By December 10, 2013 3 Comments Read More →

Notes from Day 1 of the #LeanStartup Conference 2013

IMG_5109It was an amazing first day of the Lean Startup conference yesterday in San Francisco. Videos will be available online soon, but for now I can share some notes I took during the main stage sessions in this Google Doc  (or download as a PDF).

This blog also has summaries  of many of the talks.

Some of the highlights:

  • Toyota had two engineers (pictured at left) talk about their use of Lean Startup methods to help develop a new dashboard mobile entertainment system, including their admission that their team in Mountain View, CA had never talked to customers before.
  • Brian Frezza of Emerald Therapeutics talked about using Lean Startup concepts to improve a biotech research process for new medications
  • Robin Chase‘s story about the original “minimum viable product” for ZipCar (one car parked in front of her house with keys on her porch)
  • How GE is embracing Lean Startup concepts in the design and manufacturing of new products
  • Other examples from non-profit organizations and government initiatives

I will write some longer blog posts about some of these talks soon.

I think my breakout session talk on continuous improvement went well. I’ll consider it a success if I hear people from startups utilizing Kaizen methods in their organizations (and hopefully we’ll hear reports of this at next year’s conference, if not sooner).

lean startup graban

Some tweets that encapsulated some key points, thanks to those who shared:

#leanstartup words of wisdom via @MarkGraban : To get to continuous improvement, get ur team to refuse to ever be happy w where they are.

Keeping things visible and transparent engages people to work together to solve the problem(s) – @markgraban #LeanStartup #hcldr #mHealth13

“It’s hard to build culture of continuous improvement when people have been asked to check their brain at the door” @MarkGraban #LeanStartup

“Keeping things visible and transparent engages people to work together to solve the problem(s)” @markgraban at #LeanStartup

.@markgraban “We don’t get results by enforcing best practices on people, but by creating engaged people.” #LeanStartup cc @unbounce

I’ll be taking more notes tomorrow, including John Shook‘s talk on changing the culture at NUMMI. Should be, again, an exciting day.


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Mark Graban's passion is creating a better, safer, more cost effective healthcare system for patients and better workplaces for all. Mark is a consultant, author, and speaker in the "Lean healthcare" methodology. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent project is an eBook titled Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus.

3 Comments on "Notes from Day 1 of the #LeanStartup Conference 2013"

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  1. Sean Murphy says:

    Mark, I included a link to this post and the PDF (which is quite extensive, thank you) in my roundup of Lean Startup Conference 2013 blogs and articles at http://www.skmurphy.com/blog/2013/12/14/lean-startup-conference-2013-roundup/ I will continue to update it through about mid-January as others post their notes, reactions, and analysis.

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