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Eric Ries to Tell Payments Industry How to Get Lean and Mean at The Innovation Project 2013
[February 25, 2013]

Eric Ries to Tell Payments Industry How to Get Lean and Mean at The Innovation Project 2013

BOSTON --(Business Wire)--

Would many more payments ventures fail than succeed if they looked more like "lean startups" That is the core question that Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup, and Mark Lavelle, Senior Vice President of PayPal (News - Alert) and co-Founder of Bill Me Later, and five of the industry's most senior and dynamic C-suite executives will address in a 90-minute interactive keynote session at The Innovation Project 2013 on March 21st. Hosted by, The Innovation Project 2013 is an invitation-only, two-day gathering of the most senior executives and elite innovators in payments who are driving innovation in the payments and broader commerce ecosystem.

Ries isn't likely to pull any punches when he addresses the 500 senior delegates who will attend this session. The author of The Lean Startup, Ries is known for being direct. "The amount of time a company can count on holding on to market leadership to exploit its earlier innovations is shrinking," Ries says, forcing even the largest and most established players to think very differently about how it innovates and why. Nowhere does this ring truer than in payments where incumbents and challengers now duke it out in an ecosystem reshaped by the forces of technology, the imaginations of entrepreneurs every where, and the investors willing to fund lean startups with a vision for how payments and commerce should look in the future. Ries' Lean Startup Principle Number one Don't spend time initially on how a product should look or function, but whether it should exist at all. If a startup can't get beyond that basic, the rest is just a waste of everyone's time and money - so don't bother.

The focus of this interactive panel discussion will be on a critical factor in pyments innovation - ignition - and how Ries and this group of C-Suite innovators believe lean startup techniques can be adapted to an industry as complex as payments. For example, a core tenet of a lean startup is devising a growth and value hypothesis for a customer segment, except that in payments, those hypotheses must take into account multiple customer segments given the customer interdependencies that its platform structure imposes. So, in payments, it isn't enough to have a value hypothesis for consumers or a business, there has to be a value hypothesis for merchants too. Scaling that web of platform interactions also requires a business model design that creates an incentive for a side of the platform that really values having access to the other, to jump on board. Many a startup in payments and commerce has followed lean startup principles to the letter, only to see its masterpiece flounder and flop because it miscalculated which side of the platform needed to see the value in its MVP enough to jump on board and subsidize the other side that was essential to turn the platform flywheel.

Reis and Lavelle will engage in an interactive 90-minute session that will discuss and debate the merits and challenges of adopting lean startup techniques in an environment that is as massively complex as payments. This session will include five other C-Suite executives who have applied lean techniques in their own startup organizations and will share what worked well, what didn't, and what modifications to the lean startup methodology might have to be considered in order to fully ignite innovation in payments and commerce.

Members of the panel include:

  • Jacob de Geer, CEO and founder of Sweden's iZettle
  • Ken Paull, CEO of ROAM
  • Eric Remer, Founder and CEO of PaySimple
  • Scott Thompson, CEO of ShopRunner
  • Bill Weingart, Chief Product Officer at Vantiv

For information on how to register and for a look at the entire programming line up, please visit

About The Innovation Project

Over 2 days, 100 speakers and 500 senior members of the payments industry will change the way that the payments and its broader commerce ecosystem thinks, talks, delivers and ignites innovation. On March 20th and 21st the greatest minds in commerce and payments will assemble at Harvard University near Boston to kick the conversation about innovation up to an entirely different level at a program called The Innovation Project. Speakers and delegates are among the most senior executives and elite innovators from literally every established payments company worldwide, along with the CEOs of the most innovative start-ups in the space. One of its five modules includes pairing industry CEOs with external thought leaders such as Al Gore (former US VP), Steve Levitt (Freakonomics), Eric Reis (The Lean Startup), Rosie Rios (US Treasurer), Russell Simmons (Rush Card), Raj Date (CFPB), and Josh Lerner (Architecture of Innovation) to challenge the conventional wisdom around what it will take to get merchants and consumers to adopt new ways to shop and pay. Warren Buffett is the program's keynote. The Innovation Project also hosts the industry's 2013 Innovator Awards, given to 15 of the industry's top innovators over dinner, which this year will be emceed by B.J. Novak of The Office and will introduce delegates to 40 of the hottest "next generation" payments innovators.

About is reinventing the way in which companies in payments share relevant information about the initiatives that shape the future of commerce and make news. This powerful B2B platform is the #1 site for the payments industry by traffic and the premier source of information about "what's next" in payments. C-suite and VP level executives read it daily for these insights, making the audience the most valuable in the industry. It provides an interactive platform for companies to demonstrate thought It provides an interactive platform for companies to demonstrate thought leadership, popularize products and, most importantly, capture the mindshare of global decision-makers. It's where the best minds and best content meet on the web.

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