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Showing 1-10 of 897 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,895 reviews
on September 21, 2014
I had two primary issues with the book. First, the books is written by a software guy for software guys and start-ups. I can only recall one reference in all the pages to a hardware product. So this books in not for anyone that is looking to create physical and tangible products. In fact, hardware is hard and my research hasn't found anything remotely useful in applying lean start-up principles to hardware.

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
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on July 31, 2016
The concept of Lean is centered on value adding activities and reducing everything else. The Toyota Production System (TPS) implemented in the 1990s focused on eliminating waste at the manufacturing plant in Japan. Their efficient manufacturing system subsequently became known as the first lean process. So lean methodologies have existed for some time, but Eric Ries succeeds in putting an entirely new spin on the concept by applying it to innovation. As someone who majored in Industrial & Systems Engineering in college, the themes in the book struck right at home for me.

The Lean Startup model focuses on creating a minimum viable product for the market and receiving customer feedback along the way to improve the product. Oftentimes a rough draft of a working product is enough to gain valuable feedback and ideas that would never have been thought of if the project had been refined to death by its developers. What if your team toiled away for years creating advanced software and the finished product doesn’t have the features the customer really wanted? Avoid this mistake. The Lean Startup methodology is a way to ensure the final product is as optimized as possible.

Eric also introduces pivots as a means to take a new approach, if necessary, instead of starting over from scratch. This is in contrast to the old way of doing business where a product is launched only when it is fully functional and high quality in the creator’s eyes. Oftentimes, perfectionism can be costly both in time and in money. Eric does a wonderful job outlining how a product (online or physical) can be built and refined from a customer feedback loop.

Not only does The Lean Startup serve as a methodical roadmap for creating your business efficiently and effectively, but also the book delves into startup metrics that will give a new meaning to how you measure your progress. Ries calls this “innovation accounting”. Innovation accounting is a way of looking past the headline numbers such as revenue growth and instead tracking changes in customer adoption, retention and usage patterns.

A successful startup does not just flourish because of a brilliant idea. Success in a condition of uncertainty (in this case innovation) requires managing people through all the challenges of innovation and growth. It means understanding your customer and keying in on statistics that tell the true story of progress. Whether you are a product developer for a company or an executive at a high-tech startup or even a fresh-faced college graduate, this book benefits positions from all perspectives in every industry.

Read more here: [...]
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on June 3, 2017
I'm struggling to get through this book. It seems like it's written for people with advanced degrees in economics or business. It's not written for common folks wanting to do a startup. There is specialized terminology (not his own made-up terms which are always explained) that leave me not knowing what he's talking about. And I wanted to learn. Not sure I'll finish it. Already thinking about looking for another startup book.
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on September 29, 2016
The author represents the MBA approach to Bay Area startups. With a Yale BA and a Harvard MBA he has been the object of a lot of press coverage on his theory of lean startups and how it can be applied in more traditional business settings. He advice is to not waste years trying to make a business work. Kill it and move on. He goes into detail on how he did not follow this advice, wasting thousands of hours producing a product that was not well received because the market research did not ask the right questions and the product's users were not asked what they wanted. Being stubborn, the author and his partners kept at it until they stumbled onto the right answers after several tries. I guess the author is saying he has learned his lesson now. His latest startup is a people's stock exchange not beholden to short term gains.
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on June 15, 2015
As an aspiring entrepreneur I found this book very helpful and informative. It Gives entrepreneurs the tools they need to turn ideas into products and avoid common mistakes. It is clear that the author has years of experience creating startups and he provides the reader with the mindset that entrepreneurs and innovators should have. Eric Ries takes the uncertainty associated with creating a startup and turns it into a science.

I initially feared that this book would read like a business textbook but I was quickly proven wrong. The book is very well written and easy to read. Eric Ries explains everything in plain english so that it is clear and intuitive. Ries does a good job of using real world examples and anecdotes to explain his concepts. Ries has experience consulting for companies like Intuit and IGN and includes lots of valuable insider information that can't be found in most business textbooks. He also includes alot of real start up success stories as well as many failures and discusses what must be learned from each.

Before reading this book, I was discouraged from going forth with my Ideas because I feared my lack of business experience would hold me back. Now I feel like I have the tools to execute my ideas. If I had not read this book, I could easily see myself making some of the common mistakes that lead to startup failures. Instead of creating a minimum viable product to quickly get feedback like Ries recommends, I would spend months or even years developing what I considered to be the perfect prototype, only to find out nobody wanted to use it. All his ideas make perfect sense. Don't make assumptions about what people want, rather find out what your customers want before hand. Everything is about feedback, collecting it then applying it to your product. Don't waste anytime developing something unless you know it creates value.

Anyone who is considering creating a startup or new product should read this book. The best thing about this book is that you don't need business experience to understand the core concepts.The principles he talks about can be applied to all types of types of business but are particularly helpful for software and tech products.He answers alot of the questions I had and even question I did not think of but should have been asking.It is only a matter of time before the lean startup method is universally adopted.
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on September 24, 2013
Lean Startup is a well-written book with a lot of fresh ideas and thinking about start-ups and entrepreneurship. Eric Ries, author of the book, has had a fair share of start-up experience and in his last start-up (IMVU) experimented with a lot of non-standard ways of managing start-ups influenced by Steve Blank and the Toyota Production System (or lean and hence Lean Startup).

The book is divided in 3 parts which roughly map to 'phases' of start-ups: 1) vision, 2) steer, and 3) accelerate. Each of these parts is divided in 4 chapters each simply named with one word such as "Test" or "Measure" (not incredibly descriptive).

The first part is called Vision and defines Lean Start-up and its influences. It explains how start-ups are about validated learning and how the optimization of start-ups needs to be about how fast they go through the build-measure-learn cycle. When starting a new product, the first thing you need to get is feedback on the product, so it is important to get a Minimum Viable Product out as quickly as possible as learning about how to use the product is a lot more powerful than research or asking customers.

The second part continues with the Minimum Viable Product and the learning. The learning we'll need to get from the product is whether our business assumptions (leap-of-faith assumptions) were in fact correct. Start-ups need to change their accounting system to measure their progress in validated learning. When there is enough learning, they can check their leap-of-faith assumption and make the decision to pivot (change a bit in one direction) or persevere (continue).

The last part (accelerate) first covers small batches, one of the basic concepts behind lean start-up and then explores the different "engine of growth" that companies have and stress to focus on one of these. After that it gives Eric's perspective on building lasting companies that continue to improve. The author shared his adaptation of the five why technique. It ends with some general discussion about innovation in larger companies.

The epilogue contains a surprisingly positive perspective on the principled of scientific management from Fredrick Taylor.

All in all, I enjoyed the book quite a lot, especially the first 2 parts. The way the author has weaved a bunch of concepts together into one holistic framework is quite nice and very concrete. It is not easy to manage your company the way the author suggests as it requires a lot of discipline and introspection (both lacking in many companies). But the Lean Startup moves us away from the black art of startups and creates an interesting structure, or at least perspective, to starting up new ventures. Recommended reading.
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on December 8, 2016
If you have a sound business strategy and need to figure out how to carry it out, this book is for you. The book focuses more on implementation (how to make decisions to waste the least time/money) than business strategy (how your business plans to make money). The Lean Startup provides simple methods to measure the efficacy your actions, and gives common sense advice for how to structure your time to make the best business decision. It is slightly redundant, but each of the supporting example sheds different perspectives on the overarching theme of the build-measure-learn loop. I am an engineer myself, and it gave me some sound business pointers going forward with a small business. It is overall very well written, and gives clear lean guidelines to follow. I will definitely read it again in the future.
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on September 6, 2016
Eric Ries’ book, Lean Startup, is a hidden gem to anyone considering the path of entrepreneurship. Eric Ries, who started his career as a software developer, begins Lean Startup with his early experiences as an entrepreneur. After the burst of the Tech Bubble in the early 2000s, Eric Ries was still able to grow his software company to millions of dollars in revenue. The core principal Ries expresses throughout Lean Startup and with his own success is to fail forward by rapidly building MVPs (minimal viable products.)
By continuously experimenting and tweaking products that the customer wants, Ries projects that more companies would be successful or at least know if their business can be successful. Throughout the book, Ries gives examples of success stories and not so successful stories, all to express how this mindset should be utilized not only amongst startups, but with Fortune 500 companies and governments as well.
I highly recommend Lean Startup if you are starting your own startup or if are looking for a way to update your current working environment.
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on May 27, 2013
A number of websites recommended The Lean Startup and I finally decided to follow their recommendations and read it. I'm glad I did.

Eric Ries provides a map on starting a business with concrete steps and strategies for executing a plan. He gives guidance on how and when to persevere with the initial plan or to "pivot" into another approach based on the results, or lack of results, arising from an entrepreneur's initial plan. Entrepreneurs need to learn what their market wants and to provide this and not some product or service that the entrepreneur thinks that the market should want or need. To do this requires building and testing a minimum viable product to determine the markets reaction. He advocates attention to innovation accounting to measure progress in the market's acceptance of your product or service and to avoid vanity metrics. Of all the concepts in the book the idea of what it will take to build a minimum viable product is the one necessity for which I didn't see any clear-cut guidance. I do not say this as a criticism of the book because the entrepreneur must use vision and judgment to decide what a minimum viable product or service must be. It is this product or service that starts the process of learning what the market wants that is critical to success. Simply building a product or providing a service because the entrepreneur thinks that the market wants it leads to failure. Ries gives an approach based on testing and learning what the market wants while conserving money and resources that gives an entrepreneur a better chance at success.

This is a book written by someone who has experienced success and failure. He understands what it takes to succeed. I strongly recommend the book.
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on September 14, 2015
Believe the Hype, because this time it's not from the author or the publisher, but from those who read this and found themselves yelling "Yes" at the book at various stages... It's true, that there's a lot in here that there is not new, but the author doesn't pretend to be the Fount-of-All-Knowledge (which, in itself is new, not to mention refreshing). The merit is in taking something that has plainly transformed one industry, and then applying it to an *entirely* different industry. Moreover, because of the way it's presented - clearly, accessibly, with personal insight and experience - to *any* industry, as one can see in the experience of those who have taken the principles forward and applied them in the public and private sector, in industries from healthcare to banking and even to the manufacturing industry in which many of the principles had their genesis. Yes, some of the chapters are a little engineer-math geeky on measurement techniques, but for those who don't want to go there (i.e. my people, for better or worse) there is plenty before and after to more than justify the rest of the purchase price.
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