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UX Principles » Blog Archive » Notes From Mobile UX Camp 2011: Business of UX & Lean Startup Session


Pat Sheridan from Modus led an engaging and thoughtful discussion at this past weekend’s Mobile UX Camp 2011 about starting your own UX business. Below are my notes.

  • Product Development or Consulting?
    • Need to be one company or the other
  • DC Lean startup meetup
  • Need to iterate your business model just like your creative
  • Product market alignment
  • Minimal viable product
  • Get your product in the hands of customers and get feedback as quickly as possible
  • Don’t discount your advantages
  • Tighten your belt
  • Don’t hire people at a pay rate where their salary only goes down
  • “Channel Partnership”
  • Advisory board > Modus holds all equity, not a Board of Directors
  • Focus on making $$$ right away
    • “You have the stink of Steve Jobs on you” = former Apple employees starting their own companies
    • Nora Roberts “you can fix everything except an empty page”
  • Partners (example Nathan and Dan of EightShapes)
    • complimentary skills
    • define responsibilities
    • Same values
  • Pat’s / Modus philosophy:
    • productize consulting
    • we are here to build your capability not to be here in perpetuity > not to be a staff hog
    • Frame the engagement (not open-ended)
      • active instead of passive
      • “you have to know when done is”
      • need to be able to
        • say no
        • fire clients
        • …but nicely so they will hire you again
        • (when faced with a client that tends to have non-productive meetings that veer off topic or where the client’s staff can’t agree or make decisions) “I’ve budgeted one hour for this conversation > you’re paying me so you might as well benefit from it”
    • start a consulting engagement with a training engagement
      • ex. Agile UX Bootcamp
      • when we leave your staff should feel a sense of ownership
  • 30% and 70% reference marks in project schedule
    • reality check
    • can abandon if it’s not working Created with WorkFlowy.com