SSE Labs' Blog

Stanford's Student Startup Accelerator

7/28 Dave Hodson at SSE Labs on Open Iteration

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This week for our Wednesday workshop, Dave Hodson came in to talk about Open Iteration. Dave currently works at Microsoft and is a Principal on the Bing Team, working on domain-oriented search and large-scale data extraction. Previously, he co-founded MessageCast, iPrint, and has a strong technical background with experience in fund-raising, building infrastructure, and team-building.

Dave presented a lot of information on product development cycles/strategies and open iteration; a few of the key takeaways from the workshop are:

  • Read “Getting Real” by 37Signals and Dave McClure’s presentation on Startup Metrics (the pirate one)
  • The #1 most important thing is to have your vision, and execute.
  • Optimize your product development strategy for the best fit to your context. Pick something lightweight and figure out a way to automate the process of verifying the validity of a build.
  • Communicate with your customers, and set the expectations for them. You also need visibility for bug fixes and updates (for this, email and blogs work great)
  • One great strategy for controlling your release is using the concept of buckets/flights for your feature deployment. Deploy to a limited audience, some x% of users for a limited time. Remove the feature, and analyze the feedback to determine if you should release it to more users for further feedback, all users, or simply drop the feature.

His slides on Open Iteration can be found here: http://www.slideshare.net/davehod.

Thanks again to Dave for coming in, we really appreciate your involvement as a mentor!

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Written by ahzietsman

July 29, 2010 at 12:19 am

Posted in Mentorship, Workshop

One Response

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  1. […] on previous experiences and the work Bacon (Mike) and I did with PersistentFan, my presentation focused heavily on how to launch with a minimum desirable product and iterate quickly. As you might […]


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