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The Lean Startup

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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.

299 pages, Board Book

First published January 1, 2011

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Eric Ries

33 books2,239 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,370 reviews
Profile Image for Herve.
93 reviews210 followers
November 15, 2011
After reading Clayton Christensen, Geoffrey Moore and Steve Blank, I was expecting a lot from The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. I was disappointed. It could be that I did not read it well or too fast, but I was expecting much more. But instead of saying what I did not like, let me begin with the good points. Just like the previous three authors, Ries shows that innovation may be totally counterintuitive: "My cofounders and I are determined to make new mistakes. We do everything wrong. We build a minimum viable product, an early product that is terrible, full of bugs and crash-your-computer-yes-really stability problems. Then we ship it to customers before it's ready. And we charge money for it. After securing initial customers, we change the product constantly. [...] We really had customers, often talked to them and did not do what they said." [page 4] On page 8, Eric Ries explains that the lean startup method helps entrepreneurs "under conditions of extreme uncertainty" with a "new kind of management" by "testing each element of their vision", and "learn whether to pivot or persevere" using a "feedback loop".

This is he Build-Measure-Learn process. He goes on by explaining why start-ups fail:
1- The first problem is the allure of a good plan. "Planning and forecasting are only accurate when based on a long, stable operating history and a relatively static environment. Startups have neither."
2- The second problem is the "Just-do-it". "This school believes that chaos is the answer. This does not work either. A startup must be managed".
The main and most convincing lesson from Ries is that because start-ups face a lot of uncertainty, they should test, experiment, learn from the right or wrong hypotheses as early and as often as possible. They should use actionable metrics, split-test experiments, innovation accounting. He is also a big fan of Toyota lean manufacturing.

I loved his borrowing of Komisar's Analogs and Antilogs. For the iPod, the Sony Walkman was an Analog ("people listen to music in a public place using earphones") and Napster was an Antilog ("although people were willing to download music, they were not willing to pay for it"). [Page 83] Ries further develops the MVP, Minimum Viable Product: "it is not the smallest product imaginable, but the fastest way to get through the Build-Measure-Learn feedback loop." Apple's original iPhone, Google's first search engine, or even Dropbox Video Demo were such MVPs. More on Techcrunch [page 97]. He adds that MVP does not go without risks, including legal issues, competition, branding and morale of the team. He has a good point about intellectual property [page 110]: "In my opinion, [...the] current patent law inhibits innovation and should be remedied as a matter of public policy."

So why did I feel some frustration? There is probably the feeling Ries gives that his method is a science. [Page 3]: "Startup success can be engineered by following the right process, which means it can be learned, which means it can be taught." [Page 148]: "Because of the scientific methodology that underlies the Lean Startup, there is often a misconception that it offers a rigid clinical formula for making pivot or persevere decisions. There is no way to remove the human element - vision, intuition, judgment - from the practice of entrepreneurship, nor that would be desirable". I was probably expecting more recipes, as the ones Blnak gives in The Four Steps to the Epiphany. So? Art or science? Ries explains on page 161 that pivot requires courage. "First, Vanity Metrics can allow to form false conclusions. [...] Second, an unclear hypothesis makes it impossible to experience complete failure, [...] Third, many entrepreneurs are afraid. Acknowledging failure can lead to dangerously low morale." A few pages before (page 154), he writes that "failure is a prerequisite to learning". Ries describes a systematic method, I am not sure it is a science, not even a process. Indeed, in his concluding chapter, as if he wanted to mitigate his previous arguments, he tends to agree: "the real goal of innovation: to learn that which is currently unknown" [page 275]. "Throughout our celebration of the Lean Startup movement, a note of caution is essential. We cannot afford to have our success breed a new pseudoscience around pivots, MVPs, and the like" [page 279]. This in no way diminishes the traditional entrepreneurial virtues; the primacy of vision, the willingness to take bold risks, and the courage required in the face of overwhelming odds" [page 278].

Let me mention here a video from Komisar. Together with Moore and Blank, he is among the ones who advise reading Ries' book. I am less convinced than them about the necessity to read this book. I have now more questions than answers, but this may be a good sign! I have been more frustrated than enlightened by the anecdotes he gives or his use of the Toyota strategy. In na interview given to the Stanford Venture Technology program, Komisar talks about how to teach entrepreneurship. Listen to him!

To be fair, Eric Ries is helping a lot the entrepreneurship movement. I just discovered a new set of videos he is a part of, thanks to SpinkleLab. Fred Destin had also a great post on his blog about the Lean Startup and you should probably read it too to build your own opinion. Lean is hard and (generally) good for you. Fred summaries Lean this way and he is right: "In the real world, most companies do too much development and spend too much money too early (usually to hit some pre-defined plan that is nothing more than a fantasy and / or is not where they need to go to succeed) and find themselves with an impossible task of raising money at uprounds around Series B. So founders get screwed and everyone ends up with a bad taste in their mouth. That's fundamentally why early stage capital efficiency should matter to you, and why you should at least understand lean concepts."

Let me finish with a recent interview given by Steve Blank in Finland:
I have devoted the last decade of my life and my “fourth career” to trying to prove that methods for improving entrepreneurial success can be taught. Entrepreneurship itself is more of a genetic phenomenon. Either you have the passion and drive to start something, or you don’t. I believe entrepreneurs are artists, and I’d like to quote George Bernard Shaw to illustrate:
"Some men see things as they are and ask why.
Others dream things that never were and ask why not."
Over the last decade we assumed that once we found repeatable methodologies (Agile and Customer Development, Business Model Design) to build early stage ventures, entrepreneurship would become a “science,” and anyone could do it. I’m beginning to suspect this assumption may be wrong. It’s not that the tools are wrong. Where I think we have gone wrong is the belief that anyone can use these tools equally well.
When page-layout programs came out with the Macintosh in 1984, everyone thought it was going to be the end of graphic artists and designers. “Now everyone can do design,” was the mantra. Users quickly learned how hard it was do design well and again hired professionals. The same thing happened with the first bit-mapped word processors. We didn’t get more or better authors. Instead we ended up with poorly written documents that looked like ransom notes. Today’s equivalent is Apple’s “Garageband”. Not everyone who uses composition tools can actually write music that anyone wants to listen to.
It may be we can increase the number of founders and entrepreneurial employees, with better tools, more money, and greater education. But it’s more likely that until we truly understand how to teach creativity, their numbers are limited. Not everyone is an artist, after all."
Profile Image for Andy Stager.
51 reviews71 followers
April 9, 2012
I'm currently starting a new church as well as helping my wife run a bow tie business. This book is about entrepreneurship, and its examples mostly come from the software development industry. Nevertheless, there was much food for thought here.


1. Put out a 'MVP'. As fast as possible, put out a 'minimum viable product' and see if anyone is willing to buy it. If you spend forever making the product the best it could possibly be, you may end up with a cool product that no one actually wants or is willing to pay for. Throw the product out there, then improve it bit by bit. We accidentally did this with our bow tie biz, and are intentionally doing it with the church.

2. Avoid 'vanity metrics.' Anyone can generate hype and a short-lived interest in just about any product. Real, sustainable success is driven not by hype but by discovering something that people actually want or need, offering it to them, and then continually innovating the product based on a greater understanding of what people want/need. We're trying to do this in both the bow tie biz and with the church: word-of-mouth viral marketing and social media are about the only way we've drawn people to either 'product'. The growth is slower and steadier, but, we hope, more sustainable than using a flash marketing stunt that might give us a lot of temporary excitement.

3. Be lean. Learn from Toyota's manufacturing and respond quickly to customer feedback to provide monthly, weekly, or even daily iterations of your product. Again: don't build it and expect people to come---especially if you're only going to build once a year. Constantly iterate. We're doing consistent minor tweaks with the church and the bow biz rather than working hard at one "big launch". In fact, we're avoiding the notion of a "launch" altogether in the church plant. We're not astronauts, and we don't need rocket boosters. Momentum can come in other ways than going from land to space in 5 minutes.
Author 3 books338 followers
July 11, 2016
"The big question of our time is not Can it be built? but Should it be built?"

I wasn't too surprised to find that Eric Ries is a great writer: clear, intellectually honest, articulate, and good-humored.

As Ries readily admits in the Epilogue, the theories and frameworks promoted in this book have the danger of being used retroactively to justify what you did in the past, or what you've already decided that you want to do, no matter your industry. Its success no doubt has to do with its take control of your chaotic reality self-help vibe.

What's most important in this book is not the snappily named tools (MVP, Concierge, pivot, Build-Measure-Learn) but Ries's less sexy advice, like:
"it's the boring stuff that matters most."

"Remember if we're building something that nobody wants, it doesn't much matter if we're doing it on time and on budget."

"Customers don't care how much time something takes to build. They care only if it serves their needs."

Copy, paste, print these lines out, stick them on every wall of your startup: even the bathroom's.
Profile Image for Adam Bradley.
59 reviews9 followers
November 14, 2011
I think this book could have been effectively distilled into one of about a fifth the length -- and provided me with a much faster feedback loop on the ideas it contained. So consider that an example of the author not abiding by his own principles.

Another example of the book not abiding by its own counsel: in recounting case studies, he assures us that the case studies are "successful" by telling us about venture funding and acquisition offers, which seem to me to be examples of the ultimate "vanity metrics" (getting speculators to bet on you is not synonymous with success).

The basic insights of the book are valuable, but they are described with only enough detail for the reader to make a few false starts at applying them, recognize their failures retroactively but probably not predictively (a "vanity metric" is one which, by definition, causes you to make the wrong decision -- but you don't know it's the wrong decision when you choose which metrics to ignore), and probably go one to hire a consultant who can help you actually fill in the blanks of how to apply the concept to your particular business.
Profile Image for José.
Author 2 books6 followers
October 4, 2011
As I read chapter after chapter I found myself thinking 'Great introduction to the topic, now let's hope the next one contains some real meat'. Unfortunately that feeling accompanied me until the end of the book.

Don't get me wrong, this book contains a lot of useful ideas if you are into entepreneurship: the build-measure-lean cycle driven by the knowledge you want to acquire, validated learning, treating everything as en experiment with its corresponding actionable metrics... but maybe I expected a little more insight into all these things.

Instead of a thorough description of each of the concepts we have a series of front line stories illutrating them. The only points that are fully developed are the pivot types and the possible engines of growth.

So after finishing the book I'm left with the feeling that, while now I have some sound guides to use, there's a lot of information I must research out there.
Profile Image for Jon-Erik.
175 reviews41 followers
September 15, 2012
If I was reviewing the idea in this book, it would get 5 stars.

As a book, there are few problems. First, just stylistically, I feel like I'm being lectured by a precocious toddler about how to do things. The tone is professorial, to put it charitably.

Second, there is a bit of incongruity between a system explaining that you need to engage in scientific testing in almost Popperian fashion on the one hand and a series of case studies on the other. Case studies are, of course, the currency of business school. But they're about as scientific as the Psychic Hotline. And this is because sometimes science can only tell us that a system is complex beyond our divination.

Third, when I don't feel like I'm being lectured, I feel like I'm being sold. This book seems like a portfolio of the author's work with a few sexy add ins like Facebook for effect.

I'm not surprised that most of the reviews here are Goodreads are glowing. Most of the time, a brilliant idea is enough. The idea of taking an idea and turning it into something is exciting. But really, it is the execution that matters. That's really what the book is saying: it's saying, screw your original brilliant idea. Take it and evolve it! And do that using facts!

I saw Ries's interview with Gavin Newsom totally by accident. I was glad to see him talking about some of the challenges entrepreneurs face aren't solved by the creation of new tax loopholes. But his delivery only confirmed my sense from the book: a lot of people are going to be turned off by his baby face matched with his know-it-all tone. This is too bad, because folks shouldn't dismiss these ideas.

I do question whether this is something that can apply as universally as the author claims. The majority of examples in the book are web services that run in the cloud. They don't depend on the rainfall in Sacramento affecting the price of soy in six months affecting the price of an item on my menu. Some businesses can't adjust on the fly without significant destruction.

Now, with all those caveats, I will have to admit that I will be (perhaps more humbly) applying some of the ideas I found in this book.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews41 followers
November 11, 2019
The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses, Eric Ries
Ries developed the idea for the lean startup from his experiences as a startup adviser, employee, and founder. Ries attributes the failure of his first startup, Catalyst Recruiting, to not understanding the wants of their target customers and focusing too much time and energy on the initial product launch.

عنوانها: نوپای ناب ؛ قدرت خلق کسب و کار نوپا: اصول کلیدی راه‌ اندازی استارت‌‌ آپ‌های موفق در دنیای پیش‌ بینی‌ ناپذیر امروزی؛ نوپای ناب : چگونه شرکت‌های تازه تاسیس، پیوسته در استارتاپ نوظهورِ موفق خود نوآوری می‌کنند؟ نویسنده: اریک ریز (ریس)؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز یازدهم ماه نوامبر سال 2016 میلادی

عنوان: نوپای ناب ؛ نویسنده: اریک ریز (ریس)؛ مترجمها: محمدجواد احمدپور، سیدعلی فاطمی‌خوراسگانی ؛ ب�� همکاری مرکز کارآفرینی ستکا؛ تهران : پندار پارس ‏‫: مرکز کارآفرینی ستکا‮‬‏‫، ‏‫1392؛ در 257 ص؛ نمودار، جدول، ‬‬به همراه لوح فشرده؛ شابک: 9786006529493؛ چاپ سوم 1394؛ چاپ چهارم 1395؛ موضوع: کارآمدی سازمانی - کسب و کار - از نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده 21 م
عنوان: قدرت خلق کسب و کار نوپا: اصول کلیدی راه‌ اندازی استارت‌‌ آپ‌های موفق در دنیای پیش‌ بینی‌ ناپذیر امروزی؛ نویسنده: اریک ریس؛ مترجم: فرخ بافنده؛ تهران: پندار تابان‏‫، چاپ اول و دوم 1396؛ در 339 ص؛ شابک: 9786008593164؛‬‬
عنوان: نوپای ناب : چگونه شرکت‌های تازه تاسیس، پیوسته در استارتاپ نوظهورِ موفق خود نوآوری می‌کنند؟ نویسنده: اریک رایس؛ مترجم: مژگان حیدرعلی؛ تهران: هورمزد‏‫، 1398؛ در 355 ص؛ شابک: 9786226010689؛

شاید بهترین تعریف برای یک «استارت‌ آپ (آغاز)»، تعریف «اریک ریس»، نویسنده ی همین کتاب باشد: «مفهوم کلیدی یادگیری ست، ایده ها را نمیتوان بر روی کاغذ آزمایش کرد، به محض اینکه حداقلهای قابل عرضه و ارائه، طراحی شد، باید پاسخ بازار را نیز به ایده های طراحی شده، سنجید»؛ «نوپای ناب» تنها درباره ی چگونگی آفرینش یک کسب و کار کارآفرینانه نیست؛ بلکه در مورد این است که چگونه میتوان از آن کسب و کارها یاد گرفت، تا در هر کاری که قرار است انجام دهیم بهتر شویم. اصول «نوپای ناب»، در طرحهای دولتی، حوزه ی سلامت، و حل بزرگترین مسائل جهان میتوانند استفاده شوند. در نهایت این کتاب پاسخی برای این پرسش است، که چگونه میتوانیم سریعتر، آنچه را که به دردمان میخورد یاد بگیریم، و آنچه را که به درد نمیخورد، کنار بگذاریم.؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Peter.
472 reviews2,553 followers
January 14, 2022
The Lean Startup is an important and highly acclaimed book for new startup ventures.
It is one of the core business books that revolutionised the business startup environment over this last decade. Eric Ries stripped everything down to the core basic principles of being lean and agile in response to customer feedback. This is not new but is collated and distilled in a dynamic yet clear structure. Of note is that the Lean Startup is heavily biased towards the software industry. While also coming from that industry, I may be unaware of how effective this approach is in other sectors, especially those that are heavily regulated and limited to the opportunity to, in reality, deliver prototypes to customers.

I really appreciated the book’s celebration that you don’t have all the answers, and you're not expected to if you’re a startup with an innovative solution. However, the major point is that you shouldn’t pretend or act like you do but embrace the uncertainty and develop an experimental approach to delivering a Minimum Viable Product – build, measure, learn.

There is another perspective: to know your value and where you're going, you should start with the presumption that you will dominate the industry and that your solution is a game-changer. Zero to One by Peter Thiel asserts this position. Personally, I feel you need to have both the end game as a vision and have some idea of what that would look like. But also, the practical next steps on the day to day basis of how you prove and correctly position your company for initial customer acquisition is crucial.

I found The Lean Startup not only great for advice, techniques and analogous stories to help reinforce the approach, but it is an inspirational book that dares you to challenge everything and rationalise with customer validation that your vision is viable and scalable. When a book affects me, it starts a chain reaction in my thought process so that I either understand where I need to go or may enable me to articulate what has been sitting just out of reach in my mind. This is one of those books.

Other books that reinforce this new startup environment and are worth reading include:
• Business Model Generation – Alexander Osterwalder
• Four Steps to the Epiphany – Steve Blank
• The Startup Owner’s Manual – Steve Blank
• Running Lean – Ash Maurya
Profile Image for Brian Yahn.
310 reviews599 followers
September 15, 2017
It's pretty rare for me, after finishing a book, to not be able to imagine my life not having read it. The Lean Startup is one of those books.

Maybe my understanding of business is unimpressive, but I am very interested in the subject and read a good bit about it. Still, I found this book to be enlightening. In business -- and in life -- we always have simple goals, like: I want to make more money.

It's easy to focus our motivation on making more money. After all, it is what we want. But what we really need to do is focus our energy on LEARNING. What do I need to learn before I'm able to make more money? How do I learn that?

It seems blatantly intuitive in hindsight, but this book really opened my eyes to it.

At the core of Eric Ries's message is this: Business and products are far too often founded on assumptions. We start building some product assuming people want it. We spend a lot of time trying to build the optimal product, and then -- after it's finished -- we offer it to customers. But then we find out that customers don't actually want the product in the first place. Our assumption was wrong. And just look at all that effort, time, and money wasted on developing it!

I'm sure, from an academic standpoint, there are books much better than this. But it was an incredibly easy and fast read and even slightly humorous at times.
Profile Image for Sher❤ The Fabulous BookLover.
865 reviews556 followers
January 14, 2015
After initially giving this 3 stars I had to go back and give this 4 Stars. This book is amazing for those starting a company, those who already own a company and those thinking about making that move. Beware, this book is better in practice than in theory. If you consider yourself an entrepreneur and are willing to put the principles into practice, then it's worth reading.
Profile Image for Becky.
1,378 reviews1,651 followers
March 27, 2018
Assigned reading from my job, last minute, in preparation for a meeting. I managed it, and while I thought it made a lot of sense in terms of concepts and ideas, and parts of it were very interesting, the writing sucked all of the joy out of it. The first third of the book repetitively repeated stuff by saying it many times, often mirroring previously said things but slightly differently, but... oddly without saying anything of actual information value at all.

The last two-thirds were better, more focused on the premise of how to know when you need to try different things, or maybe stay the course... but this is an idea and concept book, so your mileage may vary. If put into practice, it's likely the best start up model I know of, but you know, I'm not exactly Steve Jobs, so... There's that.

Anyway... don't let the 2 star rating put you off if you're interested in entrepreneurial reading material. It's a good book for that... I just wasn't its target audience.
Profile Image for Rick.
Author 5 books74 followers
December 5, 2013
This is a massively important book that turned out to be much harder to read than I expected, and left me still pretty confused about how to implement much of the advice in the book. But I like what it did to my thinking, even though I was familiar with many of the concepts in the book already.

But boy, I sure do like Five Whys. I am so ready to have kids.

There are some really wonderful simple quotes too:

"management is human systems engineering."

"Our productive capacity greatly exceeds our ability to know what to build."

The latter was from the last chapter, which was my favorite. Ries gets a little existential about the raison d'etre of business and building things. I liked it.

And this might sound a bit precious out of context, but it did get me quite excited: "What is needed is a massive project to discover how to unlock the vast stores of potential that are hidden in plain sight in our modern workforce. If we stopped wasting people’s time, what would they do with it? We have no real concept of what is possible.."

Profile Image for Duong Tan.
133 reviews26 followers
January 27, 2015
Kể từ lần đọc đầu tiên cho đến giờ, chưa bao giờ cuốn “The Lean Startup” (Khởi nghiệp Tinh gọn) không nằm trong danh sách “phải đọc” mà tôi khuyến cáo đối với người học tập và thực hành Lean\Agile.

Đây là cuốn sách được đánh giá rất cao bởi rất nhiều người thuộc nhiều lĩnh vực khác nhau: doanh nhân, nhà quản trị, lập trình viên, nhà giáo… Một cuốn sách hiếm thấy có được sự hòa trộn tài tình giữa kĩ thuật thực hành rất thực dụng với những ý tưởng đột phá về khởi nghiệp và kinh doanh. Có lẽ đánh giá như học giả Steve Blank ở Stanford về cuốn sách không có vẻ gì là tâng bốc: “Đây là bản lộ trình đổi mới cho thế kỉ XXI. Những ý tưởng trong Khởi nghiệp Tinh gọn sẽ giúp tạo ra cuộc cách mạng công nghiệp tiếp theo”. Những gì thể hiện trong 3 năm kể từ khi cuốn sách được xuất bản dường như đang minh chứng cho điều Blank nói: nó trở thành Best Seller, được bàn bạc và áp dụng thường xuyên, còn các hội thảo về Lean Startup thì thường đông nghịt người, và thật kì lạ nếu trong một hội thảo hay một cuốn sách về Agile\Lean nào trong thời gian gần đây lại không trích dẫn vài điều về Lean Startup.

Thật may mắn là người Việt đã có thể đọc Lean Startup bằng tiếng Việt từ giữa năm 2013. Cảm ơn các dịch giả và đơn vị xuất bản đã sớm mang LeanStartup tới đông đảo bạn đọc Việt Nam. Phải nói rằng đó là sự việc hết sức may mắn, vì đầu sách về Lean bằng tiếng Việt cho tới nay chỉ đếm trên đầu ngón tay. Điều đó có nghĩa là bạn đọc có thể tiếp cận Lean theo cái nhìn mới nhất, dễ hiểu và thực dụng, thay vì phải đọc lại “Lean Thinking” hay những “Toyota Way” với rất nhiều nguyên lí phức tạp của Lean Manufacturing – những tư tưởng Tinh gọn “cổ điển”.

Tôi cố gắng giữ cho lời giới thiệu cuốn sách Khởi nghiệp Tinh gọn này thật ngắn, theo tinh thần “tinh gọn”, tránh lãng phí vì cuốn sách này đã khá nổi tiếng, phương pháp LeanStartup cũng đã được cộng đồng khởi nghiệp trong nước nhắc đi nhắc lại nhiều lần trong một hai năm trở lại đây. Bạn có thể nhờ anh Google kiểm tra lại điều đó.

Không kể bạn là ai, nếu bạn chưa đọc thì hãy gác mọi việc khác lại, bỏ ra 8 tiếng đồng hồ đọc xong cuốn sách tuyệt vời này. Chắc chắn bạn sẽ thấy quyết định đó là đáng giá
Profile Image for Nguyen Linh Chi.
83 reviews14 followers
August 7, 2017
Best book for start-ups. This book does not contain many fancy you-have-a-passion-just-do-it examples like other start-up books do. I appreciate the applicability of this book and recommend it to everyone.


1. Start-ups should focus on management, process, and discipline, which is counterintuitive to the conventional idea that start-ups should have a 'just-do-it' attitude.

2. Start-ups should develop Build-Measure-Feedback loop. Companies should develop a MVP to test market hypotheses. A MVP (minimum value product) is a product that lacks some feature because it is developed in a short time with less effort. With MVP, start-ups can see customers' reaction to the product. Start-ups must test the riskiest assumption first.

3. Cohort analysis, which studies the behavior of independent customer segments to a product, is proven to be more meaningful than other forms of line graphs.

4. When there is a problem, entrepreneurs should ask 5 'Why?' questions (root cause analysis) in order to seek for appropriate solutions.

5. Instead of vanity metrics, investigate into actionable metrics. Vanity metrics waste your time in satisfying yourself without bringing any meaningful analysis.
Profile Image for Xeon.
39 reviews263 followers
May 29, 2023
A slap in the face. I presumed I knew what a lean startup meant, but I did not realize just how lean it could get.

There were a few things which got to me:
• The story of a new US federal agency applying lean startup methodology to better help citizens.
• The story of a food startup doing a concierge minimum viable product for a single customer almost entirely manually for weeks.
• The story of a search recommendation startup conducting a "wizard of oz test" by doing the work behind the scenes rather than the product itself to test its value.
• And the idea of treating a startup as a large scientific experiment with series of tests, so far as attempting to disprove key assumptions.

All in the aim of validating with facts.

This is also a principle of life. Incrementally learning how little you knew, how wrong you were, and the informed pivots needed for how to achieve goals.

This is, in sum, medicine for theorizers.
68 reviews33 followers
March 14, 2012
This was a nice book that talks as much about Silcon Valley style culture as anything else. A ton of my peers are in mid-career finance/law/govenrment jobs. The only way they stay for years is if there is some sort of inefficiency that keeps them there. The utility of the tasks they perform isn't much - at all.

I loved the ethos that Eric shares...When a new employee makes a mistake: "SHame on us for making it easy for you to fail." That type of accountability doesn't exist, we have a "punish the risk taker" ethos throughout all levels of education, government and law that is making people that have the balls to experiment into outcasts.

That lack of experiment, you must react to every utterance of your bosses and you don't have latitude to try things stinks. I have failed more than I have succeeded. And that trend will continue.

Reminds me of Hemmingway. "For every sentence of masterpiece I write 99 sentences of crap. I try hard to make sure that the crap winds up in the wastebasket."
Profile Image for John.
211 reviews45 followers
November 4, 2011
While I'm giving this a 4 star, I really want it to be a 3 and a half.

4 because it's very motivating and there's a lot of valuable techniques in there, especially around metrics, different businesses' engines of growth, and running effective retrospective/5 whys meetings.

3 because it suffers from a lot of the "business bedside story" effect (see the halo effect for what that means) and there's a pretty nasty survivor bias, a lot of not quite scientific papers are quoted, and some of the "successes" referenced in the book are calling it a bit early (IMO).

I erred to the 4 rather than the 3 because I want people to see the positive review and actually read it, just keep in mind it has a few flaws and don't treat it like the bible (I'd prefer if the bible wasn't treated like the bible too, but that's a different conversation)
Profile Image for C.
1,109 reviews1,043 followers
September 10, 2021
This book applies science to entrepreneurship. It tells businesses, and especially startups, how to start small and simple, then grow through learning, testing, measuring, and rapidly innovating. It advocates “just-in-time scalability”: conducting product experiments without massive up-front investments in planning and design. It shows the value of actionable metrics for decision-making, and the importance of pivoting (changing course) when necessary.

I found the book interesting, but not as eye-opening as it probably would have been had I read it earlier. I read it two years after it was published, so I’ve already heard much about it from several articles and podcasts, and from the startup community here. I didn't find Ries' writing style very engaging.

Although not all the specific methods of the Lean Startup directly apply to my business, many of the general concepts do. Also, a few of my clients are startups, so it’s good for me to be familiar with Lean Startup theory and practice.

• “Learning” is an excuse for failing to execute. You can’t save, spend, or invest it.
• Most customers don’t know what they want in advance. Conduct an experiment (“validated learning”) by offering them something to try and measuring behavior.

“Success is not delivering a feature; success is learning how to solve the customer’s problem.” Mark Cook of Kodak.

• State assumptions explicitly and test rigorously.
• Early adopters prefer an 80% solution to a perfect solution.
• Focus groups have limited value; customers often don’t know what they want, and have difficulty understanding product concepts.
• Use a “concierge MVP” (MVP that directly serves a few customers) to test the assumptions of the growth model.
• Use “Wizard of Oz” testing (humans manually doing tasks that your technology is someday meant to do) to test before building the technology.
• The chances of a competitor stealing ideas from an MVP are extremely low.

The rule of sustainable growth: “New customers come from the actions of past customers.”
Profile Image for Bülent Duagi.
85 reviews15 followers
April 1, 2013
Building block for entrepreneurs. Simple concepts with high applicability.
Profile Image for Nguyên ngộ ngộ.
197 reviews218 followers
October 10, 2015
Dưới góc nhìn của mình, đây không phải là cuốn sách dễ đọc cho các "bạn starup ít hiểu biết về công nghê" vị hầu như những ví dụ là các câu chuyện của công ty công nghệ.
Nhưng có nhiều ý tưởng then chốt giúp chúng ta có được tư duy đúng đắn cho khởi nghiệp, chứ không đơn thuần chỉ là những chiêu, mánh, thủ thuật.
Vòng xoay HỌC HỎI - XÂY DỰNG - ĐO LƯỜNG là ý tưởng chính trong tư duy khởi nghiệp của tác giả được đúc kết học hỏi nhiều qua phương thức sản xuất của Toyota và người thầy Steve Blank của ông. Nếu có thể hiểu đại ý của tư duy khởi nghiệp tinh gọn là: làm ra sản phẩm sơ khai, đem ra thử nghiệm khách hàng, đo lường thheo những con số đúng đắn, nhận phản hồi về từ khách hàng, cải tiến sản phẩm sơ khai lên verson 2, tiếp tục đo lường những con số từ khách hàng, nhận phản hồi về và cứ tiếp tục như vậy. Nó khác tư duy khởi nghiệp truyền thống là làm kiểu "quất đi", cho ra 1 sản phẩm tự nghĩ là nó khác biệt, tự cho là nó sẽ hợp nhu cầu khách hàng, và đem đi "bán". Sau đó rút tỉa kinh nghiệm sau. Hai lối tư duy này khác mục đích. Khởi nghiệp có nghĩa là tạo ra 1 nhóm, 1 tổ chức để tạo ra 1 sp, dv trên ĐIỀU KIỆN BẤT ỔN.
Tư duy khởi nghiệp tinh gọn, mục đích là cố gắng xoay vòng HỌC HỎI - XÂY DỰNG - ĐO LƯỜNG càng nhanh càng tốt, và sản xuất từng loạt nhỏ, dựa trên những thử nghiệp trực tiếp với khách hàng và cải tiến. cái này tác giả gọi là "học hỏi có kiểm chứng".
Tư duy khởi nghiệp truyền thống: xây dựng sản phẩm càng kỹ càng tốt, sau đó tung ra thị trường mà không biết "liệu có được đón nhận hay không", chỉ vướn vào cái bẫy tư duy rằng "ắt người ta sẽ thích đó, lo gì".
Bên cạnh đó, còn có thêm một thủ thuật dùng 5WHYs khá hay để tìm ra nguyên nhân gốc rễ 1 vấn đề.
Ngoài ra có những khái niệm còn mơ hồi như kế toán cách tân, điểm hòa hợp sản phẩm,

Song có một khúc mắc là, hầu như những công ty starup công nghệ đều có số vốn kinh khủng cả mấy triệu đô tới mấy chục triêu đô, nên mới xoay được nhiều vòng xoay học hỏi - đo lường - phản hồi để cải tiến liên tục đúng thứ mà khách hàng cần và hợp với tầm nhìn của mình. Đó là bài toán về vốn nữa.

Gút lại, những câu hỏi có thể hữu ích được cho cuộc chơi khởi nghiệp.
1) Sản phẩm bạn có kiểm chứng chưa?
2) Vòng đo lường - học hỏi - xây dựng của bạn nhanh như thế nào, đo lường ra sao?
3) Khách hàng có nhận ra mình đang gặp vấn đề bạn đang cố gắng giải quyết không?
4) Nếu có giải pháp, họ có tiền mua không?
5) Liệu họ sẽ mua từ chúng ta?
7) Động cơ tăng trưởng của công ty là gì? trả tiền, kết dính, lan truyền? Chọn 1 động cơ 1 thời điểm.
8) Tầm nhìn của công ty?
9) Khách hàng phản ứng sản phẩm khả dụng tối thiểu của bạn như thế nào? Đo lường được giả thiết giá trị và giả thiết tăng trưởng không?
10) Những giả thiết về niềm tin nào bạn cần kiểm chứng? Kiểm chứng như thế nào (tui nghĩ là khách hàng sẽ mua giày online - Ok, mày kiểm chứng tao giả thiết này nha, chứ không phải mua 10000 chiếc giày về kho, làm 1 cái website thương mai, rao bán. K/hàng đếu có là cạp đất mà ăn đó....kiểm chứng giúp)
p/s: 2 cuốn sách nên đọc thêm vì được tác giả ca ngợi
1. Phương thức TOYOTA
2. 4 bước chinh phục đỉnh cao.
Profile Image for Ismail Elshareef.
174 reviews17 followers
February 19, 2017
I started reading Eric Ries's blog, "Startup Lessons Learned," back in October 2008. I was quickly impressed by his technical acumen and the simplicity of his writing. I also enjoyed the breadth of topics covered and how engaging they were.

Needless to say, I was glad to hear that he was going to distill all his knowledge into a book, and now that I read the book, I'm glad to say that he didn't disappoint.

The book defines a startup as a 1) a human institution designed to 2) create a new product/service under conditions of 3) extreme uncertainty.

Notice how the definition doesn't address the size of the venture or its backers or its origins. As long as it is a team building a product with high uncertainty, it is a startup.

Eric puts a huge emphasis on "validated learning" as opposed to "failure as a way of learning." He says, "a failure to deliver results is due to either a failure to plan adequately or a failure to execute properly." He's all about accountability, which is sorely lacking in so many institutions these day, with the most egregious being Wall Street.

Eric goes on to explain the principles of the lean startup with andecodotes of successes and failures in business. One of the most fascinating and very telling for me was the SnapTax story. The fact that a giant company like Intuit could spawn an innovative startup (i.e. a team + a product + high uncertainty) was a nice validation for my unsuccessful push for an R&D department within the companies at which I worked in the past. SnapTax was a team of five individuals that was given freedom to experiement while held accountable throughout the process. The results were impresssive.

If nothing else, the reader, especially those running mature companies, should pay close attention to Eric's conclusion. He stresses the points of validating assumptions, rapid testing of ideas, and most importantly, "stop wasting people's time."

I think that's the most valuable lesson in the entire book. Mature companies that continue to waste their talents' time with banal and insipid tasks are bound to lose those talents and will only be left with lazy, oftentime overpaid individuals that are too comfortable, too politically secure that they can't produce anything new or original even if they tried.

Startups are a "human institution" first and foremost. If the right team isn't in place, you do not have a startup. Nurture those talents and don't waste their time. Only then will the trappings of success adorn your business and you.
Profile Image for huydx.
33 reviews12 followers
January 21, 2014
Lean startup là một cuốn sách tổng hợp những suy nghĩ, trải nghiệm của Eric Ries, CEO của IMVU khi trên đường xây dựng một startup để người dùng giao tiếp với nhau thông qua avatar. Những trải nghiệm của Eric Ries và những gì ông rút ra được tóm gọn lại trong một "process", mà không chỉ áp dụng được cho giới khởi nghiệp, mà còn có thể áp dụng cho những công ty đã lớn. Process đó nhằm mục đích tối giản lãng phí, tạo ra năng suất cao nhất có thể, đồng thời duy trì mối liên hệ với người dùng để tạo ra sản phẩm tốt nhất có thể.
Flow cuốn sách rất dễ hình dung. Đi từ những bước đầu tiên để xây dựng sản phẩm (target khách hàng ra sao, xây dựng sản phẩm tối thiểu (MVP-minimum value product) như thế nào), tác giả đã đưa người dùng từng bước từng bước để dẫn đến một sản phẩm thành công. Lean Startup có thể được tóm gọn lại trong 5 qui tắc:
- Entrepreneur are everywhere : bất kì ai, và dù là bất kì ở đâu cũng có thể là những nhà khởi nghiệp
- Entrepreneur is management : Startup không chỉ là sản phẩm, mà còn có con người, khách hàng nữa nên quản lý là không thể thiếu. Và một công ty startup luôn ở tình trạng không chắc chắn (uncertainty), nên mangement cũng sẽ đặc biệt hơn thông thường.
- Validated Learning: Luôn luôn học hỏi, và coi thất bại là một điều bắt buộc phải có đẻ có thể học được.
- Build-Measure-Learn: Hoạt động cơ bản của startup là biến ý tưởng thành sản phẩm, đo đạc xem sản phẩm của mình tốt đến đâu, và học hỏi từ những thứ đã đo được
- Innovation Accounting: Để thực hiện bước "Measure" ở trên thì mỗi startup cần có những thước đo riêng cho interest của khách hàng, Lean Startup sẽ dạy ta cách customize những thước đo đó cho công ty của riêng mình

Trong cuốn sách cũng đề cập đến rất nhiều show case khác trong giới startup như votizen, dropbox, your food in your table... mà mỗi show case lại có rất nhiều điều để chúng ta học ra được.
Lean startup là một cuốn sách rất nên đọc, vì nó sẽ giúp cho chúng ta có một lean process, không chỉ cho startup, mà cho bất kì một công ty, tổ chức nào đang làm sản phẩm để thoả mãn khách hàng.
Profile Image for Riku Sayuj.
656 reviews7,099 followers
January 3, 2021
Ries is convinced that start-ups tend to be much higher-risk endeavors than they need to be. This due to all the myth-building that happens around successful founders. Entrepreneurs are bound to make mistakes, yet most startups try to operate in a way that avoids mistakes. Build a process that accommodates mistakes instead. Place your bets after the race more often.

He has a deceptively simple method to make this happen: Iteration. Don't go for the Grand Strategy - iterate your way to success. Through four simple steps:



Do it as many times as is required to succeed.
Profile Image for David.
108 reviews19 followers
February 17, 2013
Much better book than I expected. Eric explains his mindset and his approach to product development and how to run a start-up, and he makes TOTAL sense. I thought I knew concepts like validated learning & continuous deployment, but reading through this book really solidifies these ideas in my head. These insights are really impressive and I'm hoping I can apply some of the ideas in my next startup.
Profile Image for Alireza Aghamohammadi.
56 reviews38 followers
April 1, 2022

کتابی برای ایجاد کسب‌وکار نوپای ارزش‌آفرین و مقیاس‌پذیر

سوال: کسب و کار نوپا چیست؟
مؤسسه‌ای که برای ایجاد یک محصول یا خدمت در شرایط عدم قطعیت فراوان طراحی شده است.

نوپای ناب بر پایه بسیاری از ایده‌های موجود مدیریت از قبیل روش چابک، ایجاد مشتری و تفکر طراحی بنا شده است. می‌توان آن را یک چرخه سه مرحله‌ای دانست:
۱. ساختن
۲. اندازه‌گیری
۳. یادگیری

فعالیت بنیادی یک کسب و کار نوپا این است که ایده‌ها را تبدیل به محصول کرده و اندازه‌گیری کند که چگونه مشتریان به خروجی واکنش نشان می‌دهند و سپس یاد بگیرد که تغییر مسیر دهد یا حالت فعلی را حفظ نماید.

یکی از راه‌های سنجش مفید و کاربردی بودن یک قابلیت جدید محصول استفاده از آزمون آ/ب است. در این آزمون، نسخه‌های متفاوت از یک محصول در یک زمان به دو دسته مشتری (به صورت تصادفی) عرضه می‌شود. سپس با بررسی نتایج آماری می‌توانیم روابط علت و معلولی را استخراج کنیم.

نکته: از آمون آ/ب هم در توسعه محصول و هم در بازایابی می‌توانید استفاده کنید.

Profile Image for Marta.
1,001 reviews104 followers
July 10, 2019
As a software developer, I am familiar with the basic ideas on which Eric Ries bases his methodology for startups. They come from lean manufacturing and agile development methodologies, applied to the innovation cycle. The biggest issue startups face is validating if the idea fits with what customers want. He argues that applying the ideas of minimum viable product, split testing and small batch sizes will enable the company to quickly learn what the customers want, and how to change the product or its market position to grow. He also introduces a different way of evaluation - “innovation accounting”, based on actionable metrics.

This is an easy listen book and it is highly interesting. It was not new to me in its methods, although its application to innovation was. My biggest issue was that almost all examples came from software products delivered on the internet. Yes, split testing your ideas can be easy if you can roll out to customers many times a day. Facebook and Google do it all the time. But what if you are making a physical product, or something not so easily delivered? He mentions rapid prototyping tools, but what if you are creating something complex or technologically challenging?

I work for a startup that is trying to deliver a product made in a new way to an existing, underserved market. We know exactly who the customers are (one of them is the founder), what they want. Our challenge is to prototype solutions to deliver what they want. We do use rapid prototyping tools, research tools, etc, but struggle with the technical complexity. I hoped to glean some insight from this book but nothing I did not know already was helpful.

This is most useful for startups who have a great idea but need to validate market assumptions. But it is a great read for anyone interested in innovation and agile management.
Profile Image for Connor England.
2 reviews5 followers
March 26, 2018
*** Eric Ries in the this book is very concise and to the point about what he wants to say. He goes straight to the point with stories from his own and from others that he has interacted with. This book opens your eyes to things you may have not realized before. He points out what everybody is doing wrong and how you can easily correct it. Now some parts of this book aren't the easiest to understand if you have never tried to run a business. I figured out that the more you read the book the more you will come to understand what is being said. He teaches every process and cycle that brought his startup to the top. He told every story that held him back and how he overcame it and how you can too. This book is a perfect guide how to create a successful startup and maintain it. It teaches you how to measure if you are actually gaining ground in your startup and if you aren't how to find the problem. This book will teach you not to get stuck one one thing and to open your mind about your startup. Whether you need to switch everything you're doing or keep on the same path. Overall this book was a very good read it feels that at times is a little repetitive, but it help me to realize what actually goes into creating a successful business.
Profile Image for Tom.
8 reviews10 followers
October 24, 2011
It's a good book, and if everyone read and understood it I'm sure companies would be far more efficient at innovating.

I felt some of the messages could have been made clearer by improving the style of the book. There are a few too many terms like "Engines of Growth" that cloud some of the meaning. My biggest criticism would be many of the anecdotes didn't really do justice to the points Eric would later made.

Unlike many management books that hammer home their point page after page, The Lean Startup is a little more fuzzy. I think that may be due to the movement being fairly new and Eric not wanting to sound to prescriptive.

Having said all that the two main messages of the book are excellent.

Test your hypothesis and avoid wasting time - don't spend ages building something only to find out you've built the wrong thing. Work out what your assumptions are and test them as soon as possible. Time spent deliberating what to do is better spent trying, testing and trying again. Make sure you're looking at the metrics that count and not kidding yourselves.

Profile Image for George Wang.
57 reviews14 followers
April 25, 2014
I originally came across this title here: http://addicted2success.com/success-a...

After hearing about the Lean Startup methodology time after time in the startup world, I decided to give this book a try. Although I've heard of the basics concepts like the Minimal Viable Product and the benefits of quick iterations, reading about the methodology in detail provided a lot more context to these concepts and helped me gave me the tools that I can use to put these concepts to action.

The biggest epiphany I got from reading this book was Finding the Need. Even though this short phrase has been repeated over and over, this book drilled down to the core of finding the need. I now understand what it means, why you do it, and how it's done.

Exciting read. Packed with knowledge. I'd recommend this as a must read for anyone who wants to take on responsibility.
Profile Image for Tomasz Sabała.
4 reviews2 followers
December 5, 2016
In my opionion a must read for anyone working in any type of industry.
Parapharsing the author: "We leave in times when we can build anything we can think of, the question is what to build".
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