Paul started his first business at 9, selling ink cartridges to kids with fountain pens – not that high-tech but he went on to set up a search engine business. Since then he’s worked with Gap, Pearson, John Lewis and Barclays helping to launch innovative brands and products. He’s also a award winning private investor. When not doing that stuff, he’s playing games!
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