First, why I bought the book – the author did a great job of promoting his book by using a word which is the most popular in modern business world. Leaders of all levels everywhere around the world know this word – LEAN. But everybody got used to “Lean execution”, so my first reaction when I saw the title was – “wow, have I missed something, are there new scientific methods from Stanford I’m not aware of?” So, I bought it with high expectations of something new and then… Then there was complete disappointment. The author introduce new concept with new name selling it as a breakthrough in the science of management, but when you complete a chapter you ask yourself, so what’s new there, why old practices are called differently from what I used to. First, “Minimum Viable Product” – the concept of early introduction of a product for testing a concept is not new, it’s applicable for products with short development cycle only and very specific for few industries. So, where is breakthrough? Bigger disappointment was “Innovative Accounting” – yeah, you see another popular label – “Innovation”. But when I finished I tried to recount what was it and again – second-hand is sold as high fashion. The author keeps saying – “old accounting methods are not applicable for startups because of uncertain environment” – yes, true – but then goes narrative description of what’s been in business books for decades. And last – “Build-Measure-Learn”! What was a purpose of renaming “Plan-Do-Check-Act”?
So, in overall – it was waste of time, with only exception – now I know that I should ignore everything containing “The Lean Startup”, “Minimum Viable Product” and “Innovative Accounting”. And also – would you trust somebody whose only experience is mediocre social network startup with unclear business model? After Facebook IPO?
Sure the narration was fine.
I was disappointed. This book seems to focus primarily on technology start ups. I was looking for a book that gave advice more for retail stores and restaurants. This is not the book for that.
I would try another book by Ries
The book is very hard to listen to and is probably better to have a hard copy in hand
ZEN. LDS. GTD. FTW.
If you're coming out of high school and are scheming up your first (or maybe second) startup, then this is the book for you. You'll learn a lot.
On the other hand, if your a consultant, read business blogs and have launched a few products in your time, you probably won't learn much.
The narration is by the author, laid back but personable. He knows what he's talking about. He offers clarity and direction. The Lean Startup won't teach you everything, but if you are relatively new or confused, or perhaps discouraged by past failures, get this.
This is not a bad book by any standart. It presents a very good framework for building a start-up (especially useful for tech start-ups) and it delivers exactly what it promises - the lean methodology to build a business.
This methodology is based on adding a new critical metric to your business, validated learning or seeing what works and what doesn't. It's the opposite of "build it and they'll come". Instead it's "build the minimum product, see if they come and then improve it based on what gets results".
Most entrepreneurs employ wishful thinking - hoping or feeling like the market has a moral obligation to buy what they've built just because they've bought it. In the lean start-up methodology you don't take any chances and you use only real world data to see if your idea will float or sink.
The only downsize to this book is that after 8 hours, I've got about 3 good ideas from it. Yes, three good ideas that I've applied both in my personal and professional life but nothing more nonetheless. This means at least for me that the book could have been shorter, maybe 50% of it's current lenght. There are a lot of examples and after a time you are in a position of "yes, I've got it, move on".
As far as my experience with Audible, again, it was an amazing one. Chapters are a little strange in this audiobook (I'm listening it on a SanDisk Sanza) but overall, it's an amazing book for results oriented people. The methodology here can be used both in a business and in your personal life, so don't shy away from this book even if it's designed for entrepreneurs.
And as far as the lenght, do as I do, sometimes play it on fast speed. The narator speaks rather slowly and clearly so I can understand it even on high speed.
Photographer at large
The MVP is a great concept...very well thought out and to the point.
The 2 Second LEAN is more direct and focused in my opinion...
Great book on LEAN start ups...if you are starting from scratch this is the book to read right after you read 2 Second Lean by Paul Akers. This is my second favorite LEAN book. Good job Eric.
Apparently, the 'lean startup' has a large following. I had never heard of the book or the concept, but lean inspired me ever since Jeff Liker's book about Toyota.
The Lean Startup in my opinion is a totally different approach, although it borrows the concept of waste. But how waste is avoided is a different route altogether.
First, it is 'lean' under a cloud of uncertainty. The more uncertain the future (of sth) is, the better this approach works. Basically, to avoid waste is to have a clear understanding of your key assumptions, and then testing these assumptions as fast and with as little effort as possible. And of course, with a good monitoring system to understand the results of what you tested. Topline growth is not. Cohort/group and split testing is.
The book is written as a guide to startups, but it is valid with anything innovative. And thus for any business that tries to innovate something, anything. Many organisations are dissatifsfied with their innovation efforts, and this book guides you to how to improve the process.
Well worth the read. The author is not really a narrator, though. He should have left this to a professional. Not bad, but not great either.
A great concept. Lots of great real life stories.
No characters in book.
Same as the title :-)
A really great book on how to have an agile mindset.
Eric Ries has figured it out. We are switching software platforms which will allow us to Build-Measure-Learn at a rapid pace.