Living Life Lean

Stupid-Book"A lot of people thought it sounded stupid … " — Evan Williams and Biz Stone of Twitter
"Everything I do people think is stupid." — Seth Godin, Bestselling Author

By such a definition of "stupid," I’ve done many "stupid" things in my life.

  • Beginning my first startup before I graduated university,
  • Establishing consumer protections in the advertising market,
  • Pushing TV and entertainment content organizations toward a more open, transparent, and available distribution channels,
  • Launching The Product Group (and The Product Jobs, and The Product Mentor, and The Product View),
  • And, and, and.

I’ve never thought of these as "stupid." With my long product management background, and experiences in agile and lean methodology, I have most often described my life approach as that of a lean philosophy (methodology). I have always lived my life and made decisions … to just START and TRY. Start with the minimum viable experiment, act, learn, improve, repeat. What a wonderful way to describe a lean life to the product management uninitiated, "start something stupid."

Start Stupid

This usage of "stupid" comes from a pre-release book I recently received and read. The book is called "The Power of Starting Something Stupid: How to Crush Fear, Make Dreams Happen & Live without Regret" by Richie Norton. This theme is best exemplified by the 2 earlier quotes.

In this sense, I have lived my life doing one "stupid" thing after another. Some quite successful, others awkward lessons in the long road of life. I appreciated Richie’s refreshing take on living life for success, being effective, and overcoming paralyzing procrastination. For anyone seeking to be more productive, to applying lean principles to their life, to more efficiently experimenting and building upon lessons learned, this book is for you.

Lean Stupid

While I have never thought of these decisions in terms of "stupid", Richie’s provocative style and storytelling, may be just the thing to help spur a whole new segment of people to Do. Whether you call it "stupid" or "lean living", the core principles persist…

  1. Eliminate waste
  2. Amplify learning
  3. Decide as late as possible
  4. Deliver as fast as possible
  5. Empower
  6. Build integrity in
  7. See the whole

If you are seeking a fresh and exciting kick to jump start yourself and success or wondering what it might be like to apply lean methodology to living better…

Go start something stupid. Live life Leaner. Enjoy the read!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

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About Jeremy Horn

Jeremy Horn is an award-winning, product management veteran with thirteen years of experience leading and managing product teams. Jeremy has held various executive and advisory roles, from founder of several start-ups to driving diverse organizations in online services, consumer products, and social media. As founder of The Product Group, he has created the largest product management meetup in the world and hosts the annual awarding of The Best Product Person. Jeremy can currently be found pioneering the next generation of content management and sharing at Viacom, acting as creator and instructor of the 10-week product management course at General Assembly, and mentoring at Women 2.0 and Lean Startup Machine. Follow Jeremy on twitter @theproductguy or his blog at http://tpgblog.com.

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