A while back I wrote that crowdfunding can be a distraction to startups from working on their products. While I still believe that, one of my clients have shown me that the two can be put together to create a community of people who passionately care about your product and are investing their time and ideas (beyond the $10 or $50 or whatever amount they contribute) in helping you deliver an outstanding experience.
There is a lot of emphasis on reducing waste in Lean but one aspect that is as important, if not more, is the drive for continuous learning. So much so that I think that “lean” is a misnomer for a process that fosters a culture where kaizen is the highest order of emergence in the organization that successfully adopt it.
Few years ago, I came to a personal realization that learning is what makes my life worth living (alongside with my family and friends). At the time I wrote an article in which I declared “I learn for a living!” and threw away measurements putting my skills against some kind of grading scale – I realized that such scales turn my goal into a race for an award represented into a grade and take away the intrinsic motivation I feel when I push myself to learn something for the sake of learning and the sense of mastery that follows.
One one end, this is fuelled by the availability of many mature open source frameworks and tools, along with the proliferation of services running in the cloud. These tools and frameworks make it possible to spend very little money to start building fairly complex products. (Why, today it is even possible to write and compile code in the cloud).
Openness to ideas, collaboration, communication. These are some of the things one of the agile teams I am coaching values and likes to keep doing. They’re valued equally as tracking issue in Github, regular refactoring of their application framework throughout the sprints or fixing bad coding practices.
I recently learned that a local software development company decided to implement Agile “properly” and in the process let go everyone with any process knowledge of experience. “Dev will do it themselves” was the message these people got at the door.
(If anyone is in need of good people with experience related to product or project management and delivery, customer engagement and similar email me at email@example.com to put you in touch with few I know very well.)
There has never been more options for startups to get early funding. In the past one was expected to put personal cash or beg for some love money from family and friends – with few lucky ones being able to get bank loans on their mortgage. Today the list of crowdfunding sources, incubators, angel hubs and similar is rapidly growing around the world – creating a strong motivation for early startups to try and take advantage from some.