As I'm sure you'll have noticed by now, we're pretty cosily ensconced in the lean salon over here at Made by Many. Lean methods help us create awesome services that people want, but they also hit a nerve because they're all about continuous learning and we like nothing better than learning new things. So following on from Nicki's confessions of a lean virgin last week, I thought I'd share a few stories from our experiences of putting lean principles into practice.

Over the past few months we've been working closely with Skype to develop a service for teachers who use Skype in the classroom. Skype started this project after seeing teachers using Skype in innovative ways, for example to carry out cultural exchanges and bring experts into their classrooms.

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Get ready for the Kindlephone, and more

The conventional wisdom is that Google will be or is the big challenger to Apple in the mobile computing market, but it turns out that we've been digging in the wrong place all this time. The way I see it, the real competition is going to come from Amazon.

Recent announcements from Amazon make me more certain than ever that they will shortly be launching a Kindle-branded phone and tablet based on Android.

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We’re hiring: middleweight writer

We’re on the hunt for a thoughtful, articulate copywriter to join us at the Wharf. 

Background-wise, we’re looking for someone who has been writing and editing for three to five years: this is a job for a professional writer, not an aspiring wordsmith. Digital copywriting experience is critical.

In terms of personality, we're looking for someone who is brave, challenging and pragmatic. You've got to be easy to work with, but also fiendishly dedicated to making smart, exciting things out of the Internet.

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A baptism of lean

OK, so we go on and on about lean startups here at Made by Many. And while it is indeed pretty tasty Kool-Aid, we're primarily obsessed with it because it's helping us deliver some great services that people actually want.

So what happens when a bright-eyed, fresh-faced MxMer joins the team having responded to a contract position asking for "curious" people?

Well, we start the indoctrination. So if you're a relative newcomer to lean startup movement, read on to see how Nicki Sprinz (@sprinzette) handled being thrown into the 'lean end'. 

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Did I mention how much I love Instagram?

instagram image

I didn't?

Okay. Well, it's safe to say I am obsessed with this app and its precious, awesome community. In next to no time, all my base are belong to Instagram. It has stealthily taken apart and re-made my online life in the course of a few weeks. And it's mobile: it's an on-the-go service, not something I have to sit down and use at a desktop - so I AM talking about my *whole* life, much to the chagrin of my wife and child :)

This weekend Instagram passed 3 million users. This is massive because we're talking about 3 million iPhone users only (you can't currently add photos any other way), and in recognition of the total hotness, co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger were interviewed by TechCrunch about their plans and what they think Instagram means.

Hint: it's not a mobile photo-sharing service 

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