Category Archives: startup

January Meetups

This week I’m going to two exciting meetup events. Firstly, with the London Java Community, talks about the Internet of Things (details here). With 50 billion connected devices predicted by 2020, it’s a real growth area: QR codes, Near Field Communication, Bluetooth Low Energy and Arduino. Secondly, ProductTank, the meeting for Product Managers; speakers will discuss product management in payments, fixing broken checkout experiences and how people pay online (details here). Meetup evenings are a great opportunity to find out about new topics in an informal setting. I’m looking forward to them both.

RFID chip, QR code
RFID chip, QR code

December Reading

Earlier this month we went on holiday to Canon’s Ashby House, a wonderful historic property managed by the Landmark Trust.

CanonsAshby2

It was blissfully quiet, so I made a start on my holiday reading list. These are the books I read during December, and what I thought of them.

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

I haven’t stopped thinking about this book since I finished reading it. Its core thesis – misdirected effort is waste – resonates strongly with me. I found several ideas especially exciting.

  • Minimum Viable Product: Understanding what customers want is crucial. A Minimum Viable Product is a prototype or rough version, which allows the team to “collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.”
  • Continue reading December Reading

Product Tank November Meetup

Last Sunday I was chatting with a friend of a friend in the pub, and we got to talking about our interests. Over a few beers, we talked about Arduino, Home Automation and the Internet of Things. He works for a major multinational electronics corporation, and so it was really interesting to hear his perspective.

A few days later, I got a message from him in my inbox, inviting me to attend a meetup event on November 20 called ProductTank.

ProductTank November is all about our connected world of things. We are now living in a world where the web has spilled beyond the screen and into the physical world: connected devices are becoming commonplace and the smart home is now a reality. But what challenges does the Internet of Things bring from a design and product management perspective?

It sounds fascinating. I’m really looking forward to hearing from Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino, founder of the ingenious Good Night LampClaire Rowland from AlertMe.com, and Alex Jones of Fjord. It just goes to show, sometime you should talk to strangers.