TL;DR: Brant Cooper & I have a new book coming soon. Go buy The Lean Entrepreneur AppSumo Bundle while you can. It is 96% off, has a bunch of apps + pre-order of The Lean Entrepreneur.
It has been too long since I last blogged. This blog post will update you as to what Brant Cooper and I have been up to for the last few months, namely: finishing our new book, The Lean Entrepreneur.
We’re excited about The Lean Entrepreneur. It is a wholly new book that takes what we wrote about in The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development to another level, demonstrates the application of Lean Startup-like thinking in anywhere one desires innovation: social entrepreneurship, automotive manufacturing (ironic, right?), tech startups, music and artist development, and finance and investing, to name a few.
All of that, in it and of itself, is deeply interesting. But what we are most excited to cover in the book is the context and landscape of Lean Startup thinking.
Many a time, Brant and I have asked ourselves, “Why Lean Startup now? Why not 10 years ago? Or even 50 years ago?” The answers to those questions are explained by the coming social, economic and cultural sea changes we are rushing into headlong…whether we like it or not.
Think of yourself sitting on surfboard a hundred yards offshore, and a set of massive waves are visible on the horizon as they build towards the shore.
These waves are powered by the mobile internet and mobile devices, by the read/write digital fabrication technologies such as 3D scanning/3D printing, by “cultural technologies” such as crowdfunding, crowdsourcing and of course, by *Lean Startup-like methods themselves.
Currently mid-2012, we have only begun to feel the power of these disruptive waves. And when they start to converge upon the shore, suffice to say, we will be living in interesting times.
In the Lean Entrepreneur, we interview amazing entrepreneurs who are living in this future, and are kind enough to report back to us.
But back to the you on your surfboard – you have two choices:
1) You can paddle back to shore and build a fortification to protect yourself. (Think music labels in the last +10 years or so)
2) You can swallow hard, paddle farther outside (ie away from shore) and position your board and yourself to surf. (Think Lean Entrepreneurs)
If you choose 1) — you will be obliterated and washed away. Maybe not immediately, but certainly very soon. And when you do, it will be ugly; kicking and screaming the whole way.
Let me give you a contemporary example:
Entrepreneurial education (and education as we now know it) has just begun to feel the cold spray of this wave, and entrenched stakeholders aren’t happy about it. Direct competition like MIT OCW, New.edu, Udacity, Udemy and other learning platforms are going to displace traditional education. Moreover, hackathons like Lean Startup Machine and Startup Weekend are also disrupting entrepreneurial education. As are incubators — incubators aren’t just at the bottom of the investment ladder but also they are the top of the education ladder. Why go into debt for MBA, when someone will pay you to take a crack at a startup?.
Online learning platforms, hackathons, incubators are all initiatives that are surfing these waves, ie they have chosen 2). Now, listen for the unsheathing of the knives as those (eg student-debt-financial-industrial complex, tenured faculty, textbook publishers etc etc) in their fortifications find themselves about to be washed away.
Personally, I am very bullish about the prospects of unlocking human capital and creativity globally vis-a-vis this sort of disruption in education. This will make the world a better place, but the transition to this will be painful.
Now back to you: WHO are you? Where are you relative to these coming waves? Are you paddling out into deeper waters? Or are you scrambling to get to shore?
BUT TODAY you should get go buy The Lean Entrepreneur AppSumo Bundle while you can. It is 96% off, has a bunch of apps + pre-order of The Lean Entrepreneur.
*Yes, that is an argument for endogenous effects.