‘The Lean Start up- How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses’ is a book that explains how to work on your innovative concepts as businessman through moments of anxiety and dilemma. The way to start a company has changed drastically over the time and this book will explain you how to utilize this change to our benefit.
The book provides the plan, how a ‘startup’ is a company devoted to creating something innovative under circumstances of extreme uncertainty. As per author Every one of us has one thing in common and that is to clear the way of uncertainty and reach the target of having a sustainable, unbeaten and balanced company.
The book emphasizes on the developed companies that are both economically proficient and make use of human imagination more frequently. Influenced by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies depends on validate learning, rapid scientific testing, as well as a number of counter-intuitive exercises that shorten product growth cycles, measure actual development without resorting to vanity metrics and learn what consumers really want. Thereby, it a organization to move directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute. The book make you learn entrepreneurship, in organization of all sizes, a way to judge their vision continuously and to adapt and adjust according to situation.
The author Eric Ries a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, venture and startup advisor, pioneered the Lean startup movement. He has learnt, applied and taught these techniques over the years while being a CTO, and as an advisor to multiple corporate and startup boards. The author in this book explains how a startup or a new initiative in an established organization can continue to grow by being lean and agile, using simple techniques of executing ideas from the learnings to quickly build a sustainable business.
The author introduces the readers to a framework Build-Measure-Learn feedback Loop—an agile product development technique that follows the concept of build faster and ship sooner which is commonly known as Minimum Viable Product (MVP) building methodology. MVP methodology is used to build faster with minimum but crucial features, test those to validate assumptions against the measurable feedback and inputs from the customers. These learnings are subsequently used to build next cycle of MVP by either persevering on the same path or pivoting to a new one. Each concept is further explained with real life experiences and instances from startups and corporate organizations alike, which makes this book very interesting and engaging.
The author has provided insightful learnings on identifying project wastages in terms of time, money and other vital resources. He has provided tools on measuring the feedback/data using what he calls 3 A’s metrics: Actionable, Accessible and Auditable, and warns against the pitfalls of vanity metrics that is loaded with unwanted and useless data. His wisdom on Pivot or Persevere is particularly very useful, he guides the reader on how to identify such stages but also provides an understanding of different flavors of change that can be adopted to redefine the strategy and continue with the loop.
He talks about how to accelerate and grow once we are on the path of perseverance, by fueling the growth engine at necessary intervals aiding us with several tools and framework like sticky, viral and paid engine of growth. He also emphasis on how the companies should continue to build an adaptive organization by continues learning, evolving ideas into innovations that results in developing new sources to fuel the growth engine.
The author is greatly inspired by The Toyota Way by Jeffery K. Liker and The Innovators Dilemma by Clayton Christensen. He has often listed examples and shared his learnings from these books that contributed to this technique. The section on wisdom of Five Why’s and Adapting to smaller batches can be adapted by anyone to quickly adjusts process and performance to grow more effective.
I recommend this book not just to entrepreneurs, but also to managers, leaders, innovators and people who are interested in personal growth. Even large organization can use these methodologies, Eric has very cleverly provided suggestions to build adaptive organization that can oil the growth engine and how to nurture disruptive innovation. One of the most likeable character of the author is that he is very candid on talking about his own failures and short sightedness during his early days as a CTO. And the lessons learnt from others mistakes can be priceless.