The Lean Startup - The Name Game + CHEAT SHEET

Episode 88 - 07 Jun 2017

Last time, I “borrowed” from Buffer to create my Mundane MVP.

What I didn’t know at the time is that this approach already has a name. Thanks to Robert Howard for letting me know that it’s called a “Fake Door”.

Today, we’ll take a closer look at this “Fake Door” approach, and give it a rating for “Evil-ness”.

Then we’ll move on to the main business of the day: coming up with a name for “The Course of Some Kind”. I am terrible at naming things; these are the best I could come up with:

  • Up to Speed with Agile
  • Up to Speed with Scrum
  • Up to Speed with Kanban

You, I'm sure, can do much better. What would have caught you eye? What would have made you think "Sounds awesome. I'm in!" ?

Remember to grab your copy of The Lean Startup Cheat Sheet


A Cunning Plan led to a rather Mundane MVP.


Creativity, Inspiration and Perspiration

Not mine.


Fake Door

Last time, I took Buffer’s Minimum Viable Product, painted it yellow, and christened it the “Mundane MVP”.

Little did I know that this technique already has a name; Robert Howard tells me that it’s called a Fake Door.

(Looks like I’ll need to withdraw my trademark application… )

The article that Robert was good enough to share describes the Fake Door as an “efficient testing method”.

It also describes as being just a little bit “evil”. And I agree, it is a little bit evil.

Imagine that you’re scrolling through Facebook. A beautifully-designed ad catches your eye. You click through to a perfectly proportioned landing page.

The offer is irresistible. You want in. You click the button and...


OK, that would be truly evil. Lets go again:

You click the button and...

a standard error page. (Apparently, Facebook does this from time time to time.)

Still borderline evil. Let’s go again:

You click the button and...

You get a written apology. It’s not exactly what you were expecting but at least there’s an explanation

If it’s evil at all, it’s a short-lived evil.

It is, after all, an experiment. We start it, we bring a little evil into the world, and we shut it down.

One of the positives sides of running a “Fake door” experiment via paid advertising is that it’s in our best interests to keep it SHORT.

But how short is short?

That’s another one of those good questions.

The plan

What if we have 3 adverts - Identical in every way apart from one: the name of the course.

We run concurrently. We run them until a clear winner emerges.

Then shut it down.

Sound like a plan?


Let's create

It’s time for the creativity, inspiration and perspiration I mentioned earlier.

I’m seriously rubbish at naming things. You, I’m sure, can do much better.

As I’ve mentioned before, the idea is to have a course targeted at people that have yet to stumble across Development That Pays. People that would find is interesting, entertaining and useful.

The subject will be Agile, Scrum, Kanban or some combination thereof.

The course itself will be a five parter - a 5-day challenge, with each part being a 5-10 minute video - not dissimilar to the video you’re watching now

So what do you think? What would be a good name for such a thing? What would have caught your eye?

What would have made you think: “Wow a free course on X! Let me at it!”

Got something? Excellent!

Type it into the comments box below.

Thank you in advance for your help; I'm really looking forward to reading your suggestions.

Next time

Next time we’ll figure out how to whittle the list down to our final three.

Which kind of assumes that I get more than three suggestions. So I really am counting on you.