Ideadvance Alumni Share Best Practices!

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This year we mixed it up — Ideadvance hosted an alumni panel celebrating June 2022 awardees! Each cohort, we celebrate the dedicated efforts of time-strapped teams racing to meet program milestones. This year, instead of prepping for another presentation to a new audience, I assembled a panel of past awardees who shared their approaches practicing Lean Startup in their business strategy. Over an hour, these CEOs illustrated practical approaches for Lean Startup methods.

Here are a few of my favorite mentions from the panel:


Observations matter more than questions.  “Spend time with your customer,” Randy said. He builds in time over days to observe his customers and understand how they do things without the pressure of someone asking questions.

Find your decision-maker community: Matt said they found a company in the EdTech space that aggregated four decision-maker panels. “We could just ask them questions. What motivates you? What do you look for? What are those friction points? That helped us with the top down [strategy],” Matt said.

Listen approximately: Brian shared a best practice gained from years of running focus groups. “Don’t listen to specific comments. Try to aggregate them together to see if there’s a common message that’s emerging. That is actionable! That’s something that you can address in a constructive way,” Brian said.

Drill down to a specific focus: Luis emphasized that doing one thing well unveiled new product and revenue opportunities. “We focused on first responders, and then narrowed to firefighters. Eventually we narrowed to muscular skeletal injuries. By using our approach, [our customers] didn’t want to lose dollars from their budget. So, they asked what else [we] could build. And we asked them, ‘What do you need?’”

I want to thank the panel, teaching team and the cohort participants for another year of discovery and creating time to learn something new each week.

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