Lean Startup & Methodologies (S11E2)

What you’ll see this episode

Get those excitement levels up because things are about to get wild! While you're settling in, the Bloxers are diving headfirst into action with their very first daily challenge. Split into pods of about 10 contestants each, they'll go head-to-head with their assigned judge, putting their newfound knowledge to the ultimate test. And just when you think it can't get any hotter, we'll unveil the first contenders for the Blox-Off, the game’s ultimate showdown. Let’s fire it up!

Thrown to the wolves on the first day

As usual on Day One, the judges are chatting over breakfast about their reasons for being coaches, and how they hope to change lives during this week. Then it’s straight into competition mode – and as the contestants are informed, this is a whole new game. They’ll see twists and turns never before experienced on The Blox, starting with The Lean Methodology Revisited. The concept turns our Bloxers into entrepreneurial scientists, experimenting with Build, Measure, Learn in their businesses. A big reason we lean into the Lean Startup Method is because as entrepreneurs, we tend to get too much in our own heads – so we need to get our product or service out there without it being perfect, so we can see how it performs. 

The first day’s challenge throws the contestants right to the Lean wolves without any preparation – it’s a surprise pop quiz with 4 intense questions that make the first day a little intimidating.

Following the challenge, each contestant gets some one-on-one action with the judges in a 15-minute strategy session—think backstage pass to real-life business coaching. And then, the main event has arrived: the Blox-Off is up next, and with the looming thunderstorm outside, things are about to get interesting! Wrapping up the episode, we announce the first seven pod winners, leaving us eagerly anticipating the nail-biting showdown in Season 11's first Blox-Off. Tune in to Episode Three to catch all the action!

Lean Startup & Methodologies

Day 1 kicks off with a history lesson on lean principles, showing how they work for different kinds of businesses. It's like a scientific experiment for startups. The reason we learn this? Well, there's no instant investor panel waiting for our ideas. So, without those investments waiting, we need to find a way to break tasks into smaller, doable steps so that we can accomplish them daily. Getting traction is key, not just for investor interest but for steady growth. The real deal here is validated learning – proving your ideas work in the real world. Validated learning is proven with scientific facts, evidence, and proof that demonstrable improvements in your company are happening. We're all about value over waste, focusing on things that matter to customers. The Learning Paradox/Analysis Paralysis, doing secondary research and planning for too long in an effort to de-risk something that can’t be fully derisked, is an example of waste.  We dive into real-world cases like Zappos and Groupon, showing how launching products as experiments and making smart changes based on real results can be a game-changer. We’re introduced to the concepts of Concierge MVP, Split Testing, and Wizard of Oz Testing, all ways to validate these scientific experiments. Innovation accounting helps you track progress in a quantifiable way. The decision to pivot or push forward depends on how things are improving in your baseline metrics. And when your product really clicks with the market, that's the sweet spot. Essentially, "The Lean Startup" is all about arming startups with a smart approach to tackle uncertainties and turn visions into successes.

Key Takeaways From This Episode:

  1. Traction is what makes you investable. It is what answers the two most important questions we must answer: 1) Is value being provided to the customer? 2) Is something powering our growth in a sustainable, scalable, and replicable way?
  2. We have to learn how to sacrifice many aspects of our vision in the short-term in exchange for launching sooner, re-launching faster, pushing new products and experiments, and simply driving this thing regardless of what is at our disposal in the moment.
  3. We have to launch our businesses, or projects, into a real market as a form of experimentation. So the only way this works is to launch, or re-launch, or reimagine, your company - in a way in which the company is LIVE.
  4. Accounting is as important in startups as it is in business. But a business has a large enough sample size, in regards to revenue and other financial variables, for traditional accounting to work. So we must attempt to quantify the hard-to-quantify, in a way that allows us to establish baselines. Once baselines are established, we run experiments to improve the baseline metrics. This is called innovation accounting.
  5. You know you’ve reached Product Market Fit when stuff finally starts to work, when customers are probably resonating with your offering, and when you’ve answered the value and growth hypothesis.
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Meet The Judges

Andrea Furtick
Andrea Furtick
Founder & CEO of AGC Toys Inc.

Andrea Furtick is a multifaceted creative force, renowned as a published author, fine artist, and toy designer. As the CEO of AGC Toys Inc., she pioneers innovative concepts in the realm of toy design, captivating audiences with her distinctive vision and craftsmanship. With a passion for storytelling and divination, Andrea is the creator of the Afro Goddess Divination Collection, a series celebrated for its spiritual depth and artistic beauty. Her work has garnered widespread acclaim, culminating in a contract with U.S. Games Systems Inc. in 2022, a testament to her enduring influence in the industry. In addition to her creative endeavors, Andrea is a dynamic keynote speaker, captivating audiences with her insights on art, spirituality, and entrepreneurship. Her engaging presentations have graced prestigious events such as The International Divination Event 2022 and the Northwestern Tarot Symposium 2022, solidifying her reputation as a thought leader in her field.

Brad Ellison
Brad Ellison
Owner of Ellison Painting, LLC

Brad Ellison is the owner of Ellison Painting, LLC, known as Michigan’s Most Professional Painting Contractor. With a history as a former Blox competition winner, Brad is dedicated to elevating Bloxers’ business with his valuable insights.

Chris Kovac
Chris Kovac
Founder of kovac.ai

Chris started his adventure in digital marketing in 1996 when he and a college buddy started their first company, Merlin-Enterprises.com (long story…). The focus was on building websites and ranking high in the new search engines (aka search engine optimization). Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, that company did not set the world on fire. Since then, Chris has worked with some of the most well-known brands in the world (Hallmark, Sprint, Microsoft, 3M, others) as well as early-stage businesses and challenger brands. Over the last 15 years, Chris has had the opportunity to speak nationally on digital marketing and social media best practices. Speaking engagements include national marketing conferences, universities (KU, UMKC, NMS), Gallup’s AIM Institute, American Marketing Association, Business Marketing Association and many others.

Emily Keyes
Emily Keyes
Founder & CEO at The Talent Boom Group

Emily Keyes is a powerhouse in the global recruitment industry, renowned as a top-tier career matchmaker for executive-level creative, entertainment, and digital talent. As the founder of The Talent Boom Group, Emily bootstrapped the business in 2012, expanding its reach across three continents. Under her leadership, the company has achieved remarkable success, pulling in millions of dollars in profit annually while maintaining its status as a bootstrapped yet top-quality boutique recruitment firm. Emily's expertise lies in matching elite talent with the world's largest brands, advertising agencies, Fortune 500 companies, and scaling startups on a global scale. With a personal background spanning three continents, she is particularly passionate about assisting expat hires and nurturing expat talent. Based in Miami, Florida, Emily is not only a career matchmaker but also a dedicated business coach and mentor. Through The Global Business Coach, she helps business owners strategize their ventures and break free from emotional barriers to achieve success. Furthermore, Emily's role as a TV business judge and coach for over 300 start-ups and small businesses across the US has solidified her reputation as a trusted advisor in the entrepreneurial community.

Jordan Bell
Jordan Bell
Founder & CEO of Agency Bell

Jordan Daniel Bell is a sought-after advisor, consultant, speaker, educator, and expert contributor in the areas of digital marketing, technology, automation, and startup management. Jordan is the CEO of Agency Bell, a Digital Advertising Agency that leverages Machine Learning to build competitive advantages for high-budget digital brands. He has founded and launched several successful companies, consulted or advised startups in numerous industries, and has managed hundreds of millions of dollars in digital campaigns for Fortune level companies. Jordan was featured as an Executive Coach on Seasons 4 and 11 of "The Blox" (a Reality Competition for Entrepreneurs). Jordan is an expert on advertising, digital agencies, automation, and entrepreneurship. He is a proud husband, father, and an avid musician.

Lily Benitez
Lily Benitez
Owner & Founder of Blade Craft Barber Academy

Lilly Benitez, the owner and founder of Blade Craft Barber Academy has mastered her craft of barbering and customer service over the last 10 years in the salon industry. Bilingual in English and Spanish, she is committed to establishing BCBA as a staple in the industry. She has been searching the last few years for the right opportunity to target male-specific barbering education. After years of research and investigation across the country, Lilly has decided to build it herself. While the future could bring various locations nationally for Lilly's concept, she focused the start of her business in Dallas, Texas with the dream to create an elite level of barber training, and hopes to expand to provide many opportunities outside of Dallas. She wants to help share her wealth of knowledge with other like-minded entrepreneurs by offering coaching and consulting around business, barbershop and salon businesses, and shop education. Barbering and education are Lilly's passions, and she is committed to providing the best of both to her clients, students, and community.

Nemanja "Neman" Golubovic
Nemanja "Neman" Golubovic
Founder, CEO of Kale My Name

Nemanja Golubovic, an entrepreneur from Montenegro, is the CEO and Founder of Kale My Name, one of America’s most successful vegan restaurants. Upon its launch, his mission has been to transform how people eat by providing plant-based meals that contribute to human health and look after our planet. With few resources and opportunities available to him when he first arrived in the United States from Montenegro, Golubovic has worked hard to become a successful business owner and provide healthy options for those who want them.

Rich McCoy
Rich McCoy
Founder & CEO at Rivus Energy Consulting

Rich McCoy is the Founder and CEO of Rivus Energy Consulting, a leading authority in solar sales and renewable energy solutions. With a focus on empowering professionals in the field, Rich provides expert training in solar appointment setting, objection handling, and sales strategy development. Through Rivus Energy, he drives business growth with sales training, lead generation, and strategic partnerships, contributing to a more sustainable future.

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