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The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
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- Item Weight : 6.9 ounces
- Paperback : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0670921602
- ISBN-13 : 978-0670921607
- Dimensions : 6.02 x 0.94 x 9.21 inches
- Publisher : Penguin Books Ltd (January 1, 2001)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #32,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Second, the focus of the book is on "what" a lean start-up is and doesn't provide actionable information. Diarrhea of the word processor resulted in a 365 page definition of a lean start-up, where it could have been boiled down to less than 100 pages (minus 1-star for waste...Distill it down to an A3 using Lean Thinking). So let me save you some time.
1. An entrepreneur is a person who creates a business around a product or service under conditions of "extreme uncertainty", and should ascend the vision-strategy-product pyramid. (Google: Start with Why TEDx - Ries redefines that concept)
2. A start-up is a phase of the entrepreneur's organization, tasked with the goal of reducing the condition of "extreme uncertainty", and finding a sustainable business model (Google: Lean Business Model Canvas).
3. Use customer discovery (class) and validated learning (method) to find a sustainable business model around your product or service idea. The validated learning method of Build-Measure-Learn is synonymous with Plan-Do (Build), Check (Measure), and Act (Learn) cycle, which as most people know is derived from the scientific method.
a. Build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
b. Measure using Actionable Metrics instead of Vanity Metrics.
c. Learn from your MVP and Actionable metrics and Pivot to improve problem/solution and product/market fit or Persevere.
4. Finally, use lean principles (i.e. small batch sizes, 5 whys root cause analysis, chief engineer, blah, blah, blah) to stream-line your operation once you've found a viable business model and are ready to leave the start-up phase and enter the growth phase. (Minus 1-star: As a hardware guy and having extensive experience in lean it's blatantly obvious Ries is just starting his lean journey and his last section (Accelerate) is superficial, survey, regurgitation of some of the lean tools and ideas).
Reference More Actionable Books:
Running Lean - Ash Maurya
Art of the Start (Ch.1) - Guy Kawasaki
Reference Free Material:
Steve Blank's Website & Blog
Simon Sinek - Start with Why
These methods are applicable outside of startups. One of the best takeaways was the "5 Whys" technique when you encounter a problem. Basically, when something goes wrong at your company, you ask "why did that happen?" to the person most responsible and follow the chain of causality at least 5 steps down. The apparent problem is only the surface symptom; you have to drill down to how it was even possible for that to happen to truly fix it and grow as an organization.
For example, imagine your company website went down during the holiday season, costing thousands in lost sales:
1. Web admin: It got hit by hackers.
2. Security team: The hackers succeeded because the server wasn't patched.
3. IT Manager: The server wasn't patched because the change-management procedures only allow for patching once a year.
4. IT Director: Patching is so infrequent because a critical vendor product on the server breaks from updating any sooner.
5. CTO: The company chose that vendor because it was the only one that could solve our problems at the time.
At first you might blame the server admin or your security team for not securing the server, but digging deeper reveals that a strategic business decision led to the server going down, and it's time to reconsider it.
This technique is highly effective, but takes time and effort to execute well, especially outside of startups. You have to do this with the goal of learning and process improvement or else it turns into a fruitless finger-pointing blame-fest. There's a lot more detail so I recommend checking out the book for yourself just for that technique.
For more in-depth methods for *how* to implement other parts of the Lean strategy, the best books I've found so far are Running Lean and Will It Fly? These offer more step-by-step guides on implementation.
This book could've easily been a 2 page essay but instead it is a 300 page college-esque (and very boring) essay. It also feels like an ad for Eric Ries' unheard-of internet businesses. There is nothing Lean about the Lean Startup, it should be called the Learn Startup instead. The Lean Startup approach to business creation kills disruption and true innovation, it is a guide for building a catered (incrementally improved at best) business. If Henry Ford followed this we would indeed have faster horses. Read Thiel's From Zero to One instead. This is garbage.
Top reviews from other countries
I really appreciated the book’s celebration that you don’t have all the answers and you shouldn’t if you’re a startup with an innovative solution. The major point, however, is that you shouldn’t pretend or act like you do but embrace the uncertainty and develop an experimental approach to delivering a Minimum Viable Product – build, measure, learn.
I found The Lean Startup not only great for advice, techniques and the analogous stories to help reinforce the approach, but it is an inspirational book that dares you to challenge everything and rationalise with customer validation that your vision is viable and scalable. When a book affects me it starts a chain reaction in my thought process so that I either gain a better understanding of where I need to go or may enable me to articulate what has been sitting just out of reach in my mind. This is one of those books.
Other books that reinforce this new startup environment and are worth reading include:
• Business Model Generation – Alexander Osterwalder
• Four Steps to the Epiphany – Steve Blank
• The Startup Owner’s Manual – Steve Blank
• Running Lean – Ash Maurya
It is slightly biased towards tech companies, partculalrly the product refinement and testing, but there are some nice non-tech case studies that he works through methodically to demonstrate how the lean principles can be applied to any type of startup.
Most important is the idea that you must prove your product or service innovation out in the market quickly.
There is so much uncertainty involved with developing an original product idea that traditional management techniques evolved in established businesses are inadequate in start-ups.
Instead, develop a minimum viable product (MVP) to test key elements of your business idea and get it out to potential customers. See what their response rates are compared with your expectations. Keep learning and innovating until you have a product that is proven and a marketing method that works effectively.
While I've spent more than 30 years studying marketing, I'm an accountant by training. I found the section on innovation accounting and cohort analysis to be an eye-opener.
This is an outstanding book. While its origins lie in software application development, the concepts have been proven in a vast range of different industries. In some ways, it echoes ideas in Michael Masterson excellent book "Ready, Fire, Aim" that also emphases the vital importance of early validation of a business idea in the market.
This is very highly recommended.
Paul Simister is a business coach who helps business owners who are stuck, get unstuck.
Im looking to eventually start my own business, and this was recommended to me by a friend who is a CEO of a big company as something that really helped him
Whilst it is slow to get started, its good because it used lots of contextual stories etc
Overall sso far a really interesting read but definitely a challenge to follow in its footsteps
I reckon it'll be 5 stars but seen as ive not yet got through it all yet which is why ive given it 4 at the moment