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Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days Hardcover – March 8, 2016

4.9 out of 5 stars 112 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Every business leader I know worries about the same thing: Are we moving fast enough? The genius of Jake Knapp’s Sprint is its step-by-step breakdown of what it takes to solve big problems and do work that matters with speed and urgency. A sprint is a cure for what ails companies in an ever faster world.”
—Beth Comstock, vice chair of GE

"The key to success, often, is building the right habits. But which habits work best? Sprint offers powerful methods for hatching ideas, solving problems, testing solutions—and finding those small, correct habits that make all the right behaviors fall in place."
Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit

"To quote one of my colleagues, “don’t get ready, get started”. Through hard won experience Jake Knapp and the team at Google Ventures have refined an efficient, hands-on approach to solving your product, service and experience design challenges. Try the book and try a Sprint."
– Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO and author of Change By Design

"Read this book and do what it says if you want to build better products faster."
– Ev Williams, founder of Medium, Blogger, and Twitter

"Sprint teaches you a novel process for solving really thorny problems in just 5 days. It's full of helpful, entertaining stories that will make it easier for you to succeed. What more, exactly, would you demand from a book? I wish all business books were this useful."
Dan Heath, co-author of Made to Stick, Switch, and Decisive

About the Author

Jake Knapp created the Google Ventures sprint process and has run more than a hundred sprints with startups such as 23andme, Slack, Nest, and Foundation Medicine. Previously, Jake worked at Google, leading sprints for everything from Gmail to Google X. He is currently among the world’s tallest designers.

John Zeratsky has designed mobile apps, medical reports, and a daily newspaper (among other things). Before joining Google Ventures, he was a design lead at YouTube and an early employee of FeedBurner, which Google acquired in 2007. John writes about design and productivity for Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and Wired. He studied journalism at the University of Wisconsin.

Braden Kowitz founded the Google Ventures design team in 2009 and pioneered the role of “design partner” at a venture capital firm. He has advised close to two hundred startups on product design, hiring, and team culture. Before joining Google Ventures, Braden led design for several Google products, including Gmail, Google Apps for Business, Google Spreadsheets, and Google Trends.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (March 8, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 150112174X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1501121746
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
If you like placing big bets on untested guesses then this book might not be for you - save your money and buy a Powerball ticket. However, if you'd prefer to launch something new into the world with a bit more knowledge about how customers might respond, then I highly recommend Sprint.

There's a lot to like about the book, but I'll start with the tone. It suits the methodology perfectly - it's energetic, it doesn't seem to take itself too seriously, and it is direct. It's a refreshing read and has the effect of making you want to try the process right away.

From a format perspective, the book is primarily laid out according to the five days of a sprint which further helps with its applicability. The five main sections of the book cover each of the five days of a sprint with practical tips, lessons, and real world examples embedded throughout.

The content will feel familiar to those versed in design thinking...but entirely accessible to those who are not. Much of what is contained in the book will strike you as a very sensible approach; however, in practice you often see the exact opposite applied and groupthink and inaction typically reign. And that's where the book shines. It really gives you a roadmap for applying this process, that once underway and properly facilitated, will feel like it's the method you should use to navigate those really tricky business challenges. Sprint reveals a simple but profoundly powerful approach to making progress and determining next steps without guessing.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jake, John, and Braden have synthesized the most important design-thinking concepts of today into a book that is worth its weight in gold. Seriously — I’ve translated the ideas and checklists in this book to tens of thousands of dollars already as a design consultant.

It’s weird... even after 4 years of studying Art & Design in college and 4 years of working at a big tech company, this book was STILL a revelation to me. It helped me understand and practice design in a whole new way. I was lucky to be mentored by top-tier designers. Now you can be mentored by some of the best designers in the Silicon Valley. Listen in on how they work and think...

90% of what you need to know about designing great products is in these 257 glorious pages. The other 10% is just blood, sweat and tears.
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Format: Hardcover
The book content is great and the process methods and practice are well defined for any UX professional to pick up and be effective with out of the box. Four stars because the Kindle version is dreadful, don't buy it terrible image formatting of tiny indistinguishable blobs. The Kindle typography is also borderline. Buy paper you will thank me.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A very useful and enjoyable handbook that I'll be using to run student teams at the university. However, I was a little surprised to see Jake's comment in the preface about his 2009 team at Google: "... I decided to call it a design 'sprint'." Wait, what? Hasn't a five-day 'sprint', focused on delivering a working prototype, been *the* central feature of the scrum methodology of software design since 1993? That's when Jeff Sutherland and others worked together to design a structured methodology for teams that would be faster and better than 'waterfall project management'. SEE: many books, including a recent book by Sutherland's Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time and Lacey's The Scrum Field Guide: Practical Advice for Your First Year (Agile Software Development Series). Sutherland's work was based, in turn, on the 1986 Harvard Business Review seminal article by Takeuchi and Nonaka, "The New New Product Development Game". Many industries outside of software development--- NPR, airlines, even classrooms-- have used sprints for decades; we used a 5-day sprint for museum exhibit design in 1998. IDEO has been doing something very similar for decades too.

That said, after stumbling over that initial terminology of 'same word-different meaning' and the somewhat-less-than-generous "I invented this!!" claim without a tip of the hat to all the great people who led the way, I did really enjoy the book. Jake has immense experience and has developed a beautifully structured design-build process that we can put immediately to use that is simpler to implement than a fully-featured scrum team. Thanks, Jake!
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of the most useful work books I've ever read. Practical, easy to read, fantastically easy to apply to work projects. Loads of super insightful information and advice! I used this text for a class I taught at the Stanford d.school and the students really loved it.

I highly recommend this book to any team wanting to incorporate fast iterations into work flow/product development.
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Format: Kindle Edition
An excellent resource to offer the world with many problems to solve.  This tool rich approach to getting customer reaction is valuable in the message it communicates, “Let’s find out what real customers think!”.  In just about every situation, business and nonprofit, there is resistance to that step, mostly out of ignorance.   The rule of five —that getting reactions from 5 targeted potential customers is enough to kickstart this process into reality puts this learning in reach of many.  

The humor is lovely - the testimonials are revealing.  The honesty about guarding against falling in love with your own idea is critical.  Within new product development and entrepreneurship there is a legacy of championing your own idea, driving it through, despite the opposition.   Sprint could get a team/management through all that.   Most start ups fail for one reason, a lack of customers. Sprint gets the customer's point of view into the equation early.  

The 5 day commitment is a challenge.  There are guidelines and advice on work arounds. It likely becomes quite prestigious to be selected for a ‘Sprint’.   I foresee professional opportunities to become Sprint facilitators!!
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