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
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.
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
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.
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.
Never. This was the worst audio book I have ever heard. I feel bad even judging the book, because I couldn't listen to the whole thing. The narration is so awful, I gave up on the book after 2-3 chapters.
"Quite simply the best business book of the year"
I've read a lot of business books (and also written one) and this is the best I've seen in a long time. It could just as easily have been titled "The Scientific Startup" but I guess that might have scared people off. It outlines a scientific method for planning and running a startup that prevents costly errors and ensures the entrepreneur(s) learn enough about their business and the market in which it operates to decide their next step. It's essentially about running sequential experiments testing the fundamental assumptions about the business (eg "will customers buy this?") in the quickest, cheapest and most effective way so the startup is a learning organisation (indeed that, rather than the pursuit of money is the point of a startup according to Ries).
This is the first book I've ever listened to, bought on Kindle and then bought the paperback so I can scribble. There's plenty of hyperbole around when it comes to business books but this is a radical, and much needed, shift to the way startups are run. First class.
"It has changed how I do business"
This has completely changed the way I have recently launched two businesses. It is brilliant.
Be patient and the blocks will fall into place.
The text has inspired me to seek regular new business ideas to build and launch. I've started helping two friends already who have bought into the idea.
I'm not sure if it's a new idea, but it's the first time I've been exposed to the ethos.
A really good read.
"A mixed bag"
An interesting listen. The content of the book is interesting, detailed and comprehensive. The case studies used in the piece are fantastic and in terms of gaining value from the book I have already been able to apply some of the techniques in my day job.
However, the only negative would be the delivery of the content. This audio is not something that you will look forward to listening to.. although you can see the benefit in listening to the book. It is similar to a child being force fed their greens. In the sense you know that their may be some benefit in listening to the audio but you would rather eat sweets or watch TV in my case.
It is worth a credit however, sample the audio before you purchase as the delivery may not suit.
"Stunning, Amazing, Incredible,"
I wasn't totally sure I was doing the right thing buying this. The reviews on audible seemed too good to be true and I'd never heard of the author or the title before. Let me re-assure you that you should not hesitate for a second. This is a tour de force. It's worth ten if not a hundred times the price you pay here. There are so many brilliant concepts introduced , the minimum viable product philosophy , validated learning and loads more. If you know nothing about lean techniques it would be worth giving yourself a little primer before you start on this title. I will be listening again next time with pen and paper in hand so I can actually detail the clear and logical steps you must take to make your start up company or start up product within an established company a great success.
It's a fantastic listen, no fluff just evidential backed techniques to adopt throughout the start up process. The reason why a lot of it rings true is that it is all highly logical.
If you strive to be cutting edge this will change the way you approach your entire business.
"Startups and product developers should take note"
Humble and persuasive, the author highlights through his own struggles how he came to apply a lean manufacturing mindset to software development. What is particularly fascinating to me is how well this translates to all business startups not just to product development. Excellent stuff. @upfinder
"Great ideas but..."
Eric's vision is really revolutionary in terms of product development and marketing. The lean startup approach changes everything. Everything that was so drastically implemented and seamlessly integrated in the industrial era by blue collar workers and then, in modern (yet rooted in past) corporations by white collar workers.
However, Eric fails to explain his ideas in a way that very small businesses could understand, apply and integrate. Much of what he said was not (yet... ;) applicable to my situation as a small startup and hence felt boring/irrelevant to me.
Focusing too much on large, already established businesses or even corporations I had a feeling Eric with his great ideas has actually never left "the aristocracy" of Silicon Valley.
For that I have to search elsewhere.
"How to market an invention/new product"
Good read, with some interesting ideas. However the focus is more towards what to do when you have made a product/invention so sometimes irrelevant to people who provide services or operate their business through a trade. With that in mind i do feel its a good book but improperly titled.
it is a fantastic purchase worth if you have the book to reed it is better
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).
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