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  • Overview


You couldn’t find three guys who do a better job of incarnating today’s spirit of finding and applying efficient problem solving than Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky and Braden Kowitz. As the pace of change accelerates, even the best ideas have little time to gestate. Yet businesspeople often must identify, polish, map and consumer test new ideas as fast and thoroughly as possible. In a company like, for example, Google, nobody has six months to figure out if something works. The next idea is already bulleting down the pipeline. You need to know if your idea – in a clear, marketable form – has legs and can find an audience. If it does, build it. If not, move on. In their “sprint” consultant roles at Google, YouTube, Slack, Nest, various VC firms, and other cutting-edge companies, the authors discovered, codified and applied sprint thinking under high-pressure circumstances. This handbook lays out their process in detail and shows you how to run a successful sprint to identify, name, build, format and test a commercial idea. The authors are smart, articulate, enthusiastic, passionate and only slightly repetitive. Their passion carries over to each page and spurs enthusiasm in the reader. Your head will be bursting with new ideas or ways to apply their approach to emerging projects or familiar problems. getAbstract recommends this manual and its method to venture capitalists, sole practitioners, corporate departments and everyone who has a great concept but doesn’t know where to start.

The authors teach these lessons about how to identify, codify and test a new idea:

1. What not to do.

In his first job at Google, Jake Knapp discovered that brainstorming meetings don’t work. They seldom produce the best ideas or most efficient solutions. Brainstorming is fun but unfocused. He saw that somebody working obsessively at his or her desk or thinking like mad on a bike ride usually came up with whatever the meeting couldn’t invent. That discovery got him thinking about a workable combination of the two realms – brainstorming meetings and solo thinking. When he teamed up with John Zeratsky and Braden Kowitz, they figured out their step-by-step sprint method.

About the Authors

Jake Knapp created the Google Ventures sprint process and led sprints for many ventures and start-ups. John Zeratsky was a design lead at YouTube and designed apps and a newspaper. He writes about design and productivity for The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company and Wired. Braden Kowitz founded the Google Ventures design team in 2009, pioneered the “design partner” role at a VC firm and led design teams for Gmail, Google Spreadsheets, and more.  

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