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?
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