TechCrunch Disrupt Day Two: Eric Ries Talks Lean Startups

TechCrunch Disrupt continues today in San Francisco with an exciting morning now behind them. For those who missed my post yesterday make sure you read about TechCrunch Disrupt Day one. This is the biggest startup conference of the year and so far it’s been an incredible success with an exciting startup battlefield yesterday and another one coming-up today. Entrepreneurs from all over the world have come to Disrupt to show what they’ve built, and hopefully attract the attention of investors.

This morning the Disrupt conference started with a talk by Mayor Ed Lee (the Mayor of San Francisco) and then transitioned into a fireside chat with Vinod Khosla from Khosla Ventures. For those of you who don’t think you know Vinod…think again. Vinod is the founder of Sun Microsystems and now owns a venture firm. Conferences like this really provide incredible access to some of the best minds in business, giving advice to new startups.

Next, the founders of took the stage and talked about the incredible experience they’ve had getting to where they are today. This is probably one of the most talked-about startups of 2011 and it’s pretty interesting to hear the turn of events that led to their success.

The morning continued on with a fireside chat with Ashton Kutcher who is definitely an active investor, investing in companies like Airbnb, TinyChat, and Fab just last month. The last morning session was the one I was the most excited about, Eric Ries talking lean startups. As you probably know by reading this blog, I’ve been a HUGE fan of the lean startup movement and participated in competitions like Lean Startup Machine in NYC and Startup Lessons Learned in San Francisco.  Eric is the leader of the lean startup movement and he made some great points, a few of which I wanted to share with all of you:

“It’s better to be misunderstood and criticized than to be ignored.”

I thought this was a really interesting point and a good one. Eric emphasized the fact that getting any kind of feedback is helpful, if you are just ignored it probably means nobody wanted to use what you are making…which means the idea is bad, not just the delivery. If you have a great idea, something that people really want to use, then fixing bugs and getting things just right will be worth it because you’ll actually have real customers.

“Don’t fall in love with the solution, fall in love with the product.”

I’ve heard this one before and it’s one of my favorites. Building great things, products that people not only want to use but enjoy using, is what being an entrepreneur is all about.

The afternoon continues with the Startup Battlefield, one of, if not my favorite part of Disrupt. In the Battlefield entrepreneurs have the chance to present their company and idea, and get feedback from angel investors and VCs. I am always interested in hearing the questions that people ask, what they look for in a company, how the entrepreneurs respond, etc. I’ve enjoyed seeing this in person and watching it/listening to it online is still very valuable and inspiring.

At 5:45PM Eric Ries will be launching his Lean Startup Book. It’s a great book and I highly recommend it for anyone that wants to learn more about lean startups! You can watch the conference live at anytime below:

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Oh, and a few people seemed to think I was in San Francisco at Disrupt. I am not. Like any of you can, I’m enjoying the conference from home listening to it most of the time while I’m doing work. Daina and I both plan to attend Tech Crunch next year and we’ll definitely do some very exciting coverage while we’re there. For now we’ll have to enjoy from a distance and share some of the highlights with all of you!

Morgan Linton

Morgan Linton