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Lean Start Up Lessons I have Learned and Applied

By Pavan Katepalli
Leanstartup

Image taken from http://www.rodamarketing.com

What does it mean to go lean?

Going lean means to minimize your product

as much as possible

to the point where you can solve your customer’s problem with your solution and get the maximum amount of customer feedback

with the minimum product possible.

Ideally if you can solve your customer’s problem with very little technology, very little user interface and very little design

then do it.

I wish I did that for my first start up, MyFitSolution.com

But instead I took the MBA strategy. I wrote a long business plan, took surveys, made a list of features a mile long and outsourced it all.

How going lean could have helped me with my first start up

MyFitSolution.com was my first start up.

The purpose was to connect amateur fitness gurus with fitness beginners in the gym

and let them manage their work out sessions on MyFitSolution.com.

The beginners pay MyFitSolution to be able to connect to these amateur fitness gurus.

The majority of the fee would go to the amateur fitness gurus.

Instead of spending a year

  • writing a business plan for MyFitSolution
  • months raising capital
  • a year doing the wire frames and development

We could have set up two html forms and had amateur fitness people fill one out and beginners fill out the other

then my partner and I could have manually connected both those people together by calling them up and emailing them.

Then we could have kept doing this until we understood the process.

After showing this process to technical people, we could have made a simple web platform around this already working process.

Going lean could have saved us a lot of time, money, head ache and put us on the fast track to success.

How I’m taking the Lean start up approach with BloggersCompete

BloggersCompete lets advertisers connect to bloggers by launching blog post contests.

Bloggers get paid whether they win or lose by participating in these contests and bloggers also get their blogs promoted to a larger audience for free.

Advertisers get higher search engine rankings for their chosen keyword phrases from the links they get from the blog posts.

In addition, Advertisers get targeted traffic, branding, buzz and an increased Google Page Rank.

For BloggersCompete, I didn’t write a business plan or make complicated financial forecasts, but only focused on building a very minimalistic product that fixed my target customer’s problem with a direct solution.

After I figured out how the site should work, I talked to as many people as I could about the idea.

After that, I made a basic wireframe for the website, hired a user interface/graphic design person to make the html/css/graphic design pages of the website, and then took those pages along with a product back log to a PHP developer to turn them into a live working website.

While my developer built the product, I constantly showed the product to potential customers and asked for their feedback so that I could validate my solution to their problem.

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  • Hey Sayanaël I’m glad the post helped you out! I switched from windows to mac and then mac to ubuntu, so I forget how to refresh wamp. Do you pull up the wamp menu and click on refresh?

    Pavan in Cake PHP 2.2.1 Installation Errors
  • Thanks for this solution ! After hours browsing internet, your solution work just fine ! P.S: You don’t have to restart wamp, just refresh it.

    Sayanaël in Cake PHP 2.2.1 Installation Errors
  • Great article Pavan! Hopefully I can use a lot of these tips to further my own coding experience.

    Joe in How I Learned to Code For My Start Up

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