Larry Price

And The Endless Cup Of Coffee

The Lean Startup

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If you cannot fail, you cannot learn.

The Gist

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries explains how Lean methodlogies are not only meaningful for startups, but can also be used to create innovation within large organizations.

What I Think

If I had a nickel for every time the word “entrepreneur” showed up in this book…

Besides that, this book is highly insightful with many great examples of companies, small and large, that have built great products using Lean processes.

Part of what makes this book readable is the credibility of the author, a founder of several startups who has seen failure and success. I wasn’t convinced that I would enjoy this book until I read Eric’s story about IMVU’s initial failures and how those failures were overcome. I won’t spoil too much for anyone currently reading the book, but IMVU does eventually figure out what customers want, thanks in no small part to rethinking the way that the company develops software.

The majority of this book focuses on creating a minimal viable product. Creating an MVP is difficult from a developer’s perspective, and the author touches on this quite a bit. Developers don’t like to release products that may contain bugs or may not contain all the “essential” features, but an MVP is not about feature-completeness, it’s about getting the product to users as quickly as possible to accelerate the “build-measure-learn” process.

Once again, I’d like to stress that the real-world experiences described in this book are what makes it so convincing. Stories about IMVU, Intuit, and Toyota makes these concepts seem obtainable for a company of any size.

Who Should Read This

You should read this if you’re not sure how to get your company thinking about Lean processes. You should also read this if you want to eliminate waste on your project and learn how to get the most out of customer feedback. Open mind required to teach old dogs new tricks.