I just started reading Eric Ries’ new book The Lean Startup. Almost right away, there’s a section on the five principles of the Lean Startup. Number 5 jumps out at me:
Number 5 - Innovation Accounting
To improve entrepreneurial outcomes and hold innovators accountable, we need to focus on the boring stuff: how to measure progress, how to set up milestones, and how to prioritize work. This requires a new kind of accounting designed for startups-and the people who hold them accountable.
Now, that’s kind of exciting to me. Here I’ve got this accounting system that I wrote and use for myself. While I use it for financial accounting for small businesses (HOAs) I want to take it to another level - and help startups with it. But as this principle notes, they need more than pretty invoices and automated billing, they need innovation accounting. Sure he may call it boring, but to capture and measure that data - is right up the alley of the kinds of apps I create. I’m kind of giddy after reading this, as I can see the synergy here.
Taken to another level, here in Seattle, I know Jim Benson and David Anderson - two pioneers in using lean methodologies for software development. Why can’t I get guidance from them on creating the cool kinds of metrics and integrate that stuff together. I think there’s more than a germ of an idea here, and I just the petri dish to incubate it.