Today was the first day of Lean Startup Summit 2019, in Berlin.

This was my first experience of an “unconference”, meaning “a participant-driven event”. It was somehow interesting, although I feel the level of quality on the topics, in such an event, is something like a gambling. 

At the beginning of the Unconference around 30 topics were proposed, by participants at the Summit, to be taken into panels of discussions. They pitched the topic in front of all of us and we had the chance to have a glimpse subject. Out of these 30 topics we were supposed to chose 2… Hard task, many sounded at least interesting.

I went to “High Impact Experimentation” and “What metrics to use to measure innovation progress”

“High Impact Experimentation”

This panel was actually a pre-mortem risk assessment in regards to building a product. Interesting approach, basically it’s a Retrospective using Valuable, Usable & Feasible characteristics of a successful product, from Marty Cagan’s Inspired. But, it’s from the perspective of “you’re in the future and your product has failed. Why did it fail? What could you have done differently?” The ideas that the team has you place them on a Likelihood – Impact chart divided in 4 quadrants. You focus on the high Likelihood and high Impact ideas, these would be the most important risks that you should be aware of when building your product.

“What metrics to use to measure innovation progress”

This was a free discussion panel, more than a presentation from the proposer. I was lucky to have smart and experienced people in the room from which I stole some good ideas. Ideas like you can look at innovation in 2 ways: incremental and radical/disruptive. The incremental one is somehow easy to measure, the hard part is with the disruptive one. Also, visible results come in 2-3 years of investing in an innovation mindset. At the beginning of the innovation journey you will have soft metrics, but as you mature and move further you need and find hard metrics. As a framework that was interesting enough to remember: measure the reactions of the employees, measure what they learned, measure what they build and measure the business impact.

Overall, today I learned something new, i’ve met some new people, was a good day for science. Looking forward for tomorrow, the actual Summit.