The Lean Startup

A start-up that experiments a lot, co-creates with the users and immediately collects feedback from the market and uses it to improve a product is a LEAN start-up. Writing an extensive business plan and immediately launching a complete product on the market is out of the question for them. The founders of a LEAN start-up first determine what is needed at the minimum as a prototype, and immediately test this with the customer. The founder of the LEAN start-up method, Eric Ries, advises companies that the time for a large-scale rollout only comes when there is some certainty that the product is viable. Having finished a product perfectly and on time only to find out that no one is interested in it means a huge waste of time and resources. (click to enlarge image)

“Think big. Start small. Scale fast.”
Vivek Kundra

Some terms and concepts you’ll encounter with the LEAN Startup:

Minium Viable Product

It literally means the ‘minimum workable product’ – that which you need to develop as a minimum in order to go to market. So it’s crucial not to focus on the end solution right away, but to remind yourself that you need to learn to listen first. Your job is to understand the market and to do so quickly, in order to lose as little time and money as possible.

You can watch a video about the minimum viable product below or find it here.

The Basis of the LEAN Start-up Method: Development by Users

The goal of the LEAN Startup is to receive feedback from your users about your minimum viable product. So you need to make sure you understand who they are, what caught their attention, what features they preferred (or, on the other hand, didn’t understand), and most importantly, why they would be more likely to use your product instead of another.

LEAN Canvas vs. Business Model Canvas

Both tools were created to validate the relevance of a business model, but where the BMC emphasises resources, partners and activities, the LEAN canvas focuses on the alignment of the product with the market. In a sense, they are two approaches that complement each other, rather than compete with each other. 

You can find an excellent video on UBER as an example for a LEAN business model below or find it here.

further reading

You can find a great article on the Lean Start-up Model in Harvard Business Review article.