Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable. The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched.
Eric Ries defines a startup as an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. This is just as true for one person in a garage or a group of seasoned professionals in a Fortune 500 boardroom. What they have in common is a mission to penetrate that fog of uncertainty to discover a successful path to a sustainable business.
The Lean Startup approach fosters companies that are both more capital efficient and that leverage human creativity more effectively. Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies on “validated learning”, rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counter-intuitive practices that shorten product-development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute.
Rather than wasting time creating elaborate business plans, The Lean Startup offers entrepreneurs - in companies of all sizes - a way to test their vision continuously, to adapt and adjust before it’s too late. Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups in a age when companies need to innovate more than ever.
©2011 Eric Ries (P)2011 Random House
"Eric has created a science where previously there was only art. A must read for every serious entrepreneur—and every manager interested in innovation." (Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, Opsware Inc., and Netscape)
"At Asana, we've been lucky to benefit from Eric's advice firsthand; this book will enable him to help many more entrepreneurs answer the tough questions about their business." (Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder of Facebook and Asana)
"In business, a ‘lean’ enterprise is sustainable efficiency in action. Eric Ries’ revolutionary Lean Startup method will help bring your new business idea to an end result that is successful and sustainable. You’ll find innovative steps and strategies for creating and managing your own startup while learning from the real-life successes and collapses of others. This book is a must read for entrepreneurs who are truly ready to start something great!” (Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager and The One Minute Entrepreneur.)
To me, the Lean Startup is about starting a business without having a complete product. I simply loved it even if for entrepreneurs like me, it's something hard to do. I always want it to be perfect but find out that I had problems in the past working too long on something that wasn't wanted.
Definitely cut corners and launch as soon as you can! Then, iterate often.
I listened to an interview on Mixergy and think it was also really interesting.
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
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?
Ana L M. Hernandez
I am e-learning entrepreneur struggling to have more information and knowledge to start my business even though it's not a Technical startup this book has given me perspective and the tools for my lunch I love it
Like "The Four Hour Workweek" and "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" before it "The Lean Startup" has significantly changed how I regard my business design, both current and future. Possible the best return on investment I have seen in a while.
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.
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.
if it had real actions that could work in the now not stories from the 90s
Gave me plenty to think about. Made me realise that a lot has to change in my own organisation as well
It was very good and fascinating book with a lot of examples on how to run your business and how the big established companies run theirs, I don't have a company yet but I'm looking for ideas and this book may be a bit overwhelming for a newbie, but if you already have your own business this is a must have book!
"Not that great."
Better for business owners who develop computers. Not so good for the physical product side of things.
Ideas explained clearly and with helpful examples of real world scenarios and application.
I'm excited to start implementating them
"Loads of Great Things To Think About!"
Really loved how much great content was in the book. Did find the same voice for over 8 hours a bit tough to listen to!
Very insightful peice of work with real world examples and strategies. I think it's going to change the way I run my business going forward.
I run a couple of businesses and really enjoyed this book. Lots of good advice and useful guidance.
Great book although I would have like more concrete exemples on implementation (I haven't checked the site yet).
"An excellent insight into innovation and startups"
An excellent listen. Took a few run throughs to take in all the information though!
"Enlightening read "
It was my first book on lean methods. What author emphasises seems very reasonable: measure everything using innovation accounting centred on user value, keep on learning about user needs, measure everything - every experiment and feature - not to loose track of your progress. Use scientific approach, do not fool yourself, learn, optimise, avoid waste. As this book and movement have already a few years, you can see that it has been implemented in products as Google Analytics and find examples and lessons learned from different companies. I strongly recommend listening to it if your work for any software company.
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