Speed as a competitive advantage, and set-based design for startups

I’ve watched this video again and again over the years.

It takes about execution, and speed as a competitive advantage. Some ideas in there are not yet widely accepted, even in lean startups or agile programming. I need to learn more about these Poppendiecks.

“Optimizing a part of a system will always, over time,
sub-optimize the overall system.”

Set based design.

Says: don’t just do 1 thing, do a set of thing. Toyota, in 15 months from concept to a live car, develops a whole set of engines for the first 4 months. 10 active engines under development! In detail!

Tell me if I’m wrong, but NOBODY in the startup world does anything like this. Makes you think.

From their site:

Waste is anything that does not add customer value.

The three biggest wastes in software development are:

Building the Wrong Thing
"There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all." –Peter Drucker

Failure to Learn
Many of our policies – for example: governance by variance from plan, frequent handovers, and separating decision-making from work – interfere with the learning that is the essence of development.

Practices that interfere with the smooth flow of value –task switching, long lists of requests, big piles of partly done work – deliver half the value for twice the effort.

I don’t know. This is good stuff.

As usual, the insights are simple but deep. I’m specifically thinking about how to use set based design in a startup.

It’s funny, btw, that you get speed by delaying decisions. By making less decisions, not more.

More blogging

One of my 2012 (my god!) plans: more blogging. Longer form blogging too. I’m still thinking about how to tie this in with tweets, check-ins, and such. But my blog should be the center of my online life, that I’ve always felt/known.

Moving on from photos to mobile wallets

During 2011, I was founder-in-residence of a photo startup called Gush. It was a great vision, and one I hope still happens (there are a few good contenders in the space). And the team was the best I ever had the honor of working with. But it’s time for me to move on.

2012 (and onwards) will be dedicated to a future of mobile wallets. The vision is, in short, that I can take my phone and leave my wallet at home. It’ll likely take us a few years.