Book Review – The Lean Startup

Book Review Image - The Lean Startup

Recently, I read the book The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. This book is full of well thought out concepts, good stories, and plenty of tactical and strategic advice. I found myself reflecting upon previous conversations and past consulting projects. It has added much to my holistic approach to support and advise clients in their Agile and Lean journeys. I plan on adding this into my toolbox right away.

The five principles of The Lean Startup, include…

  1. Entrepreneurs are everywhere. This is more about how one views his/her contributions to an organization than it is about a role or title.
  2. Entrepreneurship is management. This is key to great management to build innovative and amazing products.
  3. Validated learning. This allows the organization to create a sustainable business.
  4. Build-Measure-Learn. This is “the” feedback loop for the Lean Startup.
  5. Innovation accounting. This is a new way of measuring the creativity and insights of the organization.

Each of the above principles build upon each other and create a dynamic learning framework for an organization. So…


Visual Representation: The Lean Startup

Visual Representation: The Lean Startup

To help further my learning, and to help others gain from my reading of this book I have created a simple infographic (or visual representation) of each of the core sections of the books as well as its key concepts.

Here is a list of the key concepts:

  • Minimum viable products. This allows for the pursuit of delivering value early and with great customer support.
  • Actionable metrics. This helps the team to focus on the metrics that clearly understood and helps us determine if we should pivot or persevere.
  • Pivot or persevere.  Once we have true metrics, then we can choose to continue down the same path or adjust based on the findings.
  • Genchi gembutsu.  This basically means to go to where the work is done or the information is capture and learn for yourself.

After each of these are understood, there are three structural attributes that are needed for startup teams:

  1. Scarce but secure resources. This may be a small and cross-functional team.
  2. Independent authority to develop their business. This connect very well to the principle of autonomy if the book Drive by Daniel H. Pink.
  3. Personal stake in the outcome. If we are invested in the outcome (more than just financial incentives) then we are more likely to look for ways to improve the product and the process.

Final thought  – read this book! The Lean Startup is easy to comprehend, has simple yet powerful stories, and practical tips.

Warm regards,

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