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Game a start-up! Playing Lean with SEEK

20 Dec 2016

One of the best ways to learn to be a founder of a business or an entrepreneur within a large organisation is to…well, just do it! Playing Lean have created a great board game to teach Lean Start-Up mindset, methods & insights from the movement. I brought in my game, some hard knocks experience from heading up teams in start-ups and the wisdom of the great Lean Start-Up gurus; Steve Blank, Guy Kawasaki, Ash Murya, Geoffrey A. Moore, Tony Ulwick and of-course Eric Ries. If you wanted a short half a dozen books to read on Lean Start-Up this is it; strategy, product innovation and accelerated delivery for smart people!

Startup books image
Start-Up Movement in half a dozen books

The best thing about all this wisdom is that it gives you a clear set of principles to practice that help you to be more productive in your business. The thing about principles though, is that they are experienced-based values. If they aren’t experienced-based well then they are just propaganda on a wall…or a modern term would be a ‘meme’. So the Playing Lean Game forces you to:

  • iterate through your business strategy
  • experiment on product builds with customers and
  • invest in accelerators such as technical excellence, innovation culture and marketing & sales.

There are lots of decisions to be made each round - testing out their strategic intentions, validating their assumptions and allowing you to correct quickly.

People playing the lean startup game
Playing the Lean Board Game at SEEK


The goal of a start-up is to grow, to validate what customers want and reach broader market saturation. The game forces you to think about scaling while iterating, always keeping your winning horizon in mind.

Product Release Tile with validated features

The trick in playing the game (just like in start-ups really) is to start smartly, learn the best actions, build accumulative advantages into your business operations and accelerate your idea into a feedback loop with your customers.

Thanks Dave Pryce for setting up the session, taking photos and being co-facilitator :)

Written by Stephanie BySouth, Agile Coach