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

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Overview

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. ...

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

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Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Even though most startups and new products fail, we're still entranced as a culture with the rags-to-riches romance of entrepreneurial stories of solitary striving, perseverance, and creative genius. The 30-something founder and CTO of the startup IMVU, Ries developed the strategy he calls the Lean Startup: the application of lean thinking to the process of innovation. His theory of the Lean Startup works according to five principles: entrepreneurs are everywhere; entrepreneurship is management; validated learning; build-measure-learn; and innovation accounting. He recounts his successes and failures, analyzes the success of startups Groupon and Dropbox, and suggests ways to help people develop techniques that allow startups to grow without sacrificing the speed and agility that are their lifeblood. Ultimately, his goal is to both reduce waste in innovation and to keep the startup industry independent and not merely a feeder system for giant media companies and investment banks. While his ideas are solid, the topic long overdue, the writing is almost prohibitively dry and pedantic. (Sept.)
From the Publisher

"The Lean Startup has a kind of inexorable logic, and Ries’ recommendations come as a bracing slap in the face to would-be tech moguls: Test your ideas before you bet the bank on them. Don’t listen to what focus groups say; watch what your customers do. Start with a modest offering and build on the aspects of it that prove valuable. Expect to get it wrong, and stay flexible (and solvent) enough to try again and again until you get it right. It’s a message that rings true to grizzled startup vets who got burned in the Great Bubble and to young filmgoers who left The Social Network with visions of young Zuckerberg dancing in their heads. It resonates with Web entrepreneurs blessed with worldwide reach and open source code. It’s the perfect philosophy for an era of limited resources, when the noun optimism is necessarily preceded by the adjective cautious." Wired

“I make all our managers read The Lean Startup.” —Jeffery Immelt, CEO, General Electric

"Eric has created a science where previously there was only art.  A must read for every serious entrepreneur—and every manager interested in innovation."
—Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, Opsware Inc. and Netscape

“This book should be mandatory reading for entrepreneurs, and the same goes for managers who want better entrepreneurial instincts. Ries’s book is loaded with fascinating stories—not to mention countless practical principles you’ll dearly wish you’d known five years ago.” —Dan Heath, co-author of Switch and Made to Stick

“Ries shows us how to cut through the fog of uncertainty that surrounds startups. His approach is rigorous; his prescriptions are practical and proven in the field. The Lean Startup will change the way we think about entrepreneurship.  As startup success rates improve, it could do more to boost global economic growth than any management book written in years.” —Tom Eisenmann, Professor of Entrepreneurship, Harvard Business School
 
“The Lean Startup is the book whose lessons I want every entrepreneur to absorb and apply.  I know of no better guide to improve the odds of a startup's success."
—Mitchell Kapor, Founder, Lotus Development Corp.
 
"At Asana, we've been lucky to benefit from Eric's advice firsthand; this book will enable him to help many more entrepreneurs answer the tough questions about their business."
—Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder of Facebook and Asana
 
“Ries' splendid book is the essential template to understand the crucial leadership challenge of our time: initiating and managing growth!” —Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Business, University of Southern California and author of the recently published, Still Surprised: A Memoir of a Life in Leadership.
 
"The Lean Startup isn't just about how to create a more successful entrepreneurial business, it's about what we can learn from those businesses to improve virtually everything we do. I imagine Lean Startup principles applied to government programs, to healthcare, and to solving the world's great problems.  It's ultimately an answer to the question 'How can we learn more quickly what works, and discard what doesn't?'"
— Tim O'Reilly, CEO O'Reilly Media
 
“Eric Ries unravels the mysteries of entrepreneurship and reveals that magic and genius are not the necessary ingredients for success but instead proposes a scientific process that can be learnt and replicated. Whether you are a startup entrepreneur or corporate entrepreneur there are important lessons here for you on your quest toward the new and unknown.”  —Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO
 
“The roadmap for innovation for the 21st century. The ideas in The Lean Startup will help create the next industrial revolution.” —Steve Blank, lecturer, Stanford University, U.C. Berkeley Haas Business School
 
"The key lesson of this book is that start-ups happen in the present—that messy place between the past and the future where nothing happens according to PowerPoint. Ries's ‘read and react’ approach to this sport, his relentless focus on validated learning, the never-ending anxiety of hovering between ‘persevere’ and ‘pivot’, all bear witness to his appreciation for the dynamics of entrepreneurship."  —Geoffrey Moore, Author, Crossing the Chasm
 
"If you are an entrepreneur, read this book. If you are thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, read this book.  If you are just curious about entrepreneurship, read this book.  Starting Lean is today's best practice for innovators.  Do yourself a favor and read this book." —Randy Komisar, founding director of TiVo and author of the bestselling The Monk and the Riddle
 
“How do you apply the 50 year old ideas of Lean to the fast-paced, high uncertainty world of Startups? This book provides a brilliant, well-documented, and practical answer. It is sure to become a management classic.” —Don Reinertsen, author of The Principles of Product Development Flow
 
The Lean Startup is a foundational must-read for founders, enabling them to reduce product failures by bringing structure and science to what is usually informal and an art.  It provides actionable ways to avoid product-learning mistakes, rigorously evaluate early signals from the market through validated learning, and decide whether to persevere or to pivot, all challenges that heighten the chance of entrepreneurial failure.” —Professor Noam Wasserman, Harvard Business School
 
“One of the best and most insightful new books on entrepreneurship and management I’ve ever read.  Should be required reading not only for the entrepreneurs that I work with, but for my friends and colleagues in various industries who have inevitably grappled with many of the challenges that The Lean Startup addresses.”  —Eugene J. Huang, Partner, True North Venture Partners
 
"What would happen if businesses were built from the ground up to learn what their customers really wanted? The Lean Startup is the foundation for reimagining almost everything about how work works. Don't let the word startup in the title confuse you. This is a cookbook for entrepreneurs in organizations of all sizes." —Roy Bahat, President, IGN Entertainment
 
“Every founding team should stop for 48 hours and read Lean Startup. Seriously stop and read this book now.” —Scott Case, CEO Startup America Partnership
 
“In business, a ‘lean’ enterprise is sustainable efficiency in action. Eric Ries’ revolutionary Lean Startup method will help bring your new business idea to an end result that is successful and sustainable. You’ll find innovative steps and strategies for creating and managing your own startup while learning from the real-life successes and collapses of others. This book is a must read for entrepreneurs who are truly ready to start something great!” —Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager® and The One Minute Entrepreneur

“Every entrepreneur responsible for innovation within their organization should read this book. It entertainingly and meticulously develops a rigorous science for the innovation process through the methodology of “lean thinking”.  This methodology provides novel and powerful tools for companies to improve the speed and efficiency of their innovation processes through minimum viable products, validated learning, innovation accounting, and actionable metrics. These tools will help organizations large and small to sustain innovation by effectively leveraging the time, passion, and skill of their talent pools.” Andrea Goldsmith, professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, and cofounder of several startups
 
“Business is too important to be left to luck.  Eric reveals the rigorous process that trumps luck in the invention of new products and new businesses.  We've made this a centerpiece of how teams work in my company . . . it works!  This book is the guided tour of the key innovative practices used inside Google, Toyota, and Facebook, that work in any business.” Scott Cook, Founder and Chairman of the Executive Committee, Intuit

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307887894
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/13/2011
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 16,665
  • Product dimensions: 5.78 (w) x 8.54 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

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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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part 1 Vision

1 Start 15

2 Define 25

3 Learn 37

4 Experiment 56

Part 2 Steer

5 Leap 79

6 Test 92

7 Measure 114

8 Pivot (or Persevere) 149

Part 3 Accelerate

9 Batch 184

10 Grow 206

11 Adapt 224

12 Innovate 253

13 Epilogue: Waste Not 272

14 Join the Movement 285

Endnotes 291

Disclosures 301

Acknowledgments 303

Index 309

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 28 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2011

    One of My New Favorites For Business

    I Love this book! Being a designer and business owner, I am often given quite a few entrepreneurial titles as gifts. And sadly, most of them don't do much for me, in terms of advice and information I can put to use in my fashion design business. Eric Ries', The Lean Startup is a major exception to this however!

    I found so much useful info in this book that it made me feel like Ries may be one of the few business writers who actually "gets it" when it comes to being an entrepreneur. I've read probably eight books this year, and only The Lean Startup and Wisdom & Wisecracks For The Aspiring Business Owner (also available on Barnes & Noble now) by Will Estell have made me feel like authors of these type books could have been business owners themselves and get the issues that the rest of us face daily. Thanks for being "real"! I highly suggest this book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2011

    Not just for startups but for anyone working in business development

    Drawing on lean manufacturing and the foundational work of people like Steve Blank, Ries has created a methodology that enables you to learn from your customers, even when you have very few, so that you can quickly identify what they want and how to give it to them. this means you operate in lean fashion- with efficiency and with agility- to make the necessary changes before you've thrown the baby out with the bathwater. Good stories, strong lucid writing. It's a great book that will be resource for innovator and business development groups for decades.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2012

    Fantastic book

    Great book on entrepreneurship and runningna startup.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2012

    Motivate Venture Persevere

    This is a great book to read if you are interested in getting into the startup industry. If you have even a kernel of an idea, or just want to jump in and be part of a startup, this is a must read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 18, 2012

    It contains couple useful thoughts, but generally it's mediocre

    First half of book is good, second is boring. Eric Ries claims that is an scientific approach - it's not. It's practical approach, but definitely not scientific.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 12, 2012

    Excelent book!

    The book is no as lean as the idea that it presents, but I´ll help you trhough the stages of creating and growing your startup

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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