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Fuqua Faculty Conversations

Jon Fjeld

Jon Fjeld on the Discipline of Entrepreneurship

November 12, 2013

Jon Fjeld

Join us for a Fuqua Faculty Conversation with Jon Fjeld, Professor of the Practice of Strategy and the Executive Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Professor Fjeld will present:

The Discipline of Entrepreneurship

You will learn:

  • The balance between planning and execution in entrepreneurship
  • Applying the new “lean startup” method
  • A model for efficient learning in a startup

Professor Fjeld’s session took place in December 2013.

View Professor Fjeld’s Bio (PDF)

Pre-Recorded Video

Live Session Recording


  1. Tommy Thekkekandam

    Lean startup is most often discussed in the context of tech startups, and clearly is a methodology that works well in that space. What thoughts can you share on how this process of experimentation can be effectively applied in a slower moving industry, such as consumer packaged goods? Similarly, which aspects of the approach are not so applicable in these more “traditional” verticals?

  2. One pitfall many small B2B companies fall into is focusing on learning from only a few early customers. The result is that they build a custom solution that does not address problems experienced by a larger market. It is easy to see how this happens because the cash from one or two big customers is very attractive. Any advice how how to serve those early customers while still learning and building for larger market?

  3. Professor Fjeld, when I was at Fuqua 16 years ago the reason most new businesses failed was purported to be inadequate capitalization. Are the capital requirements for a “lean startup” different from those of a “traditional” one? How do you estimate the amount of money one needs for a quick and “lean” startup? Thanks. I am looking forward to your presentation. Randy

    • I have heard many institutional investors claim that most teams should be able to produce a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) with no more than $50K. That seems reasonable for a simple website. If you are building infrastructure software or need to purchase H/W I think the number is actually higher.

      One thing that has changed is the virtual and distributed nature of teams at most startups today. At All9s we have a virtual team which collaborates via github ($7/mo), skype (free) and e-mail ($10/mo/user). We also have shared office space at a Regus office building ($129/mo).

      By far our biggest expense to date has been salary. We have chosen to hire contractors to build parts of our software. Obviously, if the founders can contribute to the development effort and you can convince some vendors to work for equity, that can mitigate development costs significantly.

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