Strange Loop

Sept 30 - Oct 2, 2021


Union Station


St. Louis, MO

Register for 2021!

Product Engineering

The plan for cashing in on a "million dollar idea" tends to start with step 1, an idea, and end with step 3, profit. The mysterious step 2 turns out to be the hard part, both because it is mysterious, and because it is much, much more complicated than one bullet point will allow.

After having a doctor with a flashlight explain where ideas come from, we'll explore step 2. We'll start with costumed avenger Mike Lee's €1000 an hour idea refinement service. Then we'll lay out the steps necessary to turn a refined idea into a product.

We'll look at planning, implementing, and testing features. We'll explore team building, funding, and marketing. We'll take a close look at your customers, your platform, and your market. And we'll ask the all important questions of when and what we'll finally ship.

Without virtual product hitting store shelves, we'll look at the real meaning of step 3. We'll talk about customer service, virality, and planned updates. Finally, we'll learn about the fear and consequences of success, and how to deal with them.

Whether you have shipped an app, or are sitting on the next big thing, you won't want to miss this hilarious and irreverent nontechnical look at the hows and whys of making a living in technology.

Click to view published talk video

Mike Lee

Mike Lee

Legendary product engineer and World's Toughest Programmer Mike Lee ("@bmf":!/bmf) has worked on apps for Alaska Airlines, Delicious Monster, Tapulous, United Lemur, Apple, and Nextive, producing such hits as Delicious Library, Tap Tap Revenge, Obama '08, and Apple's Mobile Store. His goal is to save Madagascar, his blog is at "":, and he has the world's largest collection of plush prosimians. In his spare time he races cars, flies airplanes, plays guitar, drinks single-malt scotch, and surfs. Mike lives in Appsterdam, the world capital of app development.