3:30 - 4:30 PM
        Room: Herbst

        In 2014, GE launched an internal start-up business, GE-Fuel Cells, inspired by an advanced manufacturing breakthrough at our research center. Specifically, we’re developing solid oxide fuel cell systems that will provide businesses and communities around the world the ability to efficiently generate clean, reliable power locally at the point of use in a factory, data center or small, remote neighborhood. Learn how we are applying lean startup principles in this long cycle, equipment based business in order to dramatically accelerate our path to commercialization and reduce risk. As part of this journey we have pushed the envelope with out-of-the-box opportunities to apply lean startup methodologies including a “Manufacturing MVP”.

      • 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.

      • Lessons on Lean Collaborations in Health, Energy & Talent Markets3:30 - 4:30 PM
        Aneesh Chopra, Hunch Analytics , @aneeshchopra
        Karen Austin, Pacific Gas and Electric Company , @karenaustincio
        Room: BATS

        Regulated sectors are not known for their speed or agility. As the former (and first) US Chief Technology Officer from 2009-2012, Aneesh Chopra, co-founder and EVP at Hunch Analytics, applied lean startup techniques in collaborations like the Argonaut Project (healthcare’s open API), and with entrepreneurial leaders like Karen Austin, PG&E’s CIO who introduced the Green Button, and Leighanne Levensaler, Workday’s SVP for Products, who worked to close the skills gap for unemployed veterans. Learn how to foster change through better public/private collaboration.

      • 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.

      • Caution: Live Subjects! Lean Experiments for Services3:30 - 4:00 PM
        Room: C260

        Testing apps, websites and digital services is pretty well-documented territory. But running lean experiments for services without a screen can seem daunting. In-person services are holistic experiences with lots of moving parts, which can easily make testing costs and timelines balloon. The biggest challenge is figuring out which parts of the service to make real and which parts to fake. At gravitytank, we work with organizations big and small to run lean experiments that focus on the most uncertain and risky element of a new service. Like any good test, our experiments generate useful quant data (i.e. throughput, sales, user preferences), but we also leverage them to collect meaningful qualitative feedback. We’ve used this approach to lean service MVPs for restaurant startups, huge CPG companies, global hotel chains and others. Across the board, the learnings have had significant impact on development. Caution: Live Subject! will take you through a few examples, offer some ‘pro tips’, and together, we’ll run a rapid-fire service experiment to bring it to life.

      • Spanning the Schism: How Enterprises & Startups Can Accelerate Innovation Together4:00 - 4:30 PM
        Room: C260

        Large corporations have capital, distribution, and brand. Small startups can innovate at lightspeed. Learn how to use Lean Startup methodologies to leverage each other effectively for absurd ROIs.

      • Exploring the Fertile Boundaries Between Faith and Business // #leanfaith3:30 - 4:30 PM
        Toby Rubin, UpStart Bay Area , @upstartbayarea
        Room: C210

        Author, extrapreneurial faith leader, and church futurist, Ken Howard, will lead a curated discussion of the fertile ground that lies at the boundaries of faith and business. He will be joined by entrepreneur and community innovator Toby Rubin, of UpStart Bay Area, and innovator and author Spencer Burke, of HatcheryLA. Topics like: Experimental Faith-Based Communities & Organizations, Lean in the Jewish Space, and Incubation & Acceleration of Faith Communities are just a few of the things Ken and his guests will be discussing at this first-of-its-kind program at the Lean Startup Conference.

      • Management Framework for Fast-Growing Early Stage Companies3:30 - 4:30 PM
        Alan Lobock, Spartacus Muse, LLC , @AlanLobock
        Room: C205

        As entrepreneurs, we’re seldom taught how to manage the companies we build. Learn those skills in this interactive session so you don’t build an organization that manages by crisis. Join Alan Lobock for this interactive session that will focus on scalable practices to establish and maintain accountability and sound managerial practices in a growing organization.

        Among the skills you will learn: Establish a learning organization that will surface issues quickly for swift resolution; Run a productive weekly meeting; Use core values and other tools to hire the right people for the right position in your organization; Establish specific, measurable, and attainable metrics with which to measure progress and identify challenges; Document processes to ensure uniformity of practices that will yield reliable outputs.

      Office Hours2:00PM - 5:00PM

      For Platinum and Gold Passes only.          Location: Firehouse

        Closing Session5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

        • Closing Remarks5:15 - 5:45 PM
          Eric Ries, The Lean Startup, @EricRies
          Room: Herbst

          The Lean Startup Team wraps up the conference, share some of their best practices for using what you learned at the conference when you get back home, and share their vision for the future of the Lean Startup Community.

        Attendee Networking Dinners7:00 - 9:00 PM

        Continue the conversations provoked in our daytime sessions over dinner with your peers. See the details and purchase tickets here.

        These dinners are not part of your conference ticket. Any passholder can register for them.