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What’s the scoop on the Startupfest Lean Workshop? Interview with « Lean Entrepreneur » authors

2 out of 4 Workshop hosts

As you may or may not know, the Startupfest Lean Workshop is part of our “2 extra days of Startupfest” initiative. For the first time, we’re offering a full day of activities before the Fest’s opening party on Wednesday, July 10th. One of these activities is the Startupfest Lean Workshop, where our lineup of entrepreneurs and experts (Alistair Croll, Ben Yoskovitz, Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovitz) will tackle the challenges of building a business head-on. Using the latest thinking in customer development, analytics and continuous learning, they’ll look at what it takes to build a better business faster. From understanding your product and market, to building the right tam, to measuring the right things, it’s a day of concrete real-world lessons from seasoned entrepreneurs. This event is for Startups and Product Managers that want to better understand the metrics they should be tracking.

**Register before Workshop prices go up on June 25th and you’ll have the chance to be selected as one of 3 case studies that will be covered in the Q&A!

Here’s our short interview with two of the four co-hosts, Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits, co-authors of The Lean Entrepreneur. See below for their bios!

Business Canvases are great for documenting assumptions for various business model components, but how do you actually create your business model assumptions? First, since a startup isn’t a small version of a big company, you should probably start with a Startup Model. What are the components you need to concentrate on at the beginning? Second, Lean is about eliminating waste in your Value Stream, where your value stream is everything you do to create and deliver value to your customer. So, you should probably be creating assumptions around what your Value Stream might be.

Brant and Patrick’s workshop uses the Value Stream Discovery exercise to create assumptions that populate your proposed Startup model. These assumptions form the basis for your Customer Development, dictate the experiments to be run, and tell you what to measure on your path toward finding product-market fit.

Can you pitch the Lean Startup Method for those who aren’t familiar with it?
Lean Startup is about eliminating the waste in learning what value you are providing (your product) and to whom your providing it (your market). In other words, you don’t build products nobody wants. Whereas in the past, those pursuing innovative endeavors in startups or large enterprises simply bet on what they believed, the Lean Startup uses customer interaction, purpose-built experiments and actionable data to validate their business model.

You’ll be co-hosting the Startupfest Lean Workshop of with Alistair Croll and Ben Yoskovitz, what kind of experience should workshop-goers expect from this collaboration?
Workshop-goers will be blown away. Patrick and I might just take a seat in the audience for awhile so we can take notes.

What can old and newcomers expect to gain from this workshop and the Lean philosophy?
A fundamental aspect to Lean is continuous improvement, continuous learning. But old and newcomers will emerge thinking differently. Our objective is to teach the principles, provide real world examples, and the set free the creative aspects of attendees such that they can ‘make lean startup their own.’ In other words, discover the specific tactics necessary to lead their team in learning and then executing the change they’d like to see in the world.

Any special treats in store for your Startupfest audience?
While all this sounds pretty intense, the special treat will be the fun.

Excited yet? Tickets for the Lean Workshop are going fast so
reserve your spot while there’s still room!


About Brant and Patrick


Brant Cooper helps startups get started.

As a Lean Startup thought leader, he travels the world speaking to entrepreneurs at conferences, hackathons and workshops. Recent speaking events include the Kuala Lumpur Venture Capital Symposium, Lean Startup conferences in Vancouver and Michigan, the Forward Technology Conference in Wisconsin, the Lean Startup Challenge in Boston, and Lean Startup Machines in London, New York, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco. Brant also consults for and advises startups on Lean Startups and Customer Development, with clients in Silicon Valley, New York, San Diego, France, Australia and Singapore. Clients include Qualcomm, MOGL, HubKick, MotherKnows, i.TV, Lean Startup Machine, Discovr and many others.

Brant Cooper is passionate about growing the San Diego tech community.He runs the San Diego Tech Founders monthly meetup that consistently draws between 100 and 200 startup people. Speakers have included Eric Ries, Steve Blank, KISSmetrics CEO Hiten Shah, CatchFree CEO Sean Ellis and Venture Capitalist Mark Suster. He is the curator for the San Diego edition of the Startup Digest. Brant mentored at CONNECT for four years and holds open office hours at a weekly coffee meetup that draws 10-20 people a week.

Prior to becoming involved in the Lean Startup community, Brant was involved with startups in a more traditional way. He has over 20 years experience in IT and a long track record of bringing high tech products to market. As a leader in Professional Services, Product Management and Marketing, he has directed strategy, design, marketing and implementation of numerous products for a variety of startups including Tumbleweed, Timestamp, WildPackets, Incode and InfoBright.

Brant Cooper has published articles for Venture Beat and Business Insider, blogs at Market By Numbers and tweets@brantcooper.


Patrick Vlaskovits is an entrepreneur, mentor and author. He has founded two startups, serves as CMO at Drumbi and co-wrote The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development: A Cheat Sheet to The Four Steps to the Epiphany.His writing on debunking the origin of Henry Ford’s “faster horses” has been featured on Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal blog and The Browser.Patrick has spoken at tech conferences nationally, including SXSW Interactive (Austin, Texas), Michigan Lean Startup Conference, Lean Startup Machine San Francisco/Chicago/New York as well as internationally, The Turing Festival (Edinburgh, Scotland), Leancamp (multiple), SVC2LX (Lisbon, Portugal). He tweets at@pv and blogs Patrick enjoys advising (Drumbi, Chromatik) and mentoring and serves as a mentor for the 500 Startups and for The Lean Startup Machine.He organizes the Los Angeles Lean Startup Meetup which boasts almost 2,000 members. Previous speakers include Hiten Shah, Steve Blank, Eric Ries, Dave McClure, Jason Calacanis, Janice Fraser, Dave Binetti and Dan Martell. In past years, he also organized Twiistup, a well-attended tech/startup conference that celebrates the entrepreneurial and investment talent of the Los Angeles startup ecosystem.Patrick holds a Master’s in Economics (emphases in finance and econometrics) from University of California, Santa Barbara. When he has spare time, he can be found with his family usually on the beach or in the ocean either fishing, surfing or stand-up paddle surfing.