Monday, July 6, 2015

Dan LS1

  • Intro: The Lean Startup is a book about 21st century management.  How does building a FRC robot and running a FRC team run into the same challenges Eric Ries identified in modern businesses?  How is our FRC team a group of entrepreneurs?
             Both modern businesses and robot builders need to be able to build measure and learn (I cheated and read the second chapter before I did this :) ) and be able to quickly reiterate after learning.  Being able to quickly understand and improve what isn't optimal about your product and robot is very important.  An FRC team is very similar to entrepreneurs in the sense that you both work under great uncertainty under a short deadline, constantly trying to adapt to feedback of your product (the robot is a product) and improve it.
  • Chapter 1: What is productivity?  When building a FRC robot, what specifically is productivity?  Based on this definition, was our team productive during the last build season?
         Productivity is a relative gauge to how much work you have done to what was accomplished,
in an FRC team productivity is more centralized around focus, as efficiency in an FRC team will easily go down the fastest if focus is low.  I would say we were semi productive, definitely on the lower end, we got done what we needed to, but we could have been able to reiterate many things 1-3 more times and had a much more solid robot.
  • Chapter 3: What did IMVU assume to be true when they designed their product?  How did customers actually behave?  Was there a faster and cheaper way to learn the lesson they learned?
        They assumed that customers wanted the product they were creating and that customers wanted their real life friends on the product.  The customers actually wanted a product where they could easily meet new people and talk to them.  A fast cheaper way to learn would have been to set up an experiment to test what the customers wanted before they built in an indepth solution.

  • Chapter 3: What is something that we were unsure of last build season that we experimentally validated?  Was there a faster way to learn what we learned?
         Something we weren't sure about during the build season was whether or not we wanted extensions, we validated this by building a robot that can work with or without them, and testing it with both.  I think we should have built a test sooner rather than discussing it for over a week, as it would have allowed us to find other possible issues and moving forwards rather than what happened.

  • Chapter 4: Choose the Zappos, HP, Kodak, or Proctor & Gamble case study.  What assumptions did the Zappos founders make when they started their business?  How did they test their assumptions more efficiently than the IMVU team?
The Zappos founders assumed that people wanted to buy shoes online rather than going to a store which they found out was correct when they experimented.  They tested their assumption by taking pictures of shoes from a shoe store and if someone wanted to buy one they would buy it from a shoe store and ship them it. 

  • End with a summary of what you learned.
        In order to be successful you need to realize what needs priority as well as be able to understand the direction your product should be heading in, one good way of finding this is by running tests to find out what is best.

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