This week marks the one year anniversary of LeanCoffeeTO, a meetup group that we’re proud to belong to. I’ve written about why I think LeanCoffeeTO is a rare and valuable community resource, so we were happy to host one of the five consecutive sessions being held this week throughout the city. Read more...
The first two sessions were held at MyCityLives and The Working Group. We focused on a retrospective approach, where we looked to the past, remembered how the group got off the ground and talked about some of the amazing things that happened as a result.
We wanted our session to move the conversation forward, so instead of continuing that trend, we invited the attendees to jot down experiments that we could run in the coming year based on the conversations that have already happened.
Here are the trends and experiments we discovered:
- Create a LCTO website outside of meetup.com
- Promote and work closer with the “splinter groups” that are emerging: Dooo.sh/it, ECSA, etc.
- Live stream each session to increase our accessiblity and reach
- Create a Chapter Kit to help other LeanCoffee groups to get started quickly and learn from our mistakes
- Integrate some sort of Q&A into the site to promote more dialogue between members
Special Event Experiments:
- Host a full-day LeanCoffeeTO conference
- Have an evening meetup once a month, IE LeanCocktails
- LeanCoffeeTO Bootcamp - a four session intensive workshop to onboard new LCTO members as quickly as possible
- Mentorship and Residence programs - facilitate residence programs between startups to socialize best practices
- Pitch Day was very popular. In this experiment we’d critique member pitches before getting in front of actual investors (There was even talk of inviting investors to attend)
- Elevator Pitch practice - Pair up and give another member your elevator pitch, and have the listener repeat what they remember to see what parts of our pitches need improvement.
- Run Customer Development experiments at a LCTO meetup
- Lead Customer Interviews during a session to improve that skill
- Formalize and publicize a process for members without office space to facilitate sessions
- Follow the development of a specific startup over the course of two months
- There were a number of suggestions to bring in Subject Matter Experts and business leaders in for a speaker series
I’m not here to critique or endorse any of the experiments that came up today. However I do believe that LCTO could benefit from a lot of these ideas. I also think we can set ourselves up for success if we keep these ideas in mind:
- Run the smallest version of the experiment instead of attempting to pull off major initiatives
- Structure the experiments so they can be run no matter who shows up for a specific LCTO
- Allow pain to drive which experiments we run, instead of ambition
- Ensure the governance of the group continues to be decentralized