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Hello Eric,

I saw you speak some years ago right around the time your first book came out. I have a media background, and I noticed some parallels with what you described at IMVU and what I have seen in my industry.

Typically, the projects have involved large media companies building high-quality products/brands, such as television shows or websites. They are designed and built in near-stealth mode with limited opportunities for user testing or audience feedback, and sometimes (but not always) fail miserably when they are released to the world. Conversely, there are examples of media programs/products/brands being developed in a highly iterative/audience-focused approach and sometimes (but not always) leading to a hit or at least becoming self-sustaining.

My question is this: Generally speaking, can “lean startup” concepts be applied to media or other industries, or do the unique characteristics of those industries — for instance, high cost structures or dependence on industry-specific business models - make it difficult to really leverage the software-focused product development concepts you outlined?

I hope to develop a framework with which to approach product development in my own industry (“lean media”) and would greatly value any feedback/ideas/suggestions for further reading you may have.


Yes, I think the fundamental issues are the same as product development elsewhere: the key is to find product/market fit. Sometimes you swing for the fences and it works out great. Sometimes you do everything right and you still fail. It's about probabilities and whether taking a scientific approach can increase the odds that you build something customers want.

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