What can we learn from The Lean Startup

I was listening to Eric Ries The Lean Startup with the subtitle How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses, last week.


I have not thought myself as a startup where the thoughts from the book could apply. In my definition a startup create a product/service to put into the market and is a team to deliver this work. I’m just a single person working on a bunch of different ideas. I’m working on software and information products to the SAP market.

The way Eric defines a Startup is:

    A startup is a human institution designed to create a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty.

In this context I am a startup and I can see that the contexts and ideas apply much more to me. I do work under conditions of extreme uncertainty. I’m not really sure how I can make sure to sell my product and services. I know that it is possible, but I need to find the solution to really expand the market.

One probably more important aspect is the ability to measure how we are doing. For the startup to be successful and compete with big companies, they need to be learning at a much faster pace. The only way to be a better learner is to have ability to measure what works and what does not work.

I have always known that it is a good thing to make A/B testing of website or other solutions that you put into the market. Also look at the number of visitors on your website and see what makes everything convert. It take consistent practice to be sure that you follow up on the areas. But it is one of the things that often are not done. It is a bit too complicated and you don’t know what the result means.

What was your take aways from the book.

 

Book review: The SAP Consultant Handbook

I have been reading “The SAP Consultant Handbook” by Jon Reed and Michael Doane on my flight home from San Diego. It is a nice short book about how it is to be a part of the SAP eco system.

It is always nice to be reconfirmed in some of the ideas you have, of what you see the business you are in. The book is old from 1999 and updated in 2004. A lot of things have happened in the SAP field over the last years.

The book goes into details with all the different aspect of how you can approach the SAP marked either as a consultant or as an end user. The premise for those has not changed over the years. So it is the same type of decisions you will have to make today. In that perspective I think it is a killer book for everybody how wants to move into the SAP field.

There is a nice way of balancing what to do in some situations, should you take a higher paying job to work with older systems or getting the job that makes you travel.

One issue I have been seeing is that people may not have the long term for what they want to do in the business. They just have a job and like or don’t like it. The long term vision is important when you are selecting the job and when you have to select if you want to move.

One interesting thing the is

The Catch-22 of SAP: there are not enough trained consultants because those who have training are consulting and none of them are teaching.

It makes it really hard for new people to enter the space and make sure that companies are getting more qualified jobs.

One of the reasons is that it is either a job as a trainer or as an implementer. This means that you do not get the information for people how really do the implementation. It would be nice if it was possible for some of the top implementers/specialists to be able to deliver content they know.

 

 

Personal Kanban Mapping work | Navigating Life

Personal Kanban Mapping work | Navigating Life by Jim Benson and Torianne DeMaria Berry.

i have an interest in lean or agile development , be cause it gives great opportunities for making improvments in a place where you don’t have fixed processes. Kanban is one of the principles related to ie scrum. It is a little different how you are visulatizing the data.

 

Personal Kanban is about visualizing the work you are doing so you are able to handle it. I think the kanban part is really important because it gives some great options for users. This is normally done on a board of some part.

 

An important part is to limit your Work in progress (WIP). This is all the task that you are currently working on in any way. If you can reduce the number of distinct items you are working on at any one point you have more mental capacity and it will be easier to handle the different work items.

 

With the visualisation you will be able to see what your throughput is and how long time it takes to handle any one task.

 

We are dealing with the real world, so it is not always that we are able to block everything off and just work on what we want. A good example is now when I was just interrupted by a Text message that I choose to react to. It could be import, but it was not.

Personally we often get stuck in the state over complication, where we make everything way to complicated to handle.

The goal is to have task that are pulled, where you as a person decide which one to use. Push is just to take the first thing in the inbox and react on it.

A list programmer is most often superior because they take the time to know why they are building the software in the first place. This gives some clarity and makes it more compelling to workon. I guess that it is something like building a wall or a cathedral. The clarity helps with giving growth.

I you cannot see the work it is uncontrolled and we should never do more work than we can handle. I guess that it is an important part that we are able to know what we can do and not do more.

Currently I think I have too many tasks on that I’m working on to be successful with it. I know that it is difficult to say no to projects whey they are there and you think it is good for you.

The last thing is the POMODORO principle where you are focusing on some work for 25 minutes and then take 5 mintus of. This will help build your focus and make sure that you can get much longer in your progress. It is a really difficult discipline to use and it requires a lot of self control. It is so nice and much easier to work on other peoples projects than our own.

I’m currently reading about how to use normal Kanban in product development.

I did like the book it gave an overview of what kanban is about and the importace of stopping with all the work that you are doing.

Great by choice by Jim Collins and Morten Hansen

 

Great by choice by Jim Collins and Morten Hansen

 

This book is the sequel to Build to last and Good to Great. It is also a research focus book, where they are comparing a bunch of different companies of different perspectives. The book validates the principles of the previous books.

They have found 10 different companies and have compared how they are performing compared to other companies in similarly niches.

 

They companies they have selected did a lot better. And they introduced the concept 10 x companies to identify the behavior of the better performing companies.

 

The things they are finding the companies are doing better are the following.

  • They are performing constituent. They don’t grow because they thing the market can bare it. They strive for a 20 mile walk everyday to make sure that people are not getting too tired have something to go for. This is like Southwestern which only open a few new routes every year. For every year they have started new routes.
  • They try to experiment with something. Shoot bullets and when they find something where they can excel in they do the bet for it. They need to have the time to bet on next big and work on solving the problems.
  • Innovate but still keep the old ideas that work. Know when to kill the products.
  • Have a deadline, for when the product can no loger be used or when something should be done before. If we cannot make it to the top today, we have to turn around.
  • Luck there does not seem to be any indication on if one or the other part is doing any bether. They seem to have been gotten the same number of luck. The difference is that the 10x was able to use the unluck to propel them forwards.
  • They are Specific Methodolical and consistent (SMaC ) with their content. It makes a difference in the way to are able to communicate. It could be like the bill of rights where they have a clear understanding of what will work in the future.

 

To contain the presentation they are using a framework. It does make it a bit more clear on what they are doing and how things will be explained.

 

 

One thing I like about the book is there is some questions that you can ask your self at the end of each section on how this apply to my organization. This really helps and makes it much more interesting to read. The questions give a sense that there is something that I’m cheating when I don’t answer the questions.

 

There is also use of explores to show how the ideas works for them. It could be the comparison between Scott and Amundsen South Pole journey. They use a lot of the same principles as the 10x companies.

Steve Jobs biografi af Walter Issacsons

Mine ideer fra Steve Jobs biografi.

Den integererede løsningen vil være lagt bedre, da man herved har mudlighed for at kontrolere end 2 end. Det var stor fokus på hvilke approach der var bedst.

Man skal fokusere på nogle enkle løsninger, og ikke forsøge at komme rundt om alle de mulige ting som man kan lave. selv en stor virksomhed som apple har kun mulighed for at fokusere på et begrænset antal områder. Det skal man hjælpe med at håndtere og vælge de områder der giver mest emnign.

Man skal have en ærlig virksomhedskultur, hvor folk er istand til at arbejde sammen om at komme frem til nogle løsninger. Det gjorde Steve ved at fortælle sig mening. Det kan lyde meget hårdt at komme med de udtagelser, og folk er ikke glade for dem når det sker. Men efterfølgende skulle de virke meget godt.

Han virkede heller ikke så sympatisk den måde han reagerede på over for folk. MEn det er nok hans måde at sige at det skal være bedre den måde tingene køre på.

Han har forstået at få det rigtige team omkring sig, og det er en del af successen at kunne få de folk til at hjælpe med at drive virksomheden.

Han havde et fokus på at han skulle være en kunstser, og ikke ingenør. Der er en forskel i hvad det er for product det giver. Kunsteren vil have det skal være pænt og estitikken skal være god. Engineøren vil have noget der er nemt og billigt at producere. Det giver forskellige produkter.

Man skal nok også huske at vi alle skal dø og derfor bliver vi nødt til at fokusre på at lave noget der giver en legacy. Hvordan kan jeg sørge for at få lavet noget.

Vi står alle på skulderne af giganter. Vi bruger noget som andre har valgt at lave til os,som vi bliver nød til at bruge, hvis vi vil frem i verden. Giv dem kredit.

MAn skal måske ikke være så generet og ikke ville spørge folk som er på andre niveauer end en selv. Jobs ringede til HP direktør da han var lille. Det samme er muligt i andre sammenhæng.

Book of the week: SAP Netweaver PI – Development 2nd

This week’s book a rather technical book about how to develop in SAP PI.

The book is SAP NetWeaver PI Development: Practical Guide by Valentin Nicolescu et al

 

I wanted to talk some more about the book, so I have created a video that you can see here.

Book review Millionaire Upgrade

I was listing to Richard Parkes Cordocks book Millionare Upgrade. It is a quite interesting book.

It is a story about a man sitting beside a successful entrepreneur in a plane ride. During the course of the flight the successful entrepreneur tell his story on how to become successful. It is some quite valuable lessons. I guess I have heard most of them before, but the idea of placing them so close together is quite interesting. It is a god way to put them all together.

One framework used in the book is to tie everything together is the phrase:

I BELIEVE

This is composed of

  • I Believe in my self
  • Be passionate and wanted, so you are totally motivated to get your goals
  • Lies and luck don’t work. Luck is the cross road of opportunities
  • Installing goals. They should be written down
  • Enjoy hard work; you have to want to work because you just love it.
  • Very Very Persistent, just have to keep the nose in the rill.
  • Expect failure. There will be mistakes and you have to be able to stop projects

Then there is team work to get everything to work. You need to be able to get people to work together.

Free From Corporate America

I just finished reading Free from Corporate America by Jon Reed (@jonerp). Subtitle: “A tactical guide to success on your own terms”. I purchased it a while ago, but it was first now I got time to read it. It is defiantly worth a read.

The book emphasize that we all must have a way to make us less venerable to be fired from our jobs. The process is a bit more long term and helps identify that you need to create some way to brand yourself in a way that will allow you to create extra income.

The book is something in the lines of Timothy Ferris 4 Hour Work Week. It is the same base assumption on creating a secondary goal. 4 hour work week is a bit more focus on creating products and a vision to get a way. Free from corporate America is more focus on creating products and finances them.

Jon is telling his story on how he is building is brand and creating assets. It contains some detailed instructions on how and when to create your new assets.

One thing I would have loved to see more of in the book was Jon’s ideas on how SAP consultants, a way that freelancers could leverage their knowledge better.

It is inspiring to hear that other people have success in the cooperate work with creating their own brands and assets. The persistence is the key; you can create a book with just 3 hours a week for 3 years. It means that everybody can become an expert in something.

One cool word I learned is Aficionado. An aficionado is an expert in something that other people really don’t care about and is not something that can bring in money.

If you buy from the links on Amazon, I’ll make a few cents on the books.