Monthly Archives: July 2016

Book Notes on ‘Sprint: How To Solve Big Problems And Test New Ideas In Just Five Days’

At the beach last weekend I picked up the book ‘Sprint‘ by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky and Braden Kowitz of Google Ventures.  As I have been involved in many different flavors of ‘Agile’ Software Development, the concept of using a ‘Sprint’ to bring product ideas to life caught my eye.  This book is an easy read even though process-oriented books are not really my thing.  Here are some of my key take-aways from the book:

  • The authors note that Slack was created using this process.
  • One week is not much time to create a product from scratch, and this book recommends only one day for actually prototyping product ideas, with three days set aside for product planning.
  • Your objective (ala Noah Kagan) should be to get customer feedback about your product idea, and maybe even sales, before actually even investing in building the product.
  • Apple’s Keynote software is purportedly a great tool for product prototyping, although I’ve never used it.  Microsoft PowerPoint is also good for this purpose, which I have used for UI prototyping.
  • The last day of the Product Development Sprint should be devoted to soliciting feedback from anonymous users of your product prototype in one hour sessions.
  • You only need to conduct these user feedback sessions with 5 participants.  Fewer than 5 participants is not enough to establish a baseline pattern of usage from; any more than 5 participants results in diminished returns from the exercise.

Now, let’s go forth and build something great!