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The Lean Startup. How today’s entrepreneurs use continuous innovation to create radically successful companies – a review of the book by Eric Ries

Author: Jakub Kruszelnicki

The Lean StartUp is a Bible of a modern startup artist showing how to launch new products on the market in a lean way, adapting them agilely to customers’ expectations. 

Lean Startup provides a scientific approach to creating and managing startups and delivering the desired product to customers faster. The Lean Startup method teaches you how to drive a startup – how to steer, when to turn and when to persevere – and grow your business with maximum acceleration. This is an essential approach to developing new products.

If as a beginner entrepreneur you appeared for the first time at a fashionable meetup and quickly realized that this company speaks a language that you don’t understand using key terms not commonly used in traditional business, then you have not yet read Lean Startup. It’s not a newspeak, because this startup slang started building on the basis of a visionary book published in 2011.

LEAN management includes terms such as MVP (Minimum Value Product) and Pivot , which are examples of the dynamics of building a startup in a lean and agile way, following the Build-Measure-Learn structure, which introduces a continuous and constructive change in building a product that evolves based on feedback from the customer or end user.

Building a product in a startup reality requires a different approach than in traditional business. Given that here changes are happening faster and resources are shrinking from day to day, it is important that each step allows the company to better match the market. But acting in such an environment can be predictable and easy to follow – and this is what Erich Ries tells us.

Experiment. Is this product needed?

The Lean Startup methodology assumes that every startup is an experiment that tries to answer the question. The question is not “Can this product be built?” Instead, the questions are: “Should this product be built?” and “Can we build a sustainable business around this set of products and services?” This experiment is more than a theoretical question; it is the first product. If successful, it allows the manager to start his or her campaign: by registering early users, adding employees to each subsequent experiment or iteration and ultimately creating a product. By the time the product is ready for wide distribution, it will already have established customers, solve real problems and provide detailed specifications of what needs to be built.

Formula. Continuous improvement

Build-Measure-Learn loop highlights speed as a key component of product development. The effectiveness of a team or a company depends on its ability to think, to quickly build a product of minimum value from the idea, to measure its effectiveness on the market and to draw conclusions from this experiment. In other words, it is a learning cycle of transforming ideas into products, measuring the reactions and behavior of customers towards constructed products and then deciding whether to maintain or modify the idea; this process is repeated as many times as necessary.

Components. Basic terms

To understand the Lean Startup method well you need to know at least 3 key terms. They created this incomprehensible novelty on your first meetup and introduced the StartUp slang to the world.

Minimum Value Product (MVP) is a version of the new product that allows a startup to gather maximum customer knowledge with the least effort.

Iteration is a closed cycle of experimentation aimed at testing new elements of the product in the user environment, after which we will draw conclusions and make strategic decisions preparing the product for the next iterative cycle.

Pivot is a structured product revision designed to test a new product hypothesis, strategy and development dynamics.

Community. We’re all LEAN

More than 10 years after its appearance in the collective consciousness, the lean startup method is still regarded as the basis for working on ideas and products. Moreover, its value is increasing with the number of good practices that emerge in the world. It is their analysis that connects the lean experts into an ever-growing community. If this method works for you, share your opinion on the forum http://theleanstartup.com/  

“The success of a StartUp can be designed by following this process, which means that ​​you can learn it and communicate it clearly.” – Eric Ries

If our review got you interested in the book you can buy it here.

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