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Steve Blank - Search Execution:

Steve Blank – Search Execution

Hello All

This week we look at several great articles on Minimum Viable Products, Proof of Concepts, and their uses/differences. Often times the terms are used interchangeably, which can not only be confusing, but take away from the usefulness of both. Steve Blank reminds us that business plans are just that, plans. Business models, no matter what stage the company may be within, are what grow companies and products, especially when the user/customer is in direct focus.

Another set of terms that often get mixed up are Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, Forbes helps clarify the differences. Caroline Sinders eloquently writes that we should not fear AI, but the collateral damage that may ensue. Meanwhile Fast Company dashes the dreams of many wannabe billionaire standalone app creators, which may correlate to the rise and fall of several coding bootcamps. Perhaps the cost of these bootcamps and uncertain job placement methods are attributable to their demise. Apple announced today that their Swift curriculum will now be offered in thirty community colleges.

We follow these stark pieces with two more looks at how to manage the effects technology has upon our daily lives and the importance of begin digitally mindful. Melinda Gates offers some helpful and healthy advice on raising children in these challenging times. The Times shares several tips on how to reduce unwanted robocalls. Both are sage collections of advice.

In the last set of links, it is good to see that American ingenuity is alive and well. From the new Tappan Zee bridge in New York to the rise of the Seattle skyline funded by Amazon’s substantial growth. As Amazon gears to take control of Whole Foods on Monday, prices are set to fall. How these changes will affect the bulls in our stock market remains to be seen. Technology is certainly dramatically changing our landscape, these are just but a few points on the barometer.

Have a great weekend!


1. 15 Ways To Test Your Minimum Viable Product
“Though the MVP provides a means to test hypotheses as a starting point, it does not imply that it is easy to build. The idea behind this exercise is not to see if the product can be built in terms of technical feasibility. Rather, it is to see whether you should be building it in the first place and, more importantly, whether it’s solving a problem other people find worth paying for.”

2. Proof Of Concept Vs. Minimum Viable Product (And When To Use Each)
“A mistake we see too often in business is entrepreneurs confused over the differences between proof of concept and minimum viable products…Knowing what each term means, and when to use them, is vitally important to the success of your next product launch.”

3. The Lean LaunchPad Online
“I wondered if business plans and 5-year forecasts were the right way to plan a startup. I asked, “Is execution all there is to starting a company?” Experienced entrepreneurs kept finding that no business plan survived first contact with customers. It dawned on me that the plans were a symptom of a larger problem: we were executing business plans when we should first be searching for business models. We were putting the plan before the planning.”

4. Why UX Needs To Partner With User Research
“As a UX designer, you sort of have to operate like an octopus — the network you impact is very extensive because you influence so many different parts of the product experience. This includes staying in sync across various disciplines, including research, visual design, development, product management, and more.”

5. What Is The Difference Between Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning?
“Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are two very hot buzzwords right now, and often seem to be used interchangeably. They are not quite the same thing, but the perception that they are can sometimes lead to some confusion. So I thought it would be worth writing a piece to explain the difference.”

6. Dear Elon–Forget Killer Robots. Here’s What You Should Really Worry About
“Panicking about killer robots is foolish when you have many more immediate problems, writes columnist Caroline Sinders.”

7. The Dream Of The Standalone “App Business” Is Dying
“Your dream of coding and then launching an app that will then rake in billions of dollars is, well, probably not going to happen. Common sense and a general understanding of the mobile space would show you this, but comScore’s annual U.S. Mobile App Report also gets at it.”

8. As Coding Boot Camps Close, The Field Faces a Reality Check
“Successful schools, analysts say, will increasingly be the ones that expand their programs to suit the changing needs of employers.”

9. Leading US Community Colleges Adding App Development With Swift Curriculum
“Apple today announced the App Development with Swift curriculum will now be offered in more than 30 community college systems across the country in the 2017-2018 school year, providing opportunities to millions of students to build apps that will prepare them for careers in software development and information technology. The Austin Community College District (ACC), one of the nation’s largest higher learning institutions, will begin offering the course to its 74,000 students this fall.”

10. Decluttering Your Digital Life
“Hamlet’s Blackberry. The Joy of Missing Out. Irresistible. Reclaiming Conversation. The Tech-Wise Family. Recent years have seen a boom in books (and articles) about being digitally mindful — putting down the smartphone, closing the computer, and engaging with real-world, tactile things. All this content makes the case that our devices are sapping a bit of our soul.”

11. Melinda Gates: I Spent My Career In Technology. I Wasn’t Prepared For Its Effect On My Kids.
“When my youngest child was born in 2002, the flip phone was still the coolest piece of tech you could get. Now I’m told that all three of my children are part of what demographers are calling iGen.”

12. Recognizing (And Rebelling Against) Robocalls
“If you are getting multiple calls each day and the caller is not leaving a message (or hanging up after a couple of seconds), your number is most likely being dialed by scammers trying to confirm that a human exists on the other end of the line. Once your number has been verified, it can be added to a database and passed along to the highest bidder.”

13. Bridge Of Grand Ambitions Is Set To Open At The Tappan Zee
“At a cost of $4 billion, the new structure is scheduled to see its first drivers early Saturday, and will eventually be able to carry 140,000 cars a day.”

14. How Amazon’s Nonstop Growth Is Creating A Brand-New Seattle
“The Emerald City is booming, driven by its homegrown tech giant. But Amazon is trying to keep Seattle livable.”

15. Amazon’s Whole Foods Strategy: Cheaper Kale and Avocado
“The era of Whole Paycheck, the derisive nickname for Whole Foods, may be drawing to a close. Amazon, which takes control of the upscale grocer on Monday, intends to slash prices the same day.”

16. Investing Short-Term When Stocks Are High? Imagine A Painful Drop
“Every week brings a new worry, something or another that could finally, truly, end our eight-year-plus bull market in American stocks.”