Lean Out Loud

by PJ Christie

In the second installment of Lean out Loud, I back up to take a look at a concept I’ve created that I hope will help us fill a valuable hole in the Austin startup community, the Lean Dialog. I’m picturing a folded book or handout that acts as a conversation starter.

Have you ever seen a Lean Canvas?
Lean Canvas_blk
The book is a great place to start for understanding product market fit.

Two months ago, here’s what I thought the problem was:

1. People are building web applications that don’t make money
2. People are building products based on false assumptions
3. People are wasting time and money building websites nobody wants because of those false assumptions

Wow. It really shows a lot about where my head was at at the time. But it really doesn’t speak to the problems I am having defining Leanufacture and getting our first client. But here’s what I have seen in the first two months:

Two entrepreneurs know their target market better than we do, and while they are willing to spend money on software and a website, they were not willing to pay my team and I to perform market research, provide communications, or assist with any branding or design.

A third is targeting many different niches but not ready to allow me to provide any help with the promotion of their product or definition over the benefit to their many markets.

It’s discouraging. Because their problem is my problem. We are building a program that doesn’t make any money. We are under the false assumption that someone will pay us for the program. And we are wasting time and money building a program nobody wants because of those false assumptions.

Back to the drawing board. Whatever their problems are, our problems are the same. So I’m going to Lean out Loud and see if we can figure this out.

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