Intuit the value of validating business ideas

Intuit the value of validating business ideas

On October 8 at 10a PT, join us for a webcast, Bringing Lean Startup to Established Companies.

Eric will speak with Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits, both authors and entrepreneurs who have served as advisers to large companies, including many on the Fortune 100.

You want to apply Lean Startup methods at your company, but your boss is used to being the decision-maker and is resistant to the concept of testing ideas.

Or, you are the boss, and your team is afraid of or unwilling to try new methods.

This kind of gap between leaders and teams is common at all sorts of companies.

But it’s particularly prevalent at established companies, where hierarchy tends to inform more of the action.

To take just one example: Carol Howe, Intuit’s Senior Product Manager, spoke about the way her team created Turbo Tax Snap Tax.

In addition, we’re offering a Lean Startup Conference discount for corporate teams; details below.

We explored Lean Startup in the enterprise through a number of talks at last year’s conference.

One of our favorites was a panel led by Intuit co-founder Scott Cook, who spoke about the change in leadership required at his company when he decided to implement Lean Startup methods after meeting Eric in 2009.

As Carol described, the app was a huge success — but, “this was not where we started nor what we intended to build.” The original plan was for an app to allow photographing tax documents that users would then need to enter into their standard, web-based version of Turbo Tax.

His challenge was, as he put it, “Converting Intuit to run on Lean Startup principles by converting Intuit to be a network of lean startups.” This transition required changing both how decisions were made in the company and how leaders behaved, moving away from what Scott vividly described as decision-making by “politics, Power Point and persuasion,” and “the conventional, the consensus, and the commonplace.” In this discussion, Scott identified four things leaders have to do in an established company in order to “enable decision-making based on the best ideas that can be validated in the marketplace.” These were: setting the grand challenge; installing the systems and culture that enable people, even junior people, to be able to run fast experiments to achieve that challenge; pulling insights from those experiments, no matter whether they succeeded or failed; and living by the same rules and the same discipline as the rest of the team.

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Each of these four elements of what we might term Lean Startup Leadership was addressed by a different Intuit team leader (the video here shows them all).

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