Lean Entrepreneur talk with Brant Cooper

Brant Cooper in Helsinki

As an entrepreneur, I have grown a great interest towards the LEAN -methodology. In result of my curiosity as well as some help from the social networks, I had the pleasure of meeting the NYT bestselling author, Mr. Lean himself, Brant Cooper. 

Let me try express my experience: IT WAS AMAZING. So a big'ol thanks to Brant and his team for making this possible!

.. And thanks to HUB13 for hosting the event! 

The Full LEAN talk from Brant Cooper

Few of my take-aways

1. "Myth of the visionaries" 

Whenever we see something disruptive enter the market, we automatically say "He / She is such a visionary". There are no such thing as a visionary. The answer is simple: The true "visionaries" are the people who question the status quo. They are the people who look at the market, question the current solutions, craft a solution to an existing problem, and then position themselves correctly to gain the deserved market interest. 

This is tedious work, as it takes research, crafting an executable idea, round after round of iteration, and then successful entry into the market. 

“The best way to deal with uncertainty is to run an experiment”
— Brant Cooper

2. Falling into the trap of execution

When running a startup, we somewhat naturally think about what roles we need to "fill" to to legitimise our company, i.e. assigning inflated titles. Once your business continues to grow, there will be a point when you say, "We should hire a VP of marketing. Someone who knows the field". Be careful of this moment, because it's when you can fall into the trap of execution

What's the problem? Well, the newly hired VP will do marketing like he / she has always done it. Since your company is trying to enter the market with a disruptive idea, the traditional approach might not (with strong likelihood) work for your product.

Instead, look at it this way: Form a problem team and a solution team. The problem team's job is to find all the obstacles (like marketing and finding the right clients) which keep you from entering the market successfully. The solution team then starts to work on these problems and, by running experiments and analysing the outcomes, they form an executable plan or a strategy. It's okay to hire a marketing professional into the solution team, but to have him dictate the methods would not be a smart move.

“You should never stop discovering and validating.”
— Brant Cooper

3. Interested in success - Aim for passion

Normally, we entrepreneurs, aim to satisfy the customers. To build a long, sustaining business, you should aim to create passion. This is one notch beyond satisfaction. 

To create passion, you have to look beyond your product. Sometimes the product might be the source of passion, but other times, the passion might come from the user experience or the packaging. 

The reason you want to create passion is this: The passionate people get others around them to the awareness stage without you having to spend a dime on marketing! Simple but, oh so, effective. 

This simply results in organic growth without any effort from you or your marketing! 

“Marketing should only amplify the buzz that your product is creating, and not create the buzz itself”
— Brant Cooper

I hope you found my take-aways insightful. If you want to learn more about building your business, listen to the whole talk with Brant Cooper. 

What was your best take-away? Share it in the comments or tweet it with #JBlogs