The core of Lean Startup: experimentation
As I wrote before, the idea of focusing my research on a method (Lean Startup) that could fade out in the following years bothered me. Of course, it is the nature of science to get dated: new theories are always developed to tackle the problems of the previous. If even the Newton’s mechanics was proved a simplification by Einstein’s relativistic mechanics, who am I? But I wanted to focus on something deeper than a method. And I found it still on my first year of PhD.
When I started this series of posts about my PhD I claimed that I would try to follow almost a chronological line. I’ve imagined that I would need to come back once in a while to talk about some other important things that happened in parallel. And, I have to say, a PhD process is like that. It is not a linear thing that you have a plan from the beginning and you do it accordingly. There are several detours, cycles, re-routing, and so on. Anyway, I don’t want to say something strictly regarding my PhD in this post but something I learned in the first months.
MVP should be about learning not doing
If there is one word that became universal among doers in this ending decade is MVP. Although this acronym for Minimum Viable Product was first coined by Frank Robinson in 2001, Eric Ries made it famous by making it a core concept in the Lean Startup methodology from its homonym book published in 2011.
A first study on students
While I was struggling with my main line of research, I observed an interesting fact with students taking Lean Startup courses. Although they were in a course that focused on customer feedback and prototyping, they still concentrated on developing the best product. This seemed a contradiction to me.
First external feedback and theoretical contribution
I would say that my participation in these two events, the XP Doctoral Symposium and NITIM summer school, was a turning point in my PhD. I summarize my learnings in two key points: one more related to my research in particular and the other, although also linked to what I was doing, more general.