Lean UX at Startup Lessons Learned

This week I had the pleasure of speaking about UX at Eric Ries’ Startup Lessons Learned Conference. The event is at the center of the Lean Startup community and was attended by 400 entrepreneurs, developers, product managers, investors, and designers, with a simulcast audience of equal size.

I joined the “Design + Lean Startup = Lean UX” panel with Josh Seiden, Jeff Gothelf, and Zach Larson, hosted by Janice Fraser. We discussed the value of design in defining products and services, and shared techniques for incorporating design into startup culture and organizations.

The startup community is hungry for good UX, and entrepreneurs, investors, and developers alike are recognizing the value and experience designers can contribute to a successful product team. Here’s some highlights of the overwhelmingly positive response:

#leanux is awesome. silicon valley companies both large and small can benefit from it. my learning from #sllconf

Super motivated & inspired! started morning watching “Design + Lean startup = #LeanUX” talk

You could hear a pin drop in here while @clevergirl explaining “test / invest” or “prove / improve” cycles.

Customer dev and UX are the same thing. Epiphany.

@manjeetdadyala Loving the leanUX panel. Eye opening session. #sllconf #leanux +1 Very important to bridge design & dev

And perhaps my favorite, here’s a reminder we designers are not the only ones saying “duh, if you’d listen to what I have to say, things could be so much better!”

Designers and consultancies are starting to understand&embrace #leanstartup. Not only cost of deployment&development has changed

For your viewing pleasure, here’s the archive of the panel (my talk on Product Stewardship starts around 21:30.)

Watch live video from Startup Lessons Learned on

You can find the deck on slideshare here:

I encourage you to watch all the segments from the conference. A few in particular stood out for me:

Brad Smith of Intuit discussed how his Fortune 1000 company runs on startup principles: no teams larger than two pizzas can feed; hire good people and provide an environment for them to succeed; and foster a strong sense of responsibility throughout the team.

Mitch Kapor talked about his transition from old-school entrepreneur to lean startup advocate and how his overnight success at Lotus lead him to believe it was easy: “I gave bad advice for 25 years.”

James Birchler of IMVU detailed lessons his team learned about the limits of A/B testing and the value of developing good hypotheses to validate through testing and feedback.

Finally, please take five minutes to watch Eric Ries’ closing remarks – he does a great job summing up the spirit of the day and highlights the value of design to the Lean Startup movement.

Watch live video from Startup Lessons Learned on

Related Reading

Tim McCoy

Learn more

Subscribe to our mailing list and stay up to date on our latest thought leadership and learning opportunities.

Connect with us

Want to know how we can help your company drive real business progress?

Let’s talk

Stay up to date on our latest thought leadership and learning opportunities