Experimentation, Innovation and Leadership

This week, the Lean Startup is taking over the blog on Intuit Labs with original stories and a fresh perspective. Centered around experimentation and investigating all parts of a business or product idea, this week’s posts include case studies, tips, Q&As, startup stories and more.

We’re kicking off the takeover with edited snippets of a conversation between Lean Startup’s Eric Ries and Intuit’s Ben Blank. In the videos below, the two discuss issues and share stories around corporate innovation — especially hesitation to experiment — developing internal tools and identifying the leadership skills of tomorrow.


In this first clip, Blank says that sometimes we’re scared to put our ideas out into the world, and we come up with very rational reasons why we shouldn’t do it. That’s why giving people permission to experiment is crucial, Ries responds, and in corporate environments, having predetermined experiment guidelines takes any excuse off the table:

There are no secret techniques or tools for corporate innovators. In fact, Ries says, good teams are smart at coming up with their own domain-specific tools once they have practice with the process and principles of innovation:

A way to spot next generation leaders: Do they put the truth above their own ego? And we should expect our leaders at all levels to lead by example — by being humble in the face of evidence and being interested in getting to the truth, even with their own pet projects:

This piece was created for a week-­long Lean Startup Co. takeover of Intuit Labs and was written by Mercedes Kraus. If you want to learn more about Lean Startup and how it’s applied at Intuit, visit the Intuit Innovation Institute.


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