I'm Salim Virani. I used to design peer learning programs, and these days I'm having fun building stuff.

Building faster without measuring is like driving faster without looking.
Sep 23, 2011

Every process a startup uses operates at one stage of the feedback loop. But lean startup practices have the effect of optimizing the total time through the loop. Practices that are harmful are the ones that optimize our ability to do just one of the three stages well. For example, you can build much faster if you don't "waste time" measuring. That's like suggesting you can drive faster if you close your eyes and hit the accelerator. It's true, but dangerous. The same is true for departmental structures that work like silos. They may work in large companies, but in startups they're dangerous because they encourage people to improve at their specialized job rather than maximizing learning.

Posted via email from I'm Sal

What am I up to these days?

I’m working on a communication tool for loose community groups and unconference-style interactions. It focuses on individual autonomy rather than top-down coordination.

I recently became a Kernel fellow, where I was exploring models for self-directing communities of care, the history of economic cultural norms, and the connection between mimicry, memes and our sense of belonging.

I did a few advisory gigs too - for Polygon, Limechain and Bankless on education and support programs.

In the past, I designed peer learning programs for Oxford, UCL, Techstars, Microsoft Ventures and The Royal Academy Of Engineering. I also played a role in creating the Lean Startup methodology, and the European startup ecosystem. You can read about this here.

Projects

  • Cuppa - decentralised collaboration protocol (WIP)
  • Nonfungo - completely on-chain NFT sale notification bot for Discord. (Look ma! No Opensea API!)
  • Powerplays - real-time token launches

Books

  • Peer Learning Is - a broad look at peer learning around the world, and how to design peer learning to outperform traditional education
  • Mentor Impact - researched the practices used by the startup mentors that really make a difference

Collected practices

  • Source Institute - skunkworks I founded with open peer learning formats and ops guides, and our internal guide on decentralised teams
  • DAOistry - practices and mindsets that work in blockchain communities
  • Decision Hacks - early-stage startup decisions distilled