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A Handbook on How to Increase Your Chances of Success with a Business Idea While Eliminating Waste
on February 5, 2016
I really liked this book. There's not a lot of fluff (which makes sense since it's a book on being lean), and it gives good examples and steps to help you apply the teachings. What it reminds me of is the Agile methodology because the main concept was about moving in smaller iterations, getting quicker feedback, and adjusting accordingly.
In terms of business and start-ups, the underlying theme to me was that you should try not to assume that you're correct - instead create small tests where you roll out an idea in small increments and test them before advancing. In some respect, it sounds like so much common sense, but how often do we fail to do this.
Old school business involves creating grandiose business plans that are complete and researched/analyzed using a ton of time. However, encapsulated within that is a lot of assumptions. How do you know such and such will happen? How do you know that customer feedback won't take you in a completely different direction? How can you possibly plan for that alternate direction if you haven't received enough feedback yet?
It's difficult predict what people will value, and how much they will value it until they actually have to pay for it (or at least use it). So how do you get to the point where you know exactly how much a customer will value your product/service with the least amount of waste? Are you being flexible enough to allow a 180 degree turn if you find that the customer will value something else than you originally planned for (and that you have the expertise to do)?
One important point Maurya makes early on is that money is not the only form of waste. Just as important are things like your time and energy. Why spend time and energy on things that won't add value?
The book gives you steps on how to incrementally roll out your idea and constantly test it as you go, down to the level of who you should be getting feedback from, how much time to spend interviewing them, and what questions to ask them.