Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
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Showing 1-10 of 42 reviews(1 star). Show all reviews
on November 4, 2012
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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on January 15, 2014
No need to waste your time on 350 pages while the author has one point repeated over and over: test your assumptions with a minimum viable product as early as possible instead of waiting to develop the "perfect" product that you have in your mind.
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on January 17, 2014
This is the first review I've written in two years. The Lean Startup left me dissapointed. The book isn't organized well, isn't concise and the manner in which Ries writes makes one feel the urge to skim-read. Its purpose seems anchored in positioning himself as a consultant for startups, and he broadens his definition of startups so that large companies (or perhaps big pocket consulting prospects?) can still benefit from learning the "methodologies" of the Lean Startup--whatever that is.

I never once came away from a reading session with a new, insightful idea. When you sift away all the verbal drivel in the book, the main thesis or lesson is to do one thing: test.

All said, I don't regret my decision to read the book. With this much buzz around a book, I thought it worth a read. Unfortunately it was just buzz.

(Please excuse typos. Wrote this on phone)
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on August 25, 2012
Eric Ries is overly self absorbed and talks more about his company and himself more than any useful startup principles. I'd honestly have to say this is more of a biography of a company and, unlike the title leads you to believe, is aimed at changing large corporate American business ideals than actually helping startups. Another annoying fact is that he mentions his own concept "Lean Start-up" more than anything in the book - tooting his own horn.

2% helpful, 98% fluff. Not so much a "must-read."
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on September 18, 2012
The contents of this book is so repetitive it's ridiculous. The same messages written over and over again just in a slightly different manner. It's as if the author assumes the reader is dumb and can't grasp the concepts. I found myself saying 'Ok, I get it already, so what about the HOW.' but it just goes around around in the same circles! Toward the end of the book there are some interesting points but overall I think there is a lot of unjustified hype around this book. It just doesn't deliver in every sentence like many awesome books do, nor does it even deliver in every chapter. Very disappointed that there are only a few valuable chapters in all.
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on September 1, 2013
The authors suggests to make a team of 5 people (this is a magic number he puts in his pseudo-science theory), who do all the work: talking to customers, marketing, sales, and programming. He contradicts himself saying that the system is important, not the people, but latter suggests to test the team by solving problems given at informatics competitions. His idea is that smart people (engineers who can solve IOI informatics problems) can learn quickly marketing and sales and do their job even better in the long run (which I think is true). The author does not see the big picture:
- A big team require special techniques to manage communication (read Code Complete by Steve McConnel). Eric Ries does not know how to manage big teams and instead suggests to limit the size to 5. This works only for very small projects.
- The IOI competition participants are all taken by Google, Microsoft, Facebook or start their own companies. Most corporations do not have talent. If there is a smart person she is thought to be crazy/disruptive
Eric Ries gives many examples with Toyota, including one about Toyota Sienna manager who visited all US states, Canada and Mexico to interview people. The author does not realize this is an anti-example for his lean theory of working in small batches: there is no reason to go in all 50 states to test your product assumptions as one is enough. And yet this is exactly what Toyota did.
Read other 1 and 2 star reviews, because they are all correct: Eric Ries is a vocal salesman, pitching his consulting business to corporations.
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on July 1, 2014
After seven years in Product Development I feel this book has a handful of great concepts, wrapped in 300+ pages of superfluous and disingenuous BS, self-indulgence, and contradiction. However, if you can make it past the first 75 pages of fluff, there is some wisdom to be gained. Otherwise, skip it.
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on April 19, 2013
I puchased this book seeing 4.5 stars rating on Amazon but was very disappointed when I started listening the audio version. I tried very hard to try to get to what the author was trying to portray. It's kind of vague because the contents of the book are lacking proper planning for presentation. I could not make heads or tails out of this book. Not worth spending the money and time in reading it.
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on December 30, 2012
Very vague in its concept and idea, specifically for those who are getting into the entrepreneur world. The author took the topic of prototyping and streched-it through out the book.
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on September 27, 2014
Why is the Lean Startup book not lean itself? Found myself excited to purchase this book because I follow and adopt lean manufacturing process in my business practice. Was equally excited to read the book after reading the book cover and inset text. However, after reading the book, I was so disappointed because the useful book material could have been delivered in a chapter, not a book. Many questions remain begging answers. The French have a saying, 'that which is understood can be expressed simply.' As for this book, though the concepts are big, the substance is missing, and demands an author do-over.
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