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The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businessesby Eric Ries
Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Even though most startups and new products fail, we're still entranced as a culture with the rags-to-riches romance of entrepreneurial stories of solitary striving, perseverance, and creative genius. The 30-something founder and CTO of the startup IMVU, Ries developed the strategy he calls the Lean Startup: the application of lean thinking to the process of innovation. His theory of the Lean Startup works according to five principles: entrepreneurs are everywhere; entrepreneurship is management; validated learning; build-measure-learn; and innovation accounting. He recounts his successes and failures, analyzes the success of startups Groupon and Dropbox, and suggests ways to help people develop techniques that allow startups to grow without sacrificing the speed and agility that are their lifeblood. Ultimately, his goal is to both reduce waste in innovation and to keep the startup industry independent and not merely a feeder system for giant media companies and investment banks. While his ideas are solid, the topic long overdue, the writing is almost prohibitively dry and pedantic. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Book News Annotation:
This manual for startup companies and entrepreneurs outlines the author's method for developing an agile and evolving business model that allows for rapid research and development as well as nimble adjustment to unforeseen opportunities. Drawing on concepts employed in lean manufacturing processes, this accessible text lays out concrete steps for building profitable businesses focused on emerging technologies and products. Ries is an entrepreneur and consultant who has started several startup businesses. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Most startups fail. But those failures, says entrepreneur Eric Ries, are preventable.
New ventures, from the garage to those within Fortune 500 companies, are designed to create innovative products or services that have never existed before. When these startups fail, it is usually not because they didn’t execute well enough—on the contrary, they “achieved failure” by building the wrong things very efficiently. Startups cannot use traditional planning and management tools, because their product and customers are unknown. The primary mission of entrepreneurs is to penetrate the uncertainty about what customers will ultimately embrace, and discover a path to a successful business.
The Lean Startup methodology offers a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups. It relies on what Ries calls “validated learning” to build a sustainable business. It is a way of getting continuous feedback so that a company can decide whether or not to persevere in their vision, or pivot and shift directions. It allows entrepreneurs a way to adapt their plans incrementally, inch by inch, minute by minute. In other words, rather than creating an elaborate business plan, The Lean Startup offers a way to test your vision continuously, so that you can innovate and adjust while you still have time to do so.
About the Author
ERIC RIES is a highly regarded entrepreneur who lives in San Francisco and is an Entrepreneur in Residence at Harvard Business School. He learned crucial lessons about what not to do as a result of many startup failures, before cofounding the highly successful IMVU. His Lean Startup methodology has been written about in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Harvard Business Review, and many blogs.
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