Lean Startup Methodology – An Insightful talk by Atif Azim

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Atif Azim, the man behind VentureDive and co-founder of DotZero was invited to The Nest i/o for a talk on one of the most important topics for startups – lean startup methodology.

Your Customers Decide Your Fate!

“’70% of startups fail because they don’t build what the customer wants!”

Starting on a note that touched the nerve of all entrepreneurs present in the room, Atif Azim gave the audience an overview of how and why startup ventures fail to create a mark. According to Atif, even if you have a stellar product, clear vision and lots of ambition on making your business shine, everything can go haywire if you don’t pay attention to customer psyche.

“Pitching to customer? Don’t start with ‘I think’ – Ask them ‘What do you think?”

The key behind being pitch perfect when addressing an audience is getting into their shoes. ‘You never change your vision’, said Azim, ‘but you frame and mould your strategy and process according to the demand of your customers. This evolution provides you the baseline to build, measure and learn faster!’

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The Lean Strategy – What’s so Different About it?

“Using lean methods across a portfolio of startups will result in fewer failures than using traditional methods!”

In its simplest form, lean methodology is all about understanding customer preferences and then creating maximum value using limited resources. As per Atif, “To be a lean business you first need to develop a hypothesis, experiment and then get results and make sure they are measurable.” This strategy not only helps you win more customers down the road, but also provides you a more sustainable and data driven platform to channel your resources!

“Speed is key in terms of getting work done. With the lean strategy you HAVE to be data driven.”

Data is KING!

“If you are data driven, there are fewer failures and there are higher chances of success!” says Atif Azim

In the world of lean startup, the more proactive you are in using data to your advantage, the better will be the results. According to him, one should first define a KPI and get users on board.  Then look at retention and focus on revenue and referrals.

How I Met the Entrepreneur in Me

To give some inspiration to our teams, Atif reiterated his own journey of how he turned into an entrepreneur and decided to take his dreams forward. It was during his days at Stanford University that he first realized his passion for entrepreneurship. He worked and gained experience at Cisco for a decade and co-founded Perfigo, a network security company that was later acquired by Cisco.

Coming back to Pakistan, he started VentureDive, a boutique product and design consultancy specializing in end to end product development, user experience design, quality and performance. He is also a co-founding board member of DotZero, a co-working space that aims to empower the startup culture in Pakistan.

Ending his talk, Atif emphasized on the importance of planning for all possible setbacks in advance. “This way you will not only be ready for any kind of results but also have a retention strategy in place to bounce back from failure! “

“Don’t realize your mistakes when shit happens – validate first & act later!”

Liked this blog on lean startup methodology? Read about the laws you should know about when launching a business and the product development essentials you should focus on when perfecting a service.

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