Helen is the co-founder of Gamevy – a start-up building games and running a series of radical experiments in how they do business. We have no managers, no assigned roles and practise radical transparency as well as allowing employees to work where and when they want. As part of building Gamevy, we also set up Spark the Change – a community of like-minded people who want to build better organisations and happier workplaces. She’s a writer by trade and likes debating literature, business, politics and pretty much anything else as long as she has a glass of wine in hand.
Company Profile: Gamevy is an employee-owned company building games that combine skill, chance and life-changing jackpots.
Since Eric Ries published his 2011 book – The Lean Start-Up – applying his experience with IMVU to business innovation, the idea has grown in popularity as a methodology. The MVP is almost universally accepted within software development as an aim, while ‘customer validation’ appears in every plan, presentation and project review. From actual start-ups to big enterprises, Lean Start-Up has become the new orthodoxy.
Helen Walton and Paul Dolman-Darrall, the co-founders of their own start-up, argue that this focus on the MVP can be taken too far, and that as the idea becomes a panacea pushed by consultants and coaches, we risk over-simplifying the difficulties of those on the ground. In doing so, we not only force stories of success and failure into a mould that does not fit them, but actually encourage poor decisions that make failure more likely.
By the end of this session participants will:
• Hear the real life trials and tribulations of a start-up
• Consider questions about the cost of experiments and the value of learning
• Judge where they should apply the principles of Lean Start Up to their own organisation and where they should ignore them
• Evaluate the importance and effects of having ‘skin in the game’ for employees, customers and contractors