Yes, Ash Maurya was holding a talk at itnig! He spoke about his second workshop, “The Art of the Scientist”, and we took the chance to make him some questions about him and the Lean Startup Movement. For Ash, “the principles behind Lean Startup are very simple and seem common sense and obvious. But practising it, is where the hard part comes.” Here you have the whole interview. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZoE11YZbyo

How did you get into Lean Startup movement?

I have been an entrepreneur for many years. And one of the things that I consciously kept running into was that the cycle time for going from “idea” to “successful product” was just too long. That’s why I have always been in search for finding better and faster ways to build successful products. And when I run into Lean Startup, a lot of the ideas resonated with me, and that’s how I got started. In many ways I decided to start testing a lot of its ideas, because putting them to practice was not as obvious… so I started a blog and that blog eventually turned into a book. That’s kind of the quick way how I got into the whole process.

What’s is your best definition of Lean Startup for someone who is just starting with it?

There is a lot of confusion about Lean Startup. For me, the most concise definition is that it is an organization that maximizes learning about what is riskiest in your business model per targeted time… so, speed is very important, learning is very important, and focusing on the right things is very important.

Does Lean Startup scale? How can we keep using its methodologies as we grow our team, and the company in general?

Sure, Lean Startup does scale. And there is lots of case studies that you can find about big companies, companies into it, using it… You can also study a lot of their models. Definitely, there are challenges. Fundamentally Lean is about breaking away the specialisation trap, so trying to build more cross-functional teams, trying to build an experimentation culture. I find that that’s sometimes harder to inject into a big company, which has lots of existing processes. So, I find bigger companies experimenting more with smaller innovation teams. For a small company, one of the challenges when you start practising Lean, as you grow, is try to maintain that level of culture experimentation and building smaller teams. And there you can look at models like Facebook: it is probably a good model of how do they build small innovation teams versus large vertical teams.

Do you have any killer strategy for prioritizing? How can we know we are prioritizing well?

That’s part of what I’ve been researching a lot lately and what I’ve starting to talk and blog about: I find that the principles behind Lean Startup are sometimes very simple and seem common sense and obvious. But practising it, is where the hard part comes. And it starts by prioritizing the right kinds of risks. So if you incorrectly prioritise risks, you start running experiments which have mediocre results. I would say that there’s just new work that’s being done. I don’t have all the answers yet, but part of it is, working with advisors, working with people, looking at key metrics in your product, and trying to focus on a few things at a time instead of trying to tackle everything about your business.

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W.

WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER A COWORKING SPACE FOR YOUR STARTUP

Your home office or a coffee shop won’t be enough!

Yes, we all know the tale about the guy who starts a small company in their garage or basement, has a brilliant idea and becomes the next Steve Jobs. It’s true, most successes have very humble beginnings. It’s also true that not all garage or basements are going to magically get you a successful business. They might work in the very (veeeery) early stages of your startup, but you can’t always meet a client at coffee shops, not to say your basement. 

A great, if not the best, solution is to find a coworking space. Coworking spaces have become very popular all over the world, either for freelancers or entrepreneurs and startups. 

Coworking spaces are not just big rooms with desks and chairs with high-speed wifi. The areas are made to be exciting places to work and improve your productivity.

As a startup, you need to find resources fast and affordably. More importantly, you’ll need motivation. This is why you should consider a coworking space. 

Here are some basic but amazing benefits from coworking spaces:

  1. Community

Joining a coworking means joining a community.  Being surrounded by other entrepreneurs, freelancers and talented independent people is without doubt a one of the best features of a coworking.

Motivation is key when starting a new project and trying to develop your own business. The road will get though and you’ll appreciate other entrepreneurs’ vision and support! Other workers’ feedback can be very useful to improve your service/product before trying to sell it to the world. 

  1. Networking, networking and…networking!

As a startup, you’ll be looking for networking opportunities. Most coworkings host professionals from different kind of industries, which can open up many doors for you and your business. Not all coworking spaces are about networking, some of them prefer to have a quiet individual work environment, so as a startup you have to make sure to choose a coworking with networking opportunities.

At Itnig, for example, we love to share ideas and support other entrepreneurs. Don’t be shy, some of the other coworking tenants can bring great business opportunities, or even become new clients (and friends)! 

  1. Budgetfriendly

As entrepreneurs (or people for that matter) it’s very important to understand the importance of money, more specifically: budget. Tight budgets call for smart spending. Coworkings are usually budget friendly, most of them offer different membership options depending on your startup’s needs and budget.

  1. Amenities 

A coworking provides you with everything needed to be as productive as possible. High speed internet connection, printers, conference rooms and COFFEE. Some coworkings even plan afterwork activities and events to make it all more fun! As a startup, a coworking space is your best chance at having all the basic amenities but also the fun ones, like a ping pong table or a nice chill out terrace. 

  1. Happy clients

As you grow and have more clients, it can get messy if you keep meeting them in coffee shops. Coworking spaces offer office services such as conference rooms. That way your meetings will be more professional and comfortable for everyone. 

Barcelona is a city full of coworkings of every kind! Our Itnig community keeps growing, we now have up to 20 startups such as Andjoy, Classlife, Factorial and Freeverse, all under the same roof. We have afterwork activities and we also plan different kinds of events open to anyone interested in marketing, tech stuff, entrepreneurship and design. Our space is about 2.100m2 with up to 800m2 of conference rooms, events space, ping pong and fun activities. 

There’s also  wifi, endless coffee and talented people. Join us!