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Abstract Gear Mechanism (ImageGap/Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Abstract Gear Mechanism (ImageGap/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Small Business Briefing

Lean startup approach hits the mainstream Add to ...

The latest news and information for entrepreneurs from across the web universe, brought to you by the Report on Small Business team. Follow us on Twitter @GlobeSmallBiz .

Large corporations starting to adopt lean principles

With its tenets of failing fast and constant learning and iterating, the lean startup approach is now deemed imperative for larger companies to survive, according to the cover story of Harvard Business Review. The author, Steve Blank, explains in the article how major corporations including GE, Panasonic, Intuit and Qualcomm, and how top business schools worldwide, are redirecting their curricula to focus on core lean principles.

“Companies are facing continuous disruption. Business-as-usual is not a credible response. The creation of an innovation economy that’s driven by continuous innovation has never been more important,” writes Mr. Blank, a Stanford University associate professor and ‘Godfather’ of the lean startup revolution.

You can read the Harvard Business Review cover story for free here: Why the Lean Start-up Changes Everything.

To learn more about the lean method, check out interviews from one of the movement’s pioneers, Eric Ries, as well as Alistair Croll who explains how his book Lean Analytics helps startups use data to build better products and services.

New theme park targets India’s urban middle class

India’s first big amusement park opens on Thursday with Hindu gods, haunted fortresses and Bollywood-themed rides. Adlabs Imagica, the new Disney-style park, hopes to fill a gap in the Indian leisure market and to appeal to the country’s burgeoning urban middle class, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Attractions include a ‘Wrath of the Gods’ show, in which Hindu deities furious with humans “cause the ultimate destruction” amid temple ruins, Mambo Chai Chama or ‘Crazy Tea Cups,’ the ‘Curse of Salimgarh’ involves a haunted fortress with dungeons and torture chambers, while a ‘Mr. India’ motion simulation ride is based on a 1987 Hindi superhero film of the same name. The park also boasts of India’s largest roller coaster, which opens in May.

“It was our vision to create an entertainment theme park of international standards in India,” said Manmohan Shetty, film producer and founder of Adlabs Entertainment Ltd., the company responsible for building the park.

Located between Mumbai and Pune, the theme park cost about $294-million (U.S.) to build and has a capacity of 10,000 to 15,000 visitors a day. A day out for a family of four could cost about $185 – expensive by Indian standards – but Mr. Shetty says is confident that they will meet their target of three million visitors a year.

Hopscotch makes coding fun for kids

A new kid-friendly app is doing its best to change the perception that programming can’t be fun. Hopscotch, free to download on the iPad, was created to teach children the joys of rudimentary coding by making programming language visual and bright. Users drag ‘blocks’ of code into a scripting area in order to build programming, according to All Things D.

Targeted toward girls 8 and up, Hopscotch was created by Jocelyn Leavitt, who, along with her co-founder Samantha John, was inspired by a lack of female engineers at her previous job.


Unhaggle named winner of TiEQuest 2013 award

On April 16, at the Toronto Board of Trade, TiEQuest announced Unhaggle Inc. as the winner of TiEQuest 2013. Founded in 2011 by Andrew Tai, Neal Shah and Radek Garbowski, Unhaggle is a site in which Canadian consumers can pay to have local dealers bid online for a vehicle as chosen by the consumer. Learn more about the award-winning company in ‘Who needs the hassle of haggling?’ by The Globe’s Tim Kiladze.

TiEQuest was started in 2005 with the purpose of helping startups and new businesses. Winners of the competition receive various cash prizes and In-Kind services from sponsors exceeding $150,000 in value.

TELUS Challenge Event: How to manage costs and improve cash flow

Looking for new business strategies to improve cash flow and better manage costs? Interested in listening to experienced business professionals and networking with small and medium business owners from around the GTA? On Thursday, April 25, from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., Telus is hosting a panel discussion on managing cash flow.


Health scare puts mineral spa on the defensive

After authorities closed its pool for six months, Manitou Springs Hotel and Mineral Spa has taken steps to encourage visitors to return. How can it combat any lingering negative perceptions and attract more business? Find out in this week’s Challenge .


How to attract and then hold onto good salespeople

James Palmer, vice-president of sales and marketing with the Great Little Box Company Ltd., explains what he does to draw and keep the 14 salespeople he supervises in Western Canada and Washington state and offers advice on how to stay competitive

Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us at smallbusiness@globeandmail.com .

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