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Points to ponder on developing a Lean Startup

The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses - A book by Eric Ries.

A book with page showing lean startup concepts

Silicon Valley entrepreneur Eric Ries is behind the lean startup movement. A movement that has gripped almost all startups across the globe. I also used the principles taught in this book to develop my startup and have done fairly well. It's the bible for new-age companies on how to go about developing the right product at the right time without burning your cash & time.

I have distilled relevant points from the book to give you insights regarding the thought process and ideas that go behind developing a lean startup.

But it's highly recommended for all budding entrepreneurs and enthusiasts to get hold of this book. If you are passionate about building great products and businesses, this book will not disappoint you but rather give you wonderful ways to accomplish your task in non-traditional ways.

Distillation begins -

A startup needs new managerial discipline;

  • Not "Just do it" - Leads to chaos and mess

  • Not traditional management - No levy for failure

Failure is learning.

# Parts of a startup

  • Vision & Concept

  • Product Development

  • Marketing & Sales

  • Scaling Up

  • Partnership & Distribution

  • Structure & Organizational Design

# Running a Startup

A startup is like an automobile consisting of two major parts An engine & A steering. It's not a rocket, always on fire, and needs to be launched. You need to go on perfecting the engine and steering it in the right direction, regularly.

# Crossfunctional Team

You should have a cross-functional team and hold each team accountable by measuring their productivity differently.

# Lean Startup

A startup is a human institution (management) designed to create a new product (innovation at heart) or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty.

A company's only sustainable path to long-term economic growth is to build an "Innovation Factory" using lean startup techniques to create disruptive innovations on a continuous basis.

# Validated Learning

Learn - "What customers want, not what they say they want nor what we think they should want"

Learning should be validated

  • Backed-up by empirical data collected from real customers

  • The effort that is not necessary for learning what customers want can be eliminated.

Many entrepreneurial teams give in the fear and postpone the launch date. Should persevere, since delay prevents many startups from getting the feedback they need.

They should figure it out through experimentation, rather than through focus groups or market research.

What is experimentation?

Breaking down the business plans into parts and testing each part empirically.

Biggest waste - Building a product customer refuse to use.

What is waste? Anything that didn't contribute to our learning.

# Heart of Lean

Efforts that are value-creating & which are wasteful.

Lean thinking - Define values as providing benefit to the customer anything else is a waste.

Experiment by splitting the customers based on features as new & same and gauge the difference.

Don't just do it => Experiment => Hypothesis => Grand Vision

# Build-Measure-Learn feedback loop

Planning is a tool that only works in the presence of a long and stable operating history.

Use the build-measure-learn feedback loop;

Leap of Faith => MVP

(Testing assumptions systematically without losing sight of the company's vision)

  • A minimum amount of effort

  • Least amount of development time

The role of the Startup's strategy is to figure out the "right questions to ask"

LOF - Argument by analogy

Comparisons with other companies - Analog & Antilog

# Genchi Gembutsu

"Get out of building" & "Start Learning"

Go see for yourself - The Toyota's Way. Live with & Talk to customers (First Hand, ASAP).

Inpatient work "or" Too much analysis leads to failure.

Get out, Know Customers, and Develop MVP.

# Testing

MVP (Minimum Viable Product)

  • Simplify

  • Video (3 mins)

  • Concierge

  • Quality - ? => "If we don't know who the customer is, we don't know what quality it is"

Avoid any defects; Ship to new and existing users.

Simple Rule

Remove any feature, process or effort that doesn't contribute directly to the learning you seek.

The End


Hope you had a Good Read.

The link to the Book - The Lean Startup - Eric Ries


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