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The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses Hardcover – September 13, 2011


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The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses + Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers + The Startup Owner's Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business; First Edition edition (September 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307887898
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307887894
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (560 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The Lean Startup has a kind of inexorable logic, and Ries’ recommendations come as a bracing slap in the face to would-be tech moguls: Test your ideas before you bet the bank on them. Don’t listen to what focus groups say; watch what your customers do. Start with a modest offering and build on the aspects of it that prove valuable. Expect to get it wrong, and stay flexible (and solvent) enough to try again and again until you get it right. It’s a message that rings true to grizzled startup vets who got burned in the Great Bubble and to young filmgoers who left The Social Network with visions of young Zuckerberg dancing in their heads. It resonates with Web entrepreneurs blessed with worldwide reach and open source code. It’s the perfect philosophy for an era of limited resources, when the noun optimism is necessarily preceded by the adjective cautious." Wired

“I make all our managers read The Lean Startup.” —Jeffery Immelt, CEO, General Electric

"Eric has created a science where previously there was only art.  A must read for every serious entrepreneur—and every manager interested in innovation."
—Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, Opsware Inc. and Netscape

“This book should be mandatory reading for entrepreneurs, and the same goes for managers who want better entrepreneurial instincts. Ries’s book is loaded with fascinating stories—not to mention countless practical principles you’ll dearly wish you’d known five years ago.” —Dan Heath, co-author of Switch and Made to Stick

“Ries shows us how to cut through the fog of uncertainty that surrounds startups. His approach is rigorous; his prescriptions are practical and proven in the field. The Lean Startup will change the way we think about entrepreneurship.  As startup success rates improve, it could do more to boost global economic growth than any management book written in years.” —Tom Eisenmann, Professor of Entrepreneurship, Harvard Business School
 
“The Lean Startup is the book whose lessons I want every entrepreneur to absorb and apply.  I know of no better guide to improve the odds of a startup's success."
—Mitchell Kapor, Founder, Lotus Development Corp.
 
"At Asana, we've been lucky to benefit from Eric's advice firsthand; this book will enable him to help many more entrepreneurs answer the tough questions about their business."
—Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder of Facebook and Asana
 
“Ries' splendid book is the essential template to understand the crucial leadership challenge of our time: initiating and managing growth!” —Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Business, University of Southern California and author of the recently published, Still Surprised: A Memoir of a Life in Leadership.
 
"The Lean Startup isn't just about how to create a more successful entrepreneurial business, it's about what we can learn from those businesses to improve virtually everything we do. I imagine Lean Startup principles applied to government programs, to healthcare, and to solving the world's great problems.  It's ultimately an answer to the question 'How can we learn more quickly what works, and discard what doesn't?'"
— Tim O'Reilly, CEO O'Reilly Media
 
“Eric Ries unravels the mysteries of entrepreneurship and reveals that magic and genius are not the necessary ingredients for success but instead proposes a scientific process that can be learnt and replicated. Whether you are a startup entrepreneur or corporate entrepreneur there are important lessons here for you on your quest toward the new and unknown.”  —Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO
 
“The roadmap for innovation for the 21st century. The ideas in The Lean Startup will help create the next industrial revolution.” —Steve Blank, lecturer, Stanford University, U.C. Berkeley Haas Business School
 
"The key lesson of this book is that start-ups happen in the present—that messy place between the past and the future where nothing happens according to PowerPoint. Ries's ‘read and react’ approach to this sport, his relentless focus on validated learning, the never-ending anxiety of hovering between ‘persevere’ and ‘pivot’, all bear witness to his appreciation for the dynamics of entrepreneurship."  —Geoffrey Moore, Author, Crossing the Chasm
 
"If you are an entrepreneur, read this book. If you are thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, read this book.  If you are just curious about entrepreneurship, read this book.  Starting Lean is today's best practice for innovators.  Do yourself a favor and read this book." —Randy Komisar, founding director of TiVo and author of the bestselling The Monk and the Riddle
 
“How do you apply the 50 year old ideas of Lean to the fast-paced, high uncertainty world of Startups? This book provides a brilliant, well-documented, and practical answer. It is sure to become a management classic.” —Don Reinertsen, author of The Principles of Product Development Flow
 
The Lean Startup is a foundational must-read for founders, enabling them to reduce product failures by bringing structure and science to what is usually informal and an art.  It provides actionable ways to avoid product-learning mistakes, rigorously evaluate early signals from the market through validated learning, and decide whether to persevere or to pivot, all challenges that heighten the chance of entrepreneurial failure.” —Professor Noam Wasserman, Harvard Business School
 
“One of the best and most insightful new books on entrepreneurship and management I’ve ever read.  Should be required reading not only for the entrepreneurs that I work with, but for my friends and colleagues in various industries who have inevitably grappled with many of the challenges that The Lean Startup addresses.”  —Eugene J. Huang, Partner, True North Venture Partners
 
"What would happen if businesses were built from the ground up to learn what their customers really wanted? The Lean Startup is the foundation for reimagining almost everything about how work works. Don't let the word startup in the title confuse you. This is a cookbook for entrepreneurs in organizations of all sizes." —Roy Bahat, President, IGN Entertainment
 
“Every founding team should stop for 48 hours and read Lean Startup. Seriously stop and read this book now.” —Scott Case, CEO Startup America Partnership
 
“In business, a ‘lean’ enterprise is sustainable efficiency in action. Eric Ries’ revolutionary Lean Startup method will help bring your new business idea to an end result that is successful and sustainable. You’ll find innovative steps and strategies for creating and managing your own startup while learning from the real-life successes and collapses of others. This book is a must read for entrepreneurs who are truly ready to start something great!” —Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager® and The One Minute Entrepreneur

“Every entrepreneur responsible for innovation within their organization should read this book. It entertainingly and meticulously develops a rigorous science for the innovation process through the methodology of “lean thinking”.  This methodology provides novel and powerful tools for companies to improve the speed and efficiency of their innovation processes through minimum viable products, validated learning, innovation accounting, and actionable metrics. These tools will help organizations large and small to sustain innovation by effectively leveraging the time, passion, and skill of their talent pools.” Andrea Goldsmith, professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, and cofounder of several startups
 
“Business is too important to be left to luck.  Eric reveals the rigorous process that trumps luck in the invention of new products and new businesses.  We've made this a centerpiece of how teams work in my company . . . it works!  This book is the guided tour of the key innovative practices used inside Google, Toyota, and Facebook, that work in any business.” Scott Cook, Founder and Chairman of the Executive Committee, Intuit

About the Author

ERIC RIES is an entrepreneur and author of the popular blog Startup Lessons Learned. He co-founded and served as CTO of IMVU, his third startup,  and has had plenty of startup failures along the way. He is a frequent speaker at business events, has advised a number of startups, large companies, and venture capital firms on business and product strategy, and is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Harvard Business School. His Lean Startup methodology has been written about in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Harvard Business Review, the Huffington Post, and many blogs. He lives in San Francisco.


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Customer Reviews

Well written, easy read.
hvacFella
The Lean Startup provides structure for creating a startup and developing your product through iterative Build-Measure-Learn feedback loops.
daniel broten
If you are starting a business or thinking about expanding one, I'd highly recommend this book.
Jonathan Bennett

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

131 of 143 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Bennett VINE VOICE on August 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As of the writing of this review (August 2011), the US economy is still in pretty bad shape, banks aren't lending and companies are sitting on piles of cash. It's a perfect time to launch a startup, but capital is scarce. Fortunately, there are options for aspiring entrepreneurs. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries (co-founder of internet company IMVU) is a great place to begin.

When I first received the book I was a little concerned that it would be more focused on brick and mortar businesses to the exclusion of internet and content type startups. However, Ries focuses on a variety of entrepreneurial situations from traditional, physical businesses to those only existent on the web. If you are operating a business or thinking about starting one, chances are Ries has addressed your situation in some capacity within the book's 290+ pages.

The Lean Startup is filled with technical information, but also interesting stories that back up the author's assertions. I like this model because it allowed me to see what he was talking about in a real world setting. I also appreciate his inclusive vision of entrepreneurship. For example, he thinks entrepreneur should be a job category in larger companies and goes on to address the needs of people who are in charge of starting new projects within big corporations.

In short, the lean startup model focuses on getting a minimum viable product to the market, then receiving customer feedback along the way to improve the product and pivot (take a new approach) if necessary. This, of course, is in contrast to the old way of doing business where a product is launched fully functional backed by extensive market research.
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86 of 96 people found the following review helpful By Ramonster on November 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I've been reading Steve Blank's blogs on lean startups and product strategy since he started. Read his "The Four Steps to the Epiphany: Successful Strategies for Products that Win" or his "The Startup Owner's Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Companyl" if you must read a book on this subject.

His work and mentoring apparently inspired Eric Ries to write this book, which is fine but he does a really bad job of representing the original concepts. Makes me wonder how much of them he really understood.

Apart from being overly verbal and having a lot of repetitive waste in the narrative he's also constantly promoting himself and/or his fantastic consultancy efforts for others. Up to the point of nausea for me. Entire book could probably be condensed in less than a 100 pages if his ego was removed.

Read the original work, leave this alone.

However the concepts Eric Ries tries to describe in this book are very valid and real! It is mostly Steve Blank that applied them to startups and the Toyota lean authors that originally created them. If you managed to finish this book and found the content interesting please, please, please read up on it. There is lots of material out there and this book is definitely not a sparkling gem of wisdom on this subject.
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172 of 197 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Owens on September 13, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The title may seem over the top, but actually the implications of Eric's new book are huge. I can't remember a text in recent years that predicted such significant conclusions for society, education, and world business.

**Concepts in the book that will make your head spin:

1) Ries's Law (I'm coining this right now) - Moore's Law that states the cost of new technology will rapidly decrease thereby reducing technological risk of innovation. It's not until The Lean Startup that we realize the cost of reaching customers and thereby market risk will also rapidly decrease.

2) Entrepreneur mythology as we know it is wrong (aka Steve Jobs is not what he seems). Iconic innovators ala the founders of Apple are believed by the public to be successful because of their creative vision of the future. The Lean Startup shows that in order for founders to be successful, they must test each element of there vision against reality.

3) Demystifying startup metrics. Even in a startup mecca like NYC, few entrepreneurs understand the metrics that drive their business. Eric's Innovation Accounting paradigm will change the early-stage VC industry as we know it.

**What I like about the book:

1) Comprehensive and a pleasure to read.

2) Real world examples (case studies) from tech startups to the non-profit industry. You will not find anything like these in other books.

3) Case studies in chapters 6 & 7 alone are worth the price of the whole book.

**What I don't like:

1) The chapter titles are a bit confusing and non-descriptive.

2) I could see some savvy entrepreneurs getting bored with the beginning when there's really great content in the later chapters.
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72 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Burnham VINE VOICE on September 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In the tech boom of the '90s, so-called "startups" would burn through millions of dollars of investor cash before seeing any revenue. They'd hire PR firms and launch national ad campaigns; they'd bring on big-name C-level executives; and they'd train an army of support staff--all before they had any customers. Webvan, Pets.com, eToys, and countless others whose names are now forgotten went down this path, only to find that the massive demand they'd anticipated for their services never materialized.

Investors have wised up since. Validation is the name of the game: Your concept may look good on paper, your demo may look great, but you're never going to raise more than six figures without traction--enthusiastic beta testers, active users, or best of all, revenue. Today, the word "startup" suggests a handful of people working on a small product, collecting feedback, and iterating on that feedback. Rather than launching when everything is perfect, they launch when they have a "minimal viable product" (MVP). It's an approach that's been advocated for years by startup accelerator programs like Y Combinator and TechStars. And now Eric Ries has a name for it: "The Lean Startup." He's built a whole brand around the name--including a video series, a conference, and now this book--and attracted press coverage that's described it as a "radical new theory" (Wired).

So is it new? That depends on who you are. If you're already in the startup world, most of this book will sound familiar. That's not to say that Ries' writings are useless--the book contains some solid anecdotes (though not as many as I would've liked), and many entrepreneurs are aware that they're not iterating on feedback as quickly as they could be--but it does make the repetition of the theme tedious.
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