The Lean Startup: Part 3 (Accelerate)

In the final section, we zoom out to the larger robotics program and how we work as a team.  We will look at batch size, engines of growth, and root cause analysis.

Choose five questions below that you find interesting.  Copy and paste these five questions into a new blog post.  As you read chapters 9-11, write your response to each question below the question.  At the bottom of the post, summarize what you learned.  Tag the post with "LS3".  When finished, write a comment on two other people's posts (you may need to wait a couple days).  You do NOT need to read chapters 12-13 unless interested.

  • Chapter 9: The chapter starts with an example of stuffing envelopes in large vs. small batches.  For what reasons does Ries say the small batches are more efficient?
  • Chapter 9: "Hardware becoming software", "Fast production changes", and "Rapid prototyping tools" are all things that could help us build a robot more quickly.  Give an example of each of these 3 that we could do.
  • Chapter 9: Both small batch examples (SGW and School of One) should feel somewhat familiar as roboticists and as students.  What do you see in these stories that we don't use at school / in robotics?
  • Chapter 10: Shift your focus from building robots to growing our team of students, mentors, parents, and sponsors.  What is our team's engine of growth?
  • Chapter 10: We also lose people (students, mentors, parents, and sponsors).  What things cause this to happen?  Which of these can we control?
  • Chapter 11: Explain the purpose of the "Five Whys" technique for root cause analysis.
  • Chapter 11: Explain what Ries means by the "Five Blames".  What things help prevent root cause analysis from turning into a blame game?  What is the role of the "Five Whys Master"?
  • Overall: Let's say our build team's customer is the drive team.  Our design process usually involves creating and perfecting the robot as much as possible before giving the customer a couple days to use our product (and virtually no time to suggest changes after use).  What could we do to get our customer some kind of product sooner?  How could we learn from our customer and use their feedback in the design?
  • End with a summary of what you learned.