February 16, 2011

Startups and Agile Teams

I have spent a long time working in software startups of various stripes, and I have also spent a long time working with Agile teams delivering software of various stripes.

It is  difficult to sufficiently emphasize how similar those two models are.    Think about it:

Startup Agile
What’s the simplest thing that could possibly sell? Working Software over Comprehensive Documentation
Hire smart, talented people, and most of the problems will take care of themselves Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Get something out quick so your customers can give you feedback Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
What you end up building is almost never what you originally envisioned Responding to change over following a plan

Read this fascinating article about Dropbox, and how it succeeded where its competitors did not. It should help you down this path.