A Core Formula for Agile B2C Statrups
Colleague Chris Sterling drew my attention to a Pivotal Labs talk by Nathaniel Talbott on Experiment-Driven Development (EDD). It is a forward-looking think piece, focused on development helping the business make decisions based on actual A/B Testing data. Basically, EDD to the business is like TDD to development.
Between this talk and a recent discussion with Columbia’s Yechiam Yemini on his Principle of Innovation and Entrepreneurship course, a core “formula” for Agile B2C startups emerges:
- Identify a business process P
- Create a minimum viable Internet service S to support P
- Apply EDD to S on just about any feature decision of significance
This core formula can be easily refined and extended. For example:
- Criteria for choosing P could/should be established
- Other kinds of testing (in addition to or instead of A/B testing) could be done
- A customer development layer could be added to the formula
- Many others…
By following this formula a startup can implement the Agile Triangle depicted below in a meaningful manner. Value is validated – it is determined based on real customer feedback rather than through conjectures, speculations or ego trips.
Figure 1 – The Agile Triangle (based on Figure 1-3 in Jim Highsmith‘s Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Products)
The quip “The voice of the people is the voice of God” has long been a tenet of musicians. The “formula” described above enables the Agile B2C startup to capture the voice of the people and thoughtfully act on it to accomplish business results.