Tiimiakatemia on Jyväskylän Ammattikorkeakoulun yrittäjyyden huippuyksikkö
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Our generation has an opportunity unlike any other, we can create small empires without anyone’s permission” – Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit

Entrepreneurs are everywhere!

As teampreneurs we are used to this, but think about the world around us. According to Eric Ries a startup is “a human institution designed to create new products and services under conditions of extreme uncertainty”. This means that startups can be found almost anywhere. According to Ries most of them actually exist inside of larger corporations, much like project groups inside the teams of Tiimiakatemia. In the light of this it is unfortunate, that usually the methods and mindset in the teams and project groups does not follow the lean method of thinking, even though we are encouraged to it in some ways at least. Therefore in this essay I will cover these subjects:

  1. What is the lean startup method?
  2. How can we apply it in Tiimiakatemia?
  3. How will I apply it in my current and future actions?

We are told by our society and media that with passion and hard work we can achieve anything. Successful entrepreneurs are usually portrayed as proof of this. Even in Finland entrepreneurs are seen as kind of super heroes of our age. They are innovative, free and progressive. Especially startups are portrayed this way in the media. If you just have a good idea and the heart to work your ass off, you are going to succeed and all the boring stuff (managment, analysis, testing, processes) will come along itself. However the fact is that most startups fail. This is true even if the product is the best on the market. What is it that makes for example Supercell stand out from the crowd and succeed? Ries says that it is all the “boring” stuff that is never portrayed in the media. The good news is that all that stuff is mostly processes, which in turn means that they can be studied and learned.

Most people think of process and management as boring and dull, whereas startups are dynamic and exciting. But what is actually exciting is to see startups succeed and change the world.” – Eric Ries

MVP

Startups are regarded as masters of finding customer segment first and product second. Mvp stands for minimum value product. This means that instead of perfecting product or service for several months or even years and finding out that nobody wants it, you should release mvp as soon as possible with only the most crucial features. The product will not be very good but you will catch the attention of the early adapters and get valuable feedback.

This is something we think we do quite well in Tiimiakatemia especially after the first year because we usually just go to a customer with really crude plans regarding our service or product. However we usually fail and take the wrong track in what comes next.

Build, measure, learn

f0405

This is the build, measure, learn loop. It’s quite simple to understand:

  1. Build ideas into a product
  2. Measure how customers respond
  3. Learn to pivot or persevere
  4. All processes should be made to accelerate this loop

 

Like I wrote before we do excellent job at making products from ideas, but fail in measuring and learning. For example, our team is not good at segmenting. We should identify the early adopters in certain fields and contact them. What we tend to do is to make a product that we think is cool and then contact blindly these very old school companies that have no interest in developing their model.  Because of this, we don’t get much recognition from the customers. When someone gets interested we usually offer these tailored services that are done exactly like the customer wants. This is horrible for product development because the service is now tailored only for this one customer, which makes it impossible to multiply. We have to tailor the service again for every customer, which means that it never advances to next level.

This means that we only get data from very few sources and it’s almost always positive because the product was specifically tailored for them. Because of this we never learn to pivot our product to the right direction. Now when we try to take the project to the next level, it rarely works and not much is learned. We should never take the opinion of one customer as absolute truth because it most likely wont give good results.

Future

We think ourselves as innovative but in truth not much new is coming up from Tiimiakatemia. Only on the third year I am beginning to understand that idea is not innovation but only the first step towards it. Processes, management, measurement and all that other “boring” stuff  is what makes the difference.

What I got for myself from this book was a new way to look at things. I don’t want to go to customer visits anymore saying that we have these skills and asking if we could help you with something. Thats called working and I can do that whenever I want. I want to find people and contacts with similar values and interests and actually start developing new innovations to try on customers. I want to identify future fields of services and start experimenting. I want to stop working and start doing business. I have already taken the first steps toward this vision and you will surely hear more from me, the future looks bright. According to Ries success is inevitable.

Timo Kasurinen

Osuuskunta Mittava Innovations

+358 400 445 534

timo@mittava.fi

Keskustele artikkelista

1 kommentti to “The Lean Tiimiakatemia”

  1. Henry Vesin sanoo:

    Can’t wait to hear more from you and your business! 😉

Kirjoita kommentti

Kirjoita allaoleva koodi viereiseen kenttään roskapostin suodattamiseksi, kiitos!