The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

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Crown Business, 2011 - Business & Economics - 320 pages
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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.


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In The Lean Startup, author Eric Ries talks about a myth of American entrepreneurialism. The myth holds that all entrepreneurs are amazingly creative and that they intuitively will their products into existence, the visionary who sees what the future holds and brings it to market.
When, in fact, startups aren’t just a product or a service, but a system that includes people. People require management. And while management may seem boring, the decisions you make early in a startup may ultimately determine the success or failure of your business.
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This is a fantastic book. Ries does a brilliant job of applying Lean thinking to startups. He addresses both the guy working out of his basement and the small team exploring a new business line in a Fortune 500 company.
My favorite insight in the book is that when we are exploring something new, we should focus on measures of learning over traditional measures of success. Ries includes some great examples of startups making adjustments as they learn, and ones that didn't.
The book is highly accessible and of interest to both people familiar with Lean and those who have never heard of it.


Part UIIB Vlslllll
Pivot or Persevere
Waste Not
join the Movement
Disclosures 301
Index 309

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About the author (2011)

ERIC RIES is an entrepreneur and author of the popular blog Startup Lessons Learned. He co-founded and served as CTO of IMVU, his third startup,  and has had plenty of startup failures along the way. He is a frequent speaker at business events, has advised a number of startups, large companies, and venture capital firms on business and product strategy, and is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Harvard Business School. His Lean Startup methodology has been written about in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Harvard Business Review, the Huffington Post, and many blogs. He lives in San Francisco.

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