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The Startup Way: How Modern Companies Use Entrepreneurial Management to Transform Culture and Drive Long-Term Growth Hardcover – October 17, 2017
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“Eric Ries just might be the new Peter Drucker. This masterpiece unpacks what it takes to achieve innovation at scale in modern organizations. Ries provides leaders the right mindset and methods for building big organizations where people work much as entrepreneurs do in the best little startups.”
-Robert I. Sutton, Professor of Management Science and Engineering and Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford, co-author of Scaling Up Excellence, author of The Asshole Survival Guide.
"Startups are experiments -- some are successful, some aren't, but they're the best way to bring new ideas to market. So how can a big company become more startup-like... or revive the focus and spirit that birthed it in the first place? Building on his revolutionary lean startup work, but applied to big companies, Ries' book shows you how."
-Marc Andreessen, co-founder and partner at Andreessen Horowitz
“I have witnessed firsthand how Eric Ries weaves the impact of lean start up methods with speed and scale into a big company. The Startup Way is an indispensable resource for companies, big and small, looking for faster, more sustainable ways to grow.”
-Beth Comstock, vice chair of GE
“Any leader looking to be on the cutting edge needs to ponder the lessons in this important book. Eric Ries demonstrates once again that the best ideas are both fresh and common sense once presented. An essential blueprint for modern companies—from large corporations to family businesses or nonprofits—for decades to come.”
-Lawrence Summers, University Charles W. Eliot professor and former U.S. Treasury Secretary
“Continuous innovation is the key to long-term impact and success. Eric shows how organizations of all kinds—not just startups—can be built to learn and adapt. In the pivot-or-perish networked world of twenty-first-century business, this is mission critical reading.”
-Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn and co-author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers The Alliance and The Startup of You
“Organizations are normally where entrepreneurship goes to die, but Eric Ries has the master plan for breathing new life into them. This is a remarkably useful playbook that every business, government, and nonprofit needs to ignite the spark of innovation and fuel the fire of change.”
-Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Originals, Give and Take, and OPTION B with Sheryl Sandberg
"My research has focused on what causes established companies to maintain success, and The Startup Way provides practical guidance on how to do just that."
--Clay Christensen, Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School
"The Startup Way creates a vision and blueprint for a new form of management which combines entrepreneurial and general management skills and practices. The inspirational examples across multiple, diverse organizations show that integrating the highly iterative, experimental mindset and skills of start-ups into established organizations is key to unlocking continuous innovation and sustainable growth… Provides clear and useful guidance for tackling the toughest challenges.”
--Kathy Fish, CTO, Procter & Gamble
“To succeed in the Third Wave, an era where technology will disrupt everything from education to healthcare, companies will need new tools and approaches. Eric Ries provides a road map for companies on how to use entrepreneurial principles to achieve transformational growth.”
-- Steve Case, former Chairman of AOL Time Warner and author of the New York Times bestseller The Third Wave
“The Startup Way is a wonderful decoder ring for those seeking to create, nurture, and sustain entrepreneurial thinking in companies at any size and scale. Rich with case studies showcasing real world applications and lessons learned, The Startup Way builds on the proven techniques from The Lean Startup with the next generation of best practices for companies of all sizes and industries.”
-Brad D. Smith, chairman and CEO of Intuit
“A fascinating, supremely useful read. On the foundation of his transformational The Lean Startup, Eric Ries has built a compelling case for organizational entrepreneurship to enable continuous transformation at scale. As he convincingly argues, it is not for every organization – only those that hope to survive and succeed in today’s environment.”
-General Stanley McChrystal
“The Startup Way teaches companies of all sizes how to effectively incubate and maintain an entrepreneurial culture through growth by allowing employees to find their inner entrepreneur. A must read, especially, by all leaders burdened by legacy organizational baggage and processes.”
--Aaron Levie, co-founder and CEO, Box
"If The Startup Way can transform the federal government -- and it has -- it can transform your company. For everyone who's thought 'there has to be a better way,' here's your proof and a playbook to make it happen."
--Jennifer Pahlka, Founder and Executive Director, Code for America
"Big companies are struggling as never before. They need a brand new stem-to-stern game plan, and they get exactly that in Eric Ries' new book The Startup Way. It keys off The Lean Startup and makes a great leap forward. The game plan Eric suggests is 'not optional' for our bumbling big outfits. Well done!"
“As someone who is deeply committed to the public sector, I was heartened to see that the entrepreneurial principles and practices that Eric Ries describes in his new book, The Startup Way, apply equally effectively to governments and nonprofits, as well as for established for-profit businesses. If you want to visit the future of the modern organization, read this compelling book.”
--Gavin Newsom, Lieutenant Governor of California
"In The Startup Way, Eric Ries uses his years of work with companies like GE and Toyota to show us what the company of the future will look like. If you want to know how companies can become more agile, more innovative, and more resilient in the face of today’s relentless pace of change, this is the book for you."
-Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post and founder and CEO of Thrive Global
“The American economy relies on a startup culture to create new goods and services, provide job opportunities, and raise living standards. Eric Ries’s The Startup Way provides a compelling roadmap to guide all organizations – old and new, big and small, high-tech and low-tech – to build a startup culture to experiment, iterate and innovate.”
-Alan Krueger, Chairman of the President’s Economic Advisers under President Obama and Bendheim Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton
“A twenty-first century toolkit that will allow any company to flourish.”
–Ron Conway, founder and co-managing partner of SV Angel
“People tend to associate the term ‘startup’ with a uniqueness that assumes a culture of creativity, innovation, and continuous learning. But as Eric Ries’ shows, you don’t have to fit the mold of a typical Silicon Valley start-up to prioritize learning over perfection, and create a culture where making mistakes is not just accepted, but encouraged. The Startup Way presents a new vision for what a modern company can, and should, look like.”
--Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code
“In The Startup Way, Eric Ries offers leaders across the public, private and non-profit sectors a road map for managing continuous innovation, regardless of organizational size or complexity. As someone who helped introduce some of these practices to the U.S. government, I’ve seen firsthand the improvement in people's lives.”
--Aneesh Chopra, former U.S. CTO
“Eric Ries does it again -- brilliantly. In his new book, The Startup Way, Ries argues that established businesses need to build a new entrepreneurial capability in order to innovate continuously. Most large companies are missing this fundamental piece of the corporate innovation puzzle. Neglect his advice at your peril.”
-Thales Teixeira, Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School
"A future classic, a book that will inspire thousands of companies to leap into a much needed re-invention."
-Seth Godin, author of Linchpin
“In The Startup Way, Eric Ries applies the secrets of Silicon Valley to established companies in every industry. The fact is, today, every one of us is in Startup mode. Every leader and aspiring leader should read this eye-opening book.”
-Marshall Goldsmith, author of the #1 bestselling Triggers, and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There
"Eric brilliantly describes the limitations of old management thinking in a time where competitors bring out new products an order of magnitude faster than legacy companies. The Startup Way describes how to foster entrepreneurial leadership essential to corporate survival in the 21st century."
-Jeff Sutherland, co-creator of Scrum Inc. and author of SCRUM: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time
“Eric Ries shows that entrepreneurial management is a key to success in this fast-changing world. At ING we’ve embedded lean startup principles into the way we innovate, The Startup Way brings new and valuable insights"
-Ralph Hamers, CEO of ING Group
"Eric has done it again! Every company can benefit from these startup principles -- and should -- because if they don't, a startup is probably going to drink up all their milkshake. This is the internet revolution and if your company isn't adapting to The Startup Way, it's failing."
- Alexis Ohanian, cofounder of Reddit & Initialized Capital, bestselling author of Without Their Permission
“The most important companies in the world were not built in a day. Companies like Facebook, SpaceX, and AirBnB did not stop after their first successful product. They continued to innovate, even in the face of extreme competition from startups. As a long term investor, I look for companies that can maintain that innovative edge over the course of decades. This book gives the blueprint essential to creating and sustaining that innovative culture regardless of the size of the company.”
-- Brian Singerman, Partner, Founders Fund
“There's a lot of talk about the need for more entrepreneurship in today's changing economy. But there isn't a lot of real insight about just what that means. The Startup Way is the toolkit every business needs to make itself both more entrepreneurial and more effective.”
-- Tim O’Reilly, CEO O’Reilly Media
"The problem with many 'how-to' books is that they don't really answer on the promise of teaching us how to. Not so with Ries' new book: this book is born out of the real world of application. It teaches line by line the path to put lean thinking to work in order to produce breakthrough results in culture and growth."
-- Greg McKeown, the author of the New York Times Bestseller, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
About the Author
Eric Ries is an entrepreneur and the author of the New York Times bestseller The Lean Startup, which has sold over one million copies and has been translated into more than thirty languages. He is the creator of the Lean Startup methodology, which has become a global movement in business, practiced by individuals and companies around the world.
He has founded a number of startups including IMVU, where he served as CTO, and he has advised on business and product strategy for startups, venture capital firms, and large companies, including GE, where he partnered to create the FastWorks program. Ries has served as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Harvard Business School, IDEO, and Pivotal, and he is the founder and CEO of the Long-Term Stock Exchange.
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Great read. It builds on Eric's prior work, providing context and methods of applying startup culture within any organization. There are some very simple concepts here, but most organizations do not follow them - and yet wonder why they cannot innovate, and more importantly why getting anything out of the door becomes a challenge.
From the ways to measure success of an intended entrepreneurial project to the way bean counters usually kill anything which might innovate in a large corporation, the book covers challenges which most people will recognize if they have spent any time outside of startups - and especially if they've lived through a maturing success.
Actionable ideas, simple concepts and engaging writing - it's great to see the developing influence Eric is having on all kinds of businesses.
Of course you have to be open minded - if you believe that nothing can be achieved without a detailed business plan, which is expected to actually represent the future - you're going to find this one a tough read.
Eric’s 4 step recipe for transforming a company is EXACTLY what a conventional change management program is all about since time immemorial. Get Management Buy-in, teach and motivate people, lead by example, devote time and attention, train-the-trainers, etc. This is business as usual in modern companies. It is just another top-down driven Change Program. There is nothing to assume that this program will be more efficient than any other change program is.
Oh, wait! Maybe there is: Entrepreneurship is an institution now. We are adding a new department to the company. Surely this will help! It will help exactly like installing a “Chief Digital” or a “Chief Innovation Officer” helps to promote those themes on the board. The name is different, but there is nothing that indicates why a “Chief Entrepreneur” should be more effective. Those Organisations will always be the “weak line”: Organizations are dominated by those “strong lines” of the departments doing the real work, closer to the business. Hell, they ARE the business. Entrepreneurship is just another matrix function.
But wait again! The strong lines, the realm of General Management, will be all aligned with experimental management now, as they all share a vision and embrace truth and discipline now – as in the neat graphic above.
This degree of naivete leaves me speechless. There is nothing in this book and in the world that will indicate any more success with this as with all other Change management initiatives before.
Some critical words on Amazon:
All these five start ratings leave me speechless. You need to know that there have been already 34 five Star Ratings on the day the book was released. After 3 days, there were just two 1 star ratings. Both disappeared. One of those was my review, which at about 42 likes, more than any other review. Now it is gone. The second negative review is gone as well. What the hell, Amazon! That's evil.
The mistake in this book is the disservice Ries' does to his populist readers by not even glancingly touching on any of the innovation thought paradigms that are sweeping through the Fortune 1000. Ries chooses to overlook this and present The Startup Way as his own unified enterprise management methodology that incorporates Lean Startup with the intention of expanding his thought footprint into organizational change management.
Yet, if you do even the slightest bit of research on Google around "Design Thinking and Lean Start-up," "Design Thinking, Lean and Agile" or "Innovation and Design Thinking" you'll see that hundreds if not thousands of people have wrestled with trying to knit these concepts together in a way that works for large organizations.
Ries ignores all of this in his service to his own ideas. I hope he enjoyed the consulting fees from GE because they corrupted the otherwise egalitarian approach he should have taken for this book -- then he would have become the father of a movement, not just a character in an ensemble cast of thought.