Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Lean Startup methodology

Over the past year, I've been networking quite heavily in Austin TX.  Meeting with entrepreneurs for coffee, mentoring, and advising startups (both formally and informally).  This has been a lot of fun, and I've met some amazing entrepreneurs as a result of this activity.

One of those amazing entrepreneurs I met is Ash Maurya, who just finished a book Running Lean (  Ash is an expert in the Lean Startup methodology, which is an approach to starting a business that aims to improve the odds of 9/10 startups failing.

The Lean Startup methodology is of particular interest to me.  One of the businesses that I launched,, would have benefitted quite a bit from that methodology.  That business lost money (we are still trying to recover the investment), primarily because we followed a more "traditional" way to start a product-based business, which is (Build Product -> Sell Product -> Build Demo).  Unfortunately, this leaves little room for customer feedback, to iterate on your product, and to validate that customers want to buy your product.  Had we built a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) rather than spending almost 2 years in development, we would have reduced risk considerably.

Lean Startup is becoming adopted all over the world -- there are dozens of meetup groups, including the USA, Israel, and the UK.  Over 3700 people subscribe to the Lean Startup Circle google group.  I've been informally advising companies on Lean Startup for several months now, and it really resonates with me.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Who am I?

Thanks for visiting!  I’m a serial entrepreneur, author, and investor in Austin TX, with 12 years of experience running startup companies.  My expertise is focused mostly in marketing, sales, leadership, and software development.

I founded Ghostfire Games, an Austin TX company specializing in making exercise video games for the Nintendo Wii system.  Prior to this, I was founder and CEO of The Middleware Company, a Java training/consulting company, which I sold to Precise Software.

While at The Middleware Company, I founded the world's largest Java developer community,  I also founded TheServerSide Symposium, a series of international Java conferences which brought the brightest developers together.  I also wrote "Mastering Enterprise JavaBeans", a book on developing complex business systems in Java.

In my spare time, for fun I advise several startup companies.  If you’d like to connect with me, just shoot me an email -- you can reach me on