Nick Norena (TriKlo LLC, Lean entrepreneur and coach)

The Lean Startup (Lean Innovation) is an approach focused on effective running startups and launching new products or services. The standard approach for “developing new things” is typically to write a business plan, pitch it to investors, assemble a team, introduce a product, and start selling as hard as you can. But it does not work for everybody, namely for startups. Simply it is too complicated, costly and long process for them.

Lean principles reduce risk

Methodology of “lean start-up” is less risky and it favors experimentation over strategic planning, customer feedback over intuition, and iterative, agile design over traditional project development and testing. The roots of the methodology are in Lean (developed by Toyota), where always speed and value have been dominant principles.

1-2-3: Build, Measure, Learn

The cookbook how to develop new products can be described into three phases: 1. Build, 2. Measure 3. Learn.  In the “Build phase”, the ideas are turned into products or services (now in form of hypothesis). The “Measure phase” tests the hypothesis, it means potential customers and users are asked for feedback (we call voice of customer). In the “Learn” phase we decide whether to pivot solution or persevere. For pilot development agile techniques are preferred to be fast and flexible during implementation.

Innovation Ecosystem

During our visit of Stanford University, we had a chance to discuss Lean startup approach with Nick Norena (TriKlo LLC, Lean entrepreneur and coach) who additionally explained us the importance to build appropriate Innovation Ecosystems. There are 7 success factors which need to be implemented and aligned together:

  1. Inspiration – A startup needs to find the right opportunity and still be inspired. Inspiration can be found from different sources like keynote speakers, conferences, inspiration events, co-working spaces…
  2. Sandbox – is a need to have a space where to innovate.
  3. Skills – Asking the right questions to customers, investors to be able develop new products, processes. Such skills need to be developed for most of startups via coaching, networking.
  4. Tools – which lower the costs of innovation for startup – cost for development (e.g. Techshop), cost for administration (co-working places, HUBs)
  5. Air support – Investors who can support capitalize development and invest capital
  6. Diplomats – somebody who puts people together, support startup by thoughts, ideas, support (not only capital)
  7. Network – to have a community to learn from and be inspired

This ecosystem needs to be continuously improved, which is another parallel with traditional Lean approach (called KAIZEN).