The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous

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The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses Assigned reading from my job, last minute, in preparation for a meeting I managed it, and while I thought it made a lot of sense in terms of concepts and ideas, and parts of it were very interesting, the writing sucked all of the joy out of it The first third of the book repetitively repeated stuff by saying it many times, often mirroring previously said things but slightly differently, but oddly without saying anything of actual information value at all The last two thirds were better, mo Assigned reading from my job, last minute, in preparation for a meeting I managed it, and while I thought it made a lot of sense in terms of concepts and ideas, and parts of it were very interesting, the writing sucked all of the joy out of it The first third of the book repetitively repeated stuff by saying it many times, often mirroring previously said things but slightly differently, but oddly without saying anything of actual information value at all The last two thirds were better,focused on the premise of how to know when you need to try different things, or maybe stay the course but this is an idea and concept book, so your mileage may vary If put into practice, it s likely the best start up model I know of, but you know, I m not exactly Steve Jobs, so There s that.Anyway don t let the 2 star rating put you off if you re interested in entrepreneurial reading material It s a good book for that I just wasn t its target audience As I read chapter after chapter I found myself thinking Great introduction to the topic, now let s hope the next one contains some real meat Unfortunately that feeling accompanied me until the end of the book.Don t get me wrong, this book contains a lot of useful ideas if you are into entepreneurship the build measure lean cycle driven by the knowledge you want to acquire, validated learning, treating everything as en experiment with its corresponding actionable metrics but maybe I expect As I read chapter after chapter I found myself thinking Great introduction to the topic, now let s hope the next one contains some real meat Unfortunately that feeling accompanied me until the end of the book.Don t get me wrong, this book contains a lot of useful ideas if you are into entepreneurship the build measure lean cycle driven by the knowledge you want to acquire, validated learning, treating everything as en experiment with its corresponding actionable metrics but maybe I expected a littleinsight into all these things.Instead of a thorough description of each of the concepts we have a series of front line stories illutrating them The only points that are fully developed are the pivot types and the possible engines of growth.So after finishing the book I m left with the feeling that, while now I have some sound guides to use, there s a lot of information I must research out there 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 Fortuneboardroom What they have in common is a mission to penetrate that fog of uncertainty to discover a successful path to a sustainable businessThe Lean Startup approach fosters companies that are both capital efficient and that leverage human creativity 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 minuteRather 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 than ever I think this book could have been effectively distilled into one of about a fifth the length and provided me with a much faster feedback loop on the ideas it contained So consider that an example of the author not abiding by his own principles.Another example of the book not abiding by its own counsel in recounting case studies, he assures us that the case studies are successful by telling us about venture funding and acquisition offers, which seem to me to be examples of the ultimate va I think this book could have been effectively distilled into one of about a fifth the length and provided me with a much faster feedback loop on the ideas it contained So consider that an example of the author not abiding by his own principles.Another example of the book not abiding by its own counsel in recounting case studies, he assures us that the case studies are successful by telling us about venture funding and acquisition offers, which seem to me to be examples of the ultimate vanity metrics getting speculators to bet on you is not synonymous with success.The basic insights of the book are valuable, but they are described with only enough detail for the reader to make a few false starts at applying them, recognize their failures retroactively but probably not predictively a vanity metric is one which, by definition, causes you to make the wrong decision but you don t know it s the wrong decision when you choose which metrics to ignore , and probably go one to hire a consultant who can help you actually fill in the blanks of how to apply the concept to your particular business If I was reviewing the idea in this book, it would get 5 stars.As a book, there are few problems First, just stylistically, I feel like I m being lectured by a precocious toddler about how to do things The tone is professorial, to put it charitably Second, there is a bit of incongruity between a system explaining that you need to engage in scientific testing in almost Popperian fashion on the one hand and a series of case studies on the other Case studies are, of course, the currency of busi If I was reviewing the idea in this book, it would get 5 stars.As a book, there are few problems First, just stylistically, I feel like I m being lectured by a precocious toddler about how to do things The tone is professorial, to put it charitably Second, there is a bit of incongruity between a system explaining that you need to engage in scientific testing in almost Popperian fashion on the one hand and a series of case studies on the other Case studies are, of course, the currency of business school But they re about as scientific as the Psychic Hotline And this is because sometimes science can only tell us that a system is complex beyond our divination Third, when I don t feel like I m being lectured, I feel like I m being sold This book seems like a portfolio of the author s work with a few sexy add ins like Facebook for effect I m not surprised that most of the reviews here are Goodreads are glowing Most of the time, a brilliant idea is enough The idea of taking an idea and turning it into something is exciting But really, it is the execution that matters That s really what the book is saying it s saying, screw your original brilliant idea Take it and evolve it And do that using facts I saw Ries s interview with Gavin Newsom totally by accident I was glad to see him talking about some of the challenges entrepreneurs face aren t solved by the creation of new tax loopholes But his delivery only confirmed my sense from the book a lot of people are going to be turned off by his baby face matched with his know it all tone This is too bad, because folks shouldn t dismiss these ideas.I do question whether this is something that can apply as universally as the author claims The majority of examples in the book are web services that run in the cloud They don t depend on the rainfall in Sacramento affecting the price of soy in six months affecting the price of an item on my menu Some businesses can t adjust on the fly without significant destruction.Now, with all those caveats, I will have to admit that I will be perhapshumbly applying some of the ideas I found in this book Learning The Lean Startup is an important and highly acclaimed book for new startup ventures.It is one of the core business books that revolutionised the business startup environment over this last decade Eric Ries stripped everything down to the core basic principles of being lean and agile in response to customer feedback This is not new but is collated and distilled in a very dynamic, yet clear structured manner It must also be said that the Lean Startup is heavily biased towards the softwa Learning The Lean Startup is an important and highly acclaimed book for new startup ventures.It is one of the core business books that revolutionised the business startup environment over this last decade Eric Ries stripped everything down to the core basic principles of being lean and agile in response to customer feedback This is not new but is collated and distilled in a very dynamic, yet clear structured manner It must also be said that the Lean Startup is heavily biased towards the software industry and while also coming from that industry I may be unaware of how effective this approach is in other sectors, especially those that are heavily regulated and limited to the opportunity to, in reality, deliver prototypes to customers I really appreciated the book s celebration that you don t have all the answers, and you re not expected to if you re a startup with an innovative solution The major point, however, is that you shouldn t pretend or act like you do but embrace the uncertainty and develop an experimental approach to delivering a Minimum Viable Product build, measure, learn.There is the other perspective that to truly know your value and where you re going you should start with the presumption that you will dominate the industry and your solution is a game changer Zero to One by Peter Thiel asserts this position Personally, I feel you need to have both the end game as a vision and have some idea what that would look like But also, the practical next steps on the day to day basis of how you prove and correctly position your company for initial customer acquisition is crucial.I found The Lean Startup not only great for advice, techniques and the analogous stories to help reinforce the approach, but it is an inspirational book that dares you to challenge everything and rationalise with customer validation that your vision is viable and scalable When a book affects me it starts a chain reaction in my thought process so that I either gain a better understanding of where I need to go or may enable me to articulate what has been sitting just out of reach in my mind This is one of those books.Other books that reinforce this new startup environment and are worth reading include Business Model Generation Alexander Osterwalder Four Steps to the Epiphany Steve Blank The Startup Owner s Manual Steve Blank Running Lean Ash Maurya After initially giving this 3 stars I had to go back and give this 4 Stars This book is amazing for those starting a company, those who already own a company and those thinking about making that move Beware, this book is better in practice than in theory If you consider yourself an entrepreneur and are willing to put the principles into practice, then it s worth reading. It s pretty rare for me, after finishing a book, to not be able to imagine my life not having read it The Lean Startup is one of those books.Maybe my understanding of business is unimpressive, but I am very interested in the subject and read a good bit about it Still, I found this book to be enlightening In business and in life we always have simple goals, like I want to makemoney.It s easy to focus our motivation on makingmoney After all, it is what we want But what we r It s pretty rare for me, after finishing a book, to not be able to imagine my life not having read it The Lean Startup is one of those books.Maybe my understanding of business is unimpressive, but I am very interested in the subject and read a good bit about it Still, I found this book to be enlightening In business and in life we always have simple goals, like I want to makemoney.It s easy to focus our motivation on makingmoney After all, it is what we want But what we really need to do is focus our energy on LEARNING What do I need to learn before I m able to makemoney How do I learn that It seems blatantly intuitive in hindsight, but this book really opened my eyes to it.At the core of Eric Ries s message is this Business and products are far too often founded on assumptions We start building some product assuming people want it We spend a lot of time trying to build the optimal product, and then after it s finished we offer it to customers But then we find out that customers don t actually want the product in the first place Our assumption was wrong And just look at all that effort, time, and money wasted on developing it I m sure, from an academic standpoint, there are books much better than this But it was an incredibly easy and fast read and even slightly humorous at times I m currently starting a new church as well as helping my wife run a bow tie business This book is about entrepreneurship, and its examples mostly come from the software development industry Nevertheless, there was much food for thought here Takeaways 1 Put out a MVP As fast as possible, put out a minimum viable product and see if anyone is willing to buy it If you spend forever making the product the best it could possibly be, you may end up with a cool product that no one actually wa I m currently starting a new church as well as helping my wife run a bow tie business This book is about entrepreneurship, and its examples mostly come from the software development industry Nevertheless, there was much food for thought here Takeaways 1 Put out a MVP As fast as possible, put out a minimum viable product and see if anyone is willing to buy it If you spend forever making the product the best it could possibly be, you may end up with a cool product that no one actually wants or is willing to pay for Throw the product out there, then improve it bit by bit We accidentally did this with our bow tie biz, and are intentionally doing it with the church 2 Avoid vanity metrics Anyone can generate hype and a short lived interest in just about any product Real, sustainable success is driven not by hype but by discovering something that people actually want or need, offering it to them, and then continually innovating the product based on a greater understanding of what people want need We re trying to do this in both the bow tie biz and with the church word of mouth viral marketing and social media are about the only way we ve drawn people to either product The growth is slower and steadier, but, we hope,sustainable than using a flash marketing stunt that might give us a lot of temporary excitement.3 Be lean Learn from Toyota s manufacturing and respond quickly to customer feedback to provide monthly, weekly, or even daily iterations of your product Again don t build it and expect people to come especially if you re only going to build once a year Constantly iterate We re doing consistent minor tweaks with the church and the bow biz rather than working hard at one big launch In fact, we re avoiding the notion of a launch altogether in the church plant We re not astronauts, and we don t need rocket boosters Momentum can come in other ways than going from land to space in 5 minutes The big question of our time is not Can it be built but Should it be built I wasn t too surprised to find that Eric Ries is a great writer clear, intellectually honest, articulate, and good hud As Ries readily admits in the Epilogue, the theories and frameworks promoted in this book have the danger of being used retroactively to justify what you did in the past, or what you ve already decided that you want to do, no matter your industry Its success no doubt has to do with its take contThe big question of our time is not Can it be built but Should it be built I wasn t too surprised to find that Eric Ries is a great writer clear, intellectually honest, articulate, and good hud As Ries readily admits in the Epilogue, the theories and frameworks promoted in this book have the danger of being used retroactively to justify what you did in the past, or what you ve already decided that you want to do, no matter your industry Its success no doubt has to do with its take control of your chaotic reality self help vibe.What s most important in this book is not the snappily named tools MVP, Concierge, pivot, Build Measure Learn but Ries s less sexy advice, likeit s the boring stuff that matters most Remember if we re building something that nobody wants, it doesn t much matter if we re doing it on time and on budget Customers don t care how much time something takes to build They care only if it serves their needsCopy, paste, print these lines out, stick them on every wall of your startup even the bathroom s