Book Review – The Lean Startup

The full name of the book captures the objective with which Eric Ries has presented this beautiful methodology. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses is written by Eric Ries, who as entrepreneur has been there, done that with his startup.

When I was reading this book, the most prominent feeling throughout was that why didn’t I read the book earlier. Being a startup co-founder, you realize that working on a product is an extremely involved process which takes time, money and efforts.

Some founders are scared of sharing their ideas because of the fear of getting copied. Let me tell you, ideas are worth a dime a dozen. Execution is crucial. This book gives you a new approach for executing your product idea i.e. your idea of building a startup amidst uncertainty and around a scalable tech product. I will not hesitate in saying, The Lean Startup by Eric Ries is a must read book for every tech entrepreneur and product manager

The Lean Startup methodology of building the product is borrowed from Toyota Production System, popularly known as “Lean Manufacturing”. It aims to reduce the waste to minimum and achieve super efficiency.

The most important aspect which is underlying theme of the book The Lean Startup is – The Build-Measure-Learn Feedback Loop.  

Planning and forecasting are only useful when your operations and business have been stable and the environment is static. Startups have neither. A startup has to build a framework for building and continuously improving the effectiveness of new products, services and ideas. Most importantly it has to do it quick and cheap.

The process starts with building a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) based on your initial hypothesis. Launching it to a small audience, measuring important metrices to understand user experience and acceptability and then use this learning to improve the product. And the cycle continues.

My personal experience suggests, that the biggest hurdles in applying Lean Startup methodology to your product development initiatives are the perfectionist mindset of the product manager and the slow decision-making process at the top. The lean startup methodology thrives on the willingness to experiment continuously coupled with the agility (combination of speed & flexibility) of the product team. Hence, it’s more a mindset play than anything else. Difficult to adopt in the organization, but once you do that, the benefits are huge and obvious. 

The book is available on Flipkart (affiliate link)

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