I was very fortunate to have attended the Lean Startup Conference a few weeks ago. While there, I thought it would be great to hear from the attendees themselves. I wanted to see what their thoughts were on the conference and what their feedback was. So, I took some to speak with several attendees over the few days I was there and record their voices.
In these interviews, I speak with Al Dupree, who is the Chief of Innovation and Design Solutions at the National Institutes of Standards and Technology or, NIST, the acronym most of us know. We also speak with Zetdi Sloan, Director at the Arrowhead Technology Incubator at the New Mexico State University.
Al Dupree, National Institutes of Standards and Technology
Pete Abilla: Testing.
Pete Abilla: Yeah.
Al Dupree: Okay. Go ahead.
Pete Abilla: We’re speaking with Al Dupree from NIST, The National Institute of Standards and Technology at the Lean Startup Conference 2014. So, Al, how’s the day been so far?
Al Dupree: So far the day’s been great. It’s a great conference, and it’s a great facility.
Pete Abilla: Good. Lean Startup is not a new idea. It’s heavily influenced by Lean Manufacturing. What are your thoughts on NIST standardization in Lean Startup? Why are you here?
Al Dupree: My background includes General Electric where Lean and Six Sigma kind of originated, took root, etc., so that’s why I was interested. NIST is a scientific organization and in so many ways, scientific organizations have yet to really avail themselves of some of the more leading edge thinking and business process. I figured this was a great place to come to learn a few things to bring back home to do science even better.
Pete Abilla: Wonderful. Now which workshops did you attend this morning?
Al Dupree: This morning I was in Bringing Lean Startup to Your Organization.
Pete Abilla: What practical applications can you take from that workshop back to NIST?
Al Dupree: Ultimately, everything is about process right? Everything is about a discipline or a methodology. What they’ve done is to take a series of steps and outline them understanding that this is not recipe like, this is more a notion of providing you with ideas for the application of this back in your organization as well as exercises so that you get a little practice. That’s pretty much what I’m going to take back. I’ve gotten some ideas about how I might motivate my organization in the correct direction.
Pete Abilla: Wonderful. That was Al DuPree from NIST at the Lean Startup Conference 2014.
Interview with Zetdi Sloan, New Mexico State University
Pete Abilla: Today we’re speaking with Zetdi Sloan from the Arrowhead Center at the University of New Mexico.
Zetdi: New Mexico State University.
Pete Abilla: New Mexico State University. Zetdi what are your thoughts so far on the Lean Startup Conference?
Zetdi: I’ve already made some really great connections. I’m here for the conference that actually starts tomorrow but was allowed to attend some of the social enterprise discussions that were going on today. So learning a lot from other colleagues in the room and from the speakers. So far, it’s been very beneficial and a lot of valuable information being shared.
Pete Abilla: That’s great. What specific applications can you take back with you to apply in education?
Zetdi: I think something that’s relatively new here that I hadn’t experienced before was not so much how you go back and teach Lean Startup principles but how you actually embody them and implement them in your own programs. That’s been the most impactful for me so far, is hearing from other people and how they’re actually starting with their own organizations first and making sure they’re running lean. That’s something that I definitely intend to take back. How can we go back and streamline some of our efforts and make sure that resources are being dedicated properly and that we’re doing our own customer acquisition. We’re doing what we preach to the people that we’re working with.
Pete Abilla: Awesome. That was Zetdi Sloan from the Arrowhead Center at the New Mexico State University.