Since we interviewed the book’s author Jake Knapp, the book has continued to do well in sales. It is a quick read and has a lot of good insights. Quick iteration to test out business ideas is definitely in vogue. The ideas of Steve Blanc “get out of the building”, and Eric Ries “The Lean Startup“ have become widely adopted world wide.
Here in Ireland these concepts have been embraced by the UCD Innovation Academy and the Digital Skills Academy among others. Both of these colleges in their own different ways are taking the message out to potential entrepreneurs far and wide across Ireland and further afield. The book celebrates it’s constraints, particularly only allowing 5 days for the whole cycle. While this may seem extremely short to some long time product developers, the fast turn around time does allow for potentially avoiding some costly mistakes on projects that never really find the right market for their products.
As Ireland experiences a startup boom, in a wide range areas, from IoT, to hardware, to food, to biotech and much more, these principles are important. The sprint cycle also includes the non negotiable concept of actually getting real customer feedback, and not just the three F’s (friends, fools and family). This is generally the bit that entrepreneurs and developers hate doing, or are the least enthusiastic about.
Critics might say that none of the concepts in the book on their own are unique and many have been around for a while. However by bringing them all together into one place, and well packaged and presented, it does provide a useful resource that could become very well thumbed over time. Knapp is clear, that in his role as a Google Ventures investor it was a clear case of enlightened self interest – to protect the value of their investments.
That is exactly why we do sprints with the companies in our portfolio. As investors, we want to help them take bigger risks, try more ideas, and better understand their customers. All those things happen in a sprint.
It’s a helpful resource and the price of it might save you and your company a whole lot more pain in the long run if you act on the principles outlined in it.
For more details about the book and to buy it see here.