Why Continuous Deployment?

Startup Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Monday, June 15, 2009 Why Continuous Deployment? Of all the tactics I have advocated as part of the lean startup , none has provoked as many extreme reactions as continuous deployment , a process that allows companies to release software in minutes instead of days, weeks, or months. My previous startup, IMVU , has used this process to deploy new code as often as an average of fifty times a day.

Continuous deployment for mission-critical applications

Startup Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Monday, December 28, 2009 Continuous deployment for mission-critical applications Having evangelized the concept of continuous deployment for the past few years, Ive come into contact with almost every conceivable question, objection, or concern that people have about it. Or, phrased more hopefully, "I see how you can use continuous deployment to run an online consumer service, but how can it be used for B2B software?"

Trending Sources

Case Study: Continuous deployment makes releases non-events

Startup Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Monday, January 18, 2010 Case Study: Continuous deployment makes releases non-events The following is a case study of one entrepreneurs transition from a traditional development cycle to continuous deployment.

Lessons Learned: What is customer development?

Startup Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Saturday, November 8, 2008 What is customer development? But too often when its time to think about customers, marketing, positioning, or PR, we delegate it to "marketroids" or "suits." They almost always fail for lack of customers.

Lessons Learned: Continuous deployment and continuous learning

Startup Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Tuesday, February 10, 2009 Continuous deployment and continuous learning At long last, some of the actual implementers of the advanced systems we built at IMVU for rapid deployment and rapid response are starting to write about it.

Pivot, don't jump to a new vision

Startup Lessons Learned

Each has its own iterative process: customer development and agile development respectively. The hardest part of entrepreneurship is to develop the judgment to know when its time to change direction and when its time to stay the course. Some startups avoid getting customer feedback for precisely this reason: they are afraid that if early reactions are negative, theyll be "forced" to abandon their vision. IMVU had a roughly two-month-long development cycle.

Lessons Learned: Combining agile development with customer development

Startup Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Monday, March 16, 2009 Combining agile development with customer development Today I read an excellent blog post that I just had to share. In most agile development systems, there is a notion of the "product backlog" a prioritized list of what software is most valuable to be developed next. The breakthrough idea of agile is that software should be built iteratively, with the pieces that customers value most created first.

Announcing our investment in Dataloop

The Equity Kicker

Our other category of investment is ‘idea stage’, often with solo-founders.). We got to know David Gildeh, the CEO and one of three co-founders, around this time last year. We were encouraged by their progress so we dived in deep to develop our understanding of the market.

Cloud 21

A new field guide for entrepreneurs of all stripes

Startup Lessons Learned

TLDR: Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits , authors of The Entrepreneur's Guide to Customer Development are back with a new book called The Lean Entrepreneur. It took the idea of Customer Development and made it accessible to a whole new audience.

Lean 62

Web 2.0 Development and Business Lessons: Giving Developers.

Web 2.0 Development and Business Lessons

Development and Business Lessons By Michael Woloszynowicz By Michael Woloszynowicz Monday, May 9, 2011 Giving Developers Feedback As a product manager, founder, CEO, developer, etc., Rapid iteration through continuous deployment is the beauty of writing web applications.

Lean 15

Top 120 Startup Posts for 2010

SoCal CTO

500 Hats , January 10, 2010 Developing new startup ideas - Chris Dixon , March 14, 2010 Batch Processing Millions and Millions of Images - Code as Craft , July 9, 2010 jQuery Plugin: Give Your Characters a NobleCount - The Product Guy , March 23, 2010 How do the sample Series Seed financing documents differ from typical Series A financing documents? Some really great stuff in 2010 that aims to help startups around product, technology, business models, etc.

CTO 80

Four myths about the Lean Startup

Startup Lessons Learned

That process involves rapid hypothesis testing, validated learning about customers , and a disciplined approach to product development. Truth: The Lean Startup methodology applies to all companies that face uncertainty about what customers will want.

Lean 43

Lessons Learned: Getting started with split-testing

Startup Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Sunday, December 7, 2008 Getting started with split-testing One of the startup founders I work with asked me a smart question recently, and I thought Id share it. My favorite is to rearrange the steps of your registration process for new customers. If youre a founder or top-level executive, have the courage to be wrong in a very public way. The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development ► June (3) What is a startup?

Lean 14

Lessons Learned: The lean startup

Startup Lessons Learned

But by taking advantage of open source, agile software, and iterative development, lean startups can operate with much less waste. I am heavily indebted to earlier theorists, and highly recommend the books Lean Thinking and Lean Software Development. The application of agile development methodologies which dramatically reduce waste and unlock creativity in product development. Labels: customer development , lean startup 8comments: Amy said.

Lean 47

Lessons Learned: When NOT to listen to your users; when NOT to.

Startup Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Monday, October 6, 2008 When NOT to listen to your users; when NOT to rely on split-tests There are three legs to the lean startup concept: agile product development , low-cost (fast to market) platforms , and rapid-iteration customer development. The most common need is becoming more customer-centric. They need to incorporate customer feedback into the product development and business planning process.

Lessons Learned: Five Whys

Startup Lessons Learned

By continuously adjusting, we eventually build up a robust series of defenses that prevent problems from happening. We had made so many improvements to our tools and processes for deployment, that it was pretty hard to take the site down. 100% of those tests ran, via a continuous integration cluster, after every checkin. When a test failed, it would prevent that revision from being deployed. This would deploy the change incrementally, one machine at a time.

Lean 47

Minimum Viable Product: a guide

Startup Lessons Learned

First, a definition: the minimum viable product is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort. In a lot of cases, this requires a lot of energy invested in talking to customers or metrics and analytics. that being how many potential customers will have a willingess to pay for a core offering that you can consistently deliver on profitably.

Lessons Learned: Work in small batches

Startup Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Friday, February 20, 2009 Work in small batches Software should be designed, written, and deployed in small batches. Its had tremendous impact in many areas: continuous deployment , just-in-time scalability , and even search engine marketing , to name a few. The batch size is the unit at which work-products move between stages in a development process. Take the example of a design team prepping mock-ups for their development team.

Lean 36

Lessons Learned: The three drivers of growth for your business.

Startup Lessons Learned

The law of large numbers (of customers) says you cant help but make at least some money - your valuation is determined by how well you monetize the tidal wave of growth. Examples of this are well-known, and (in my definition) include any product that causes new customers to sign up as a necessary side-effect of existing customers normal usage: Facebook, Myspace, AIM/ICQ, Hotmail, Paypal. Case Study: Continuous deployment makes releases n.

Lean 43

Lessons Learned: What does a startup CTO actually do?

Startup Lessons Learned

When Ive asked mentors of mine who have worked in big companies about the role of the CTO, they usually talk about the importance of being the external face of the companys technology platform; an evangelist to developers, customers, and employees.

CTO 61

Fear is the mind-killer

Startup Lessons Learned

I spent some time with his company before the conference and discussed ways to get started with continuous deployment , including my experience introducing it at IMVU. He summarized that conversation well, so rather than re-tread that material, Ill quote it here: One thing that I was surprised to learn was that IMVU started out with continuous deployment. Understanding these three factors makes it clear as to why continuous deployment was a starting point for IMVU.

Lessons Learned: Venture Hacks interview: "What is the minimum.

Startup Lessons Learned

Customers say,&# Give me feature X,&# “Give me feature Y,&# and sometimes you do what they want, maybe sometimes you’re going to do what you want, and then they get mad at you. The idea of minimum viable product is useful because you can basically say: our vision is to build a product that solves this core problem for customers and we think that for the people who are early adopters for this kind of solution, they will be the most forgiving.

Lean 38

Don't be the Ice Cream Glove

Startup Lessons Learned

But in reality, most products fail because they are the Ice Cream Glove, that is, because there are no customers who will buy them. Labels: customer development 3comments: Anonymoussaid. ► August (2) SXSW Case Study: SlideShare goes freemium ► July (4) Case Study: kaChing, Anatomy of a Pivot Some IPO speculation Founder personalities and the “first-class man&# th. Case Study: Continuous deployment makes releases n.

Lessons Learned: Validated learning about customers

Startup Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Tuesday, April 14, 2009 Validated learning about customers Would you rather have $30,000 or $1 million in revenues for your startup? This may sound crazy, coming as it does from an advocate of c harging customers for your product from day one. It should be even more important to the founders themselves, because it demonstrates that their business hypothesis is grounded in reality. And yet their numbers continue to grow, month after month.

Lessons Learned: A new version of the Joel Test (draft)

Startup Lessons Learned

I am convinced one of Joel Spolskys lasting contributions to the field of managing software teams will turn out to be the Joel Test , a checklist of 12 essential practices that you could use to rate the effectiveness of a software product development team. But if you want to practice rapid deployment, you need to be able to deploy that build in one step as well. If you want to do continuous deployment, youd better be able to certify that build too, which brings us to.

Lean 33

What is a startup?

Startup Lessons Learned

I prefer to take the most expansive possible definition of product, one that encompasses any source of value for a set of people who voluntarily choose to become customers. The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development ▼ June (3) What is a startup?

Lean 45

The Principles of Product Development Flow

Startup Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Monday, July 13, 2009 The Principles of Product Development Flow If youve ever wondered why agile or lean development techniques work, The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development by Donald G.

Lessons Learned: Using AdWords to assess demand for your new.

Startup Lessons Learned

Thats the conclusion Ive come to after watching tons of online products fail for a complete lack of customers. Our goal is to find out whether customers are interested in your product by offering to give (or even sell) it to them, and then failing to deliver on that promise.

Lessons Learned: The product manager's lament

Startup Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Sunday, October 5, 2008 The product managers lament Life is not easy when youre working in an old-fashioned waterfall development process, no matter what role you play. I met one recently that is working on a really innovative product, and the stories I heard from their development team made me want to cringe. But first I think we need to save the product manager from that special form of torture only a waterfall product development team can create.

Lean 32

Good enough never is (or is it?)

Startup Lessons Learned

One of the sayings I hear from talented managers in product development is, “good enough never is.&# And, most importantly, it helps team members develop the courage to stand up for these values in stressful situations. What if customers actually like the “crap&# product?

Lean 62

Lessons Learned: The one line split-test, or how to A/B all the time

Startup Lessons Learned

In my experience, the majority of changes we made to products have no effect at all on customer behavior. The goal is to have split-testing be a continuous part of our development process, so much so that it is considered a completely routine part of developing a new feature. The report is set up to show you what happened to customers who registered in that period (a so-called cohort analysis ). This report is set up to tell you about new customers specifically.

Lessons Learned: Don't launch

Startup Lessons Learned

Marketing launch) Make a new product available to customers in the general public. In particular, a marketing launch can help you do three things (courtesy, as is most of my marketing advice, of The Four Steps to the Epiphany ): Drive customers into your sales pipeline. Worse, if you are not geared up to make the best use of those customers when the launch sends them your way, its a pretty big waste. Do your customers really read TechCrunch? Founders push for it.

Lean 47

Learning is better than optimization (the local maximum problem)

Startup Lessons Learned

Instead, we try to accelerate with respect to validated learning about customers. There are often counter-intuitive changes in customer behavior that depend on little details. You only learn which specific shade of blue customers are more likely to click on.

Embrace technical debt

Startup Lessons Learned

Like a financial debt, the technical debt incurs interest payments, which come in the form of the extra effort that we have to do in future development because of the quick and dirty design choice. We can choose to continue paying the interest, or we can pay down the principal by refactoring the quick and dirty design into the better design. Startups especially can benefit by using technical debt to experiment, invest in process, and increase their product development leverage.

Lean 47

Why vanity metrics are dangerous

Startup Lessons Learned

Its a gross number, not per-customer: one hit each from a million people is a very different thing than a million hits from just one person. So its reasonable to ask: whats wrong with vanity metrics, at least as a proxy for customer behavior? If all the engineers work on the same thing at the same time, and all the marketers do the same, and QA, and ops, all the way down the line, then each department develops its own team-based private reality.

Lessons Learned: Net Promoter Score: an operational tool to.

Startup Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Saturday, November 22, 2008 Net Promoter Score: an operational tool to measure customer satisfaction Ive mentioned Net Promoter Score (NPS) in a few previous posts, but havent had a chance to describe it in detail yet. It is an essential lean startup tool that combines seemingly irreconcilable attributes: it provides operational, actionable, real-time feedback that is truly representative of your customers experience as a whole.

.Net 35

Case Study: SlideShare goes freemium

Startup Lessons Learned

It requires separating the product launch from the marketing launch (see Dont Launch ) as well as other staple Lean Startup tactics: minimum viable product, split-testing, customer development and the pivot. Early this year, SlideShare launched custom channels.

Lean 21

The Steve Jobs method

Startup Lessons Learned

When I try to unpack what people mean by the question, heres my best take on what they are asking: "Look, Steve Jobs doesnt go out and ask customers what they want. He tells customers what they want, and he gets it right. It tells you something about what that customer thinks and feels.

Lean 37

Lessons Learned: Three freemium strategies

Startup Lessons Learned

For founders, I think it also has another big attraction: the ability to avoid a lot of " free vs paid " arguments. In this model, your free users trade their time for the benefit of your paying customers. Both currencies are valuable, and free users can trade theirs to the paying customers, who are allowed to access benefits that would otherwise take a long time to achieve. The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development ► June (3) What is a startup?

Lean 23

Lessons Learned: SEM on five dollars a day

Startup Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Saturday, September 13, 2008 SEM on five dollars a day How do you build a new product with constant customer feedback while simultaneously staying under the radar? Slowly, over time, we optimized (or eliminated) each step in the process of becoming a customer by giving us money. That simple funnel analysis became our scorecard, and helped us refine our product with constant customer input. Case Study: Continuous deployment makes releases n.

SEM 20