The Lean Start Up

Posted May 1, 2012 in Career Management, What We're Reading

By: Eric Ries

Reviewed by: Glain Roberts-McCabe

The Premise: Eric Ries defines a startup as an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. Leveraging lessons from lean manufacturing, Ries outlines some counter-intuitive practices that shorten development cycles, measure actual progress and help us learn what customers really want. Instead of spending countless hours developing elaborate business plans, The Lean Startup puts the focus on initiating small experiments that allow you to adjust and refine before it’s too late. The book is divided into three key areas: vision, steer and accelerate. The Lean Startup provides a roadmap for organizations who need to continually innovate to stay ahead of the competition by leveraging human creativity and minimizing capital requirements.

The Bottom Line: Some of you may be thinking, I’m not an entrepreneur, so why would I read a book called The Lean Startup? Well my friends, in today’s world of work we are ALL entrepreneurs and if you’ve ever had your boss come to you and say “we need you to launch this new business line to generate us $XX millions in new revenue” or “we’re losing market share to competitor XYZ and you need to do something about it”…well, guess what? You’re in a startup. This book really is about getting out from behind laborious business plans and getting moving. Probably the one that stuck with me the most is the concept of “vanity metrics”… those things we measure that, although sounding great, are absolutely meaningless in terms of driving results. Case in point, you could track how many people hit your website, but if nothing is converting to sales, it’s a meaningless number. The Lean Startup is a book worth checking out for anyone trying to get a new, high stakes initiative off the ground.

Roundtable Rating: Recommended for leaders who need to innovate and drive results.

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