Ignite Talks

By Wes Amica

Taking the first step for me has never been a problem. I have always been a likable and personable person. I see networking as a craft and I am always continuously striving to improve my people skills and knowledge of behavioral studies. Coming to Silicon Valley for the first time is an amazing experience and opportunity, especially since we get to indulge and learn about the application of lean startup methodology.

Even though I have been to countless networking events and my fair share of conferences, I would not be deemed credible to project the social atmosphere of a conference of this stature. During the mixer before Ignite, people were very friendly and open to talk and get to know me. I was able to connect and have great conversations with several professionals in various industries including supply chain, information technology, software development and even entrepreneurial education. The ambiance of the mixer set a positive high energy tone for the Ignite talks.

The Ignite talks were an amazing and creative way to show lean methodology being applied in many different industries by many several different sub-sectors of organizations. To me this reinforces that Eric Ries has made a groundbreaking realization in the world of entrepreneurship. Below I have listed some of my favorite speakers and a couple of key points that I gained from their talks:

Barry O’Reiloy – Exec Camp

Exec camp is a genius concept. Creating a competitor company to disrupt the industry is a great idea to keep companies forward thinking and on their toes within their industry. There is no doubt about it that when my company gets to scale I will be either sending my employees to Exec Camp or using that concept within my organization.

Bhavin Parikh  – Magoosh

Parikh stressed 2 things within his company culture that are extremely beneficial to good decision making within any firm.

-Done over Perfect

-Data over Intuition

Janet Bumpas – Innoleaps

3 Types of people you need to succeed in a project within your organization:



Hippy (Designer)

Peter Zantos – Spring Tab

I think that Spring Tab is the future of digital marketing. With the internet so saturated with advertising and marketing, personalized marketing efforts will create a great value proposition for any company wishing to stimulate that 20% of their core customers who make up on average 80% of their profit.

Kelly McAdoo – City Manager at City of Hayward

It was very interesting to see the lean methodology applied in a political setting, especially with a small city. It makes me wonder how we could maybe apply it to the advancement of Kalamazoo.

Charu Nair

The most important thing I learned at the Ignite talks is from Charu Nair. That is to love everyone’s story. No matter what it may be.

Overall the Ignite speakers were all excellent and very interesting. I applaud them for the energy they exerted to sustain under such unconventional presentation standards. I know that my fellow students and I learned a great deal and are looking forward to the next couple days of the Lean Startup Week 2016!

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