The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries
My quick thoughts on the methodology.
THE LEAN STARTUP METHOD
1. Entrepreneurs are everywhere. (and opportunities are everywhere. To paraphrase Richard Branson, the new opportunity bus comes all the time.)
2. Entrepreneurship is management. A startup is an institution, not just a product, and so it requires a new kind of management specifically geared to its context of extreme uncertainty. (Skills and vision matters. Education and knowledge matter. Using these together to take action makes it all happen.)
3. Validated learning. Startups exist not just to make stuff, make money, or even serve customers. They exist to learn how to build a sustainable business. This learning can be validated scientifically by running frequent experiments that allow entrepreneurs to test each element of their vision. (each is an experiment)
4. Build-Measure-Learn. The fundamental activity of a startup is to turn ideas into products, measure how customers respond, and then learn whether to pivot or persevere. All successful startup processes should be geared to accelerate that feedback. (I find this gets overlooked as obvious, but this is something that always gets overlooked. If you want to get better you need feedback on what doesn't work.)
(4a. I am adding in this; speed matters. Learn to fail fast.)
5. Innovation accounting. To improve entrepreneurial outcomes and hold innovators accountable, we need to focus on the boring stuff: how to measure progress, how to set up milestones, and how to prioritize work. This requires a new kind of accounting designed for startups—and the people who hold them accountable.
(5a. Networks matter. No business is in a vacuum and is connected to the others. Connect and learn. Just as you are the average of your friends, your business is the average of its connections.)
“We all are learning, modifying, or destroying ideas all the time. Rapid destruction of your ideas when the time is right is one of the most valuable qualities you can acquire. You must force yourself to consider arguments on the other side.
— Charles T. Munger”
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