LeanStartupChallenge – Day 1

Lean Startup Challenge kicked off last Friday. After the first evening event with the intro pitching by each participating team (see My first 60 sec. pitch) thanks to sponsorship by Boston Globe, we had a workshop weekend. Saturday at Alphamark coworking.

Day one was Lean 101 by Brendan Kohler with a Lean Canvas exercise. It was a good overview of both the canvas and Lean Startup in general and good to work on the Canvas while being there and being able to ask questions/get feedbacks on thoughts.

So here is our Canvas from Day 1:

Lean Canvas - Day 1

And here our most riskiest assumptions:

  1. Problem exists – Do interview or market research!
  2. Customer Segments having this problem – Research? MVP and responses?
  3. Automated Solution fits market – MVP and responses?

Then it was Brian Gladstein on Customer Development (great slides!).

Based on this we worked out the following Hypothesis:

  • Customer
    • CEO
    • Magnitude: Big
    • Visionary: Yes
    • Day in life: Makes strategic decisions based on high-level data
    • Impacts: Whole Organization
    • ROI: Potentially big
    • Problem recognition: Yes
    • Minimum Feature Set: Google+, Visualizations, LDAP, Email, iteraplan
  • Product:
    • Features: Mail, Analysis, Visualization
    • Why?/Benefits: Analysis and Measurements to fix Organization
    • Schedule: Prototype End of October
    • IP: Algorithms, Prov. Patent, Trademark
    • TCO: Server, Admin, Orga, Consulting
    • Dependency: Other datasources (Email, LDAP, Social, iteraplan, …)
  • Distribution/Pricing
    • Distribution: SaaS or On-Premise
    • Sales Cycle: 6-9 months
  • Demand Creation
    • Web/Inbound
    • Cross-Selling from iteraplan
    • Partners?
    • Word of Mouth
    • Gartner/Forrester Analysts/Researchers
  • Type of Market
    • New Market?
    • Redefine existing Market?
  • Competition
    • Strategy Consultants
    • Data Scientist/Analytics in Corporations

Further Todos from the first day:

  1. Elaborate Customer:
    1. Personas
    2. Where they gather
    3. How to qualify
    4. Why they care/Problem Hypothesis
  2. Make a test plan:
    1. Which part of canvas?
    2. Who to test?
    3. How to reach?
    4. What is the test?
    5. Measure of success?

Mary-Alice Miller from mosaicHUB finished with some interesting Startup Resources.

That was the learning from Day 1 – Any feedback, help, pointers as always much appreciated. What are we missing? Who wants to help?

Posted in Agile, Collaboration, IT, startup, Visualization | Tagged | Leave a comment

My first 60 seconds pitch

This was my first pitch ever at the kickoff event of Lean Startup Challenge Boston:

We are SMART360°Biz.

We help organizations to know how they REALLY work.

By combining organizational structures (e.g. value chain, Process Map, IT Structures, …) with actual communication data like email and social collaboration tools.

This Enterprise Social Graph identifies cross-functional communication, best-practices and communication costs.

This helps organizations to align them with their strategy, improve processes and get more productive.

Let’s put the people back at the heart of our organizations!

Your thoughts? Feedback?

Posted in Collaboration, IT, startup | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Data Science will disrupt Strategy Consulting

I think Data Science will (partly) disrupt Strategy Consulting.

As I was thinking about the impact, benefit and pricing of my new venture with SMART360°Biz and the Enterprise Social Graph (which I am currently validating through the LeanStartupChallenge), it struck me:

  • We reduce the requirement from 10 Strategy Consultants to 1
  • We help customers see the missmatch of their current organization and their strategy
  • Through the use of data/visualizations based on graphs of their organization
  • Algorithmic findings/patterns
  • Recommendations help your organization to continously adapt and therefore reduce costs and risk of big change programms done by Strategy Consultants
  • … plus many more ideas.

And just as I found this to be a great pricing pitch, I stumbled upon this posting from Thomas on “Can data science disrupt strategy consulting?“.

So I said yes, what is your thought?

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What your EA Stakeholders do not care about

This is a list of things your EA Stakeholders do not care about. I always have to retell myself as well as tell clients:

  1. Business doesn’t care how clean your IT architecture is.
  2. Your stakeholders don’t care how long you spent on creating a report/diagram.
  3. Your stakeholders don’t care whose fault the problems are.
  4. Your stakeholders don’t care how great it will be once all the data is in the EA tool.
  5. EA stakeholders/Business/CIOs don’t care about how important this is to you.
  6. Your stakeholders don’t care what you think they should be interested in.
  7. Your stakeholders don’t care how amazing the next year will be after you completed all this data gathering.
  8. Your stakeholders don’t care what you expected or were promised (by a tool vendor/consultants).
  9. Your stakeholders don’t care how important this is to you.
  10. Your stakeholders don’t care how hard it was to get something run through an EARB (EA Review Board).
  11. Your stakeholders don’t care how easy it is for you to use this EA Tool.

Most of it is obvious and clear, but it still is worthwhile to be reminded of it and incorporate it into daily actions.

And you can always extend them, e.g.

  • Business doesn’t care how clean your IT architecture is, but how fast you can change something.

– Copy from what I blogged for SMART360°Biz.

Posted in Collaboration, EnterpriseArchitecture, Tip | Tagged | 2 Comments

Lean Startup Challenge – Accepted

My application to Lean Startup Challenge got accepted!

So the next six weeks will be super busy, but I am glad that my concept of enterprise social graph is getting traction and I am looking forward to test it the lean way and learn and build a great business model for it.

If you are into collaboration, visualization and enterprise and want to be part of something new, contact me via Twitter @kvoges or via SMART360°Biz.

Posted in Agile, Collaboration, development, EnterpriseArchitecture, IT, startup, Visualization | 1 Comment

Boston Startup Community

It is great to be in Boston. I just love it. Besides all the benefits of the city itself (right size, culture, sport, nature, climate, time zone for business in US and Europe, Education, …) there are a couple of startup features which I like:

  • Companies/Ecosystem
  • Smart People – Many colleges/universities
  • Close to lot’s of possible clients if you are focussing on classical industries or consumers in short travel distance and within same timezone – as opposed to the west-coast – which lacks traditional industries 🙂
  • So far I think it is a great place to be for a startup. Will follow up on some of my adventures here in a next post.

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    Relationship based visualizations in EA

    Why are clusters, graphs and other relations so popular in EA?

    Very common in Enterprise Architecture are relationship based visualizations. This is in contrast to many other management disciplines.
    Most other management visualizations often come down to some sort of number visualization, being it Bar-Chart, Pie-Charts or others.
    So why is the EA world so interested in the relationship based visualizations?

    Maybe it is because EA main effort as well as many benefits are in relating very different data areas in an organization to each other, e.g. Apps on Servers, Apps in Business Processes, Data Object in Organizational Context, …
    Because these relationship are so new to have for many organizations, most and most common visualizations always are relationship based.

    Examples of relationship based visualizations

    Example of relationship based visualizations are:

    • Cluster
    • Landscape
    • Graphs
    Tree Diagram
    Hierarchical-Tree or Relation-Tree

    We will look into them in more details in a follow up post.

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    My profile is getting American

    Just recognized today, that most of my LinkedIn profile viewers are from the USA:

    LinkedIn Profile Viewers

    LinkedIn Profile Viewers

    Ok, it is LinkedIn, whereas everybody in Germany uses XING, and I still have more contacts at XING than LinkedIn (522:471). Yet interesting to see where current business is 🙂

    Posted in IT, Visualization | Leave a comment

    Enterprise Architecture is like Going Green

    Starting with Enterprise Architecture is like Going Green:

    1. You will replace things that are working – but the replacement is better
    2. You will change gradually – as interdependencies are HUGE
    3. It is a long term commitment – maybe with some quick wins, but mostly long ROIs times
    4. It is the right thing to do
    5. Europe is way ahead 🙂

    This resulted from a great lunch discussion today with someone from Gartner, talking about the differences between Europe and North America regarding the adoption of Enterprise Architecture and EA Tools and why Europe is so strong in EA.

    Posted in EnterpriseArchitecture, Tip | Leave a comment

    Get a consulting call with me via clarity.fm

    Get a consulting call with me via clarity.fm. Easy to use tool, great way to benefit from my expertise for a low price and low volume.


    Posted in IT, startup | Leave a comment