New York has its share of lean start-up devotees preaching the mantra of Faster! Cheaper! Lighter! Better!, a rallying cry that defines the current boom. Split test. Work that agility, girl. Pivot like you mean it! But one of the godfathers of the movement, Steve Blank, is still out West. Mr. Blank has a bone to pick with board meetings, which he says, “haven’t changed since the early 1900’s.”
In keeping with the trend Betabeat has observed of VCs floating their own start-up ideas, hoping to get them built, when Techcofounder’s Ben Mappen met up with Mr. Blank to pitch him on a start-up, GigaOm reports that Mr. Mappen ended up sidelining his idea to pursue Mr. Blank’s instead.
Enter LeanLaunchLabs. GigaOm describes it as a “blog-like software” that lets start-ups record their progress and issues in real-time. They post customer interviews, surveys, videos, and prototypes and board members can view the narrative and instantly add their two cents without waiting to gather around the conference room table. Who needs face time for a dialectic with stuffy old experienced dudes when you can turn them into commenters on your blog?!
Mr. Mappen swears he isn’t trying to do away with the board meeting entirely, acknowledging that, “There are somethings you need to do in a board meeting, like hiring and administrative details. But you shouldn’t have to sit back and rely on them for everything.” The concept already has seed funding from Menlo Ventures’ Shawn Carolan and 700 willing start-ups who signed up when it was demoed at O.G. lean man Eric Ries’s Startup Lessons Learned conference in May. Mr. Mappen is currently beta testing the software with 20 early stage companies.
We think this sounds like an intriguing way to collect all that early-stage data in one place with room for a feedback loop and a great replacement for PowerPoint, if not enough of a case to stop looking deep into your board members’ eyes on occasion. But in the meantime, if any start-ups want to give Betabeat their password, we’d love to see your prototypes.