Analysis of 'The Lean Startup' Reviews: Insights on Lean Principles and Business Frameworks
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Analysis of 'The Lean Startup' Reviews: Insights on Lean Principles and Business Frameworks

Exploring Eric Ries's 'The Lean Startup,' the reviews provide diverse perspectives. Many reviewers appreciate the book's insights on lean principles, such as MVPs and validated learning, while others criticize its relevance to all business types. The importance of quick iteration, customer feedback, and innovation accounting is highlighted. However, some readers find the content repetitive or outdated, with a focus on internet-based startups. The book's value in promoting efficient, flexible business approaches for entrepreneurs is recognized, alongside warnings about potential pitfalls like a 'fail fast' mentality. Overall, 'The Lean Startup' offers valuable frameworks for new ventures but may not suit all business contexts.

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  • Waste Not!

    At the very end of this book, the author asks a very powerful question that has left me thinking about it ever since:
    "If we stopped wasting people’s time, what would they do with it? We have no real concept of what is possible."

    The very kernel of the Lean Startup Movement resides in the connective tissue between those words and the possibilities latent in the idea.

    Per Eric Reis, the current process of innovation, in general, is broken and it wasteful.

    Businesses are green-lighting products on little more than instincts, using ossified management processes. Furthermore, they are fearful of disrupting themselves by engaging in new initiatives that could potentially cannibalized their tried and true business model (a.k.a. The Innovator's Dilemma).

    As a result, lots of projects fail causing loss of resources and human capital. Undoubtedly, many of you have come across products, apps, services that exist just cause someone could be convinced to throw money at it. But should have they?

    Startups, in particular, are most at risk of failure since they are defined as uniquely human institutions that create products and services under conditions of extreme uncertainty.

    To break away from this wasteful cycle, Reis believes we need the rigor of the scientific process to come to bear answers to the most important questions regarding product development: “should it be built?” And more importantly, “can we build a successful, viable business around these new products and services?”

    The Lean Startup movement encapsulates the process of applying the scientific method to the development of products in a way that lets entrepreneurs achieve Validated Learning.

    This is not to say that the author is somehow exhorting a chaotic, move fast and break things approach to the innovation process. Sure, innovation is a bottoms-up, decentralized, and unpredictable thing, but it doesn’t mean it cannot be managed.

    Because startups operate under conditions of extreme uncertainty, they must be managed. But this requires a new breed of management designed to bear fruit in the harsh soil of uncertainty.

    Reis calls this new form of management, Innovation Accounting. Which he explains as the process of establishing baselines, making hypothesis as to what is driving the core metrics in said baselines, and designing experiments to test these hypothesis.

    The result is a Build, Measure, and Learn cycle that must inform each and every decision the startup makes from that point on, from which features to build, to whether they should pivot to a different market, product, etc.

    Unlike other books in the genre (such as Inspired by Marty Cagan), the author provides lots of real-life, cause-and-effect examples that cement the concepts in each chapter and make them personable and memorable.

    Overall, highly recommended! I wish I had read it sooner.

    Sentiment
    • Positive
    Content
    • Value and Impact of Book
    Feb 03, 2023
  • The Lean Startup: Efficiency, Flexibility, and Rapid Learning for Your New Business

    In my opinion, The Lean Startup by Eric Ries is a pretty good book. It provides a solid framework for developing and managing a new business, with a focus on efficiency, flexibility, and rapid learning. I particularly appreciated the emphasis on quickly developing a minimum viable product (MVP) and using real-world feedback to make iterative improvements.

    However, I do have a few criticisms of the book. For one, I'm not sure that it would be applicable to all types of businesses. For example, some companies might not be able to move as quickly as the book suggests, especially if they operate in highly regulated industries. Additionally, I worry that the emphasis on speed and efficiency could lead to a "fail fast, fail often" mentality that might not be the best approach for long-term success.

    Overall, though, I think The Lean Startup is worth checking out if you're an entrepreneur looking for some fresh ideas. Just don't expect it to be the be-all and end-all of startup advice. And don't forget to bring your sense of humor - the book can get a little dry at times. In fact, I'm pretty sure the only joke in the whole book is the title. Ha ha... lean... get it? (I'll show myself out.)

    Sentiment
    • None
    Content
    • Applicability and Criticisms
    Dec 14, 2022
  • It's for Lean professionals

    Don't miss this one, it is a good mix of theory and practice. Lean accounting part )engines of growth/ validated learnings) is the most important.

    Sentiment
    • Positive
    Content
    • Lean Startup Principles
    Nov 14, 2022
  • Past book review (August 2011): see my note

    Good introduction to the application of Lean principles to the startup effort. As with its Lean ancestry in the manufacturing world, and later other areas of business such as software development, Lean seeks to eliminate any waste that does not add value to the end customer. Applied to the startup, Lean enables entrepreneurs to determine what customers want during product development to help minimize wasted efforts when rolling out products to the marketplace. As Ries states in his introduction, this is a book for entrepreneurs and the people who hold them accountable.

    The five principles of the Lean Startup that are pervasive throughout this text are as follows: (1) entrepreneurs are everywhere, (2) entrepreneurship is management, (3) validated learning, (4) build-measure-learn, and (5) innovation accounting. While presenting these principles, the author first walks the reader through his vision that the products a startup builds are really experiments and that the outcome of these experiments is learning how to build a sustainable business. The author then examines the build-measure-learn feedback loop, the core of the Lean Startup model, and then turns his discussion to the growth of startups within this model.

    The bulk of the material that Ries provides is in these first two parts. As a Six Sigma practitioner familiar with Lean, I especially appreciated how the author interwove the startup journey with Lean practices, while providing some of the historical background with which some readers might not be familiar. To a degree, some of the comments that other reviewers here have provided, however, are a demonstration of the build-measure-learn feedback loop as applied to book publishing in that readers in this space often expect detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to implement presented ideas, but doing so is not the purpose of this text.

    The other common thread of criticism throughout the other reviews here is that the author concentrates on the technology space, and although I agree that he spends considerable time talking about web related businesses and agile software development, he does so because these areas are what comprise his background. And as a technology consultant, I can attest to the fact that many of the practicies discussed that started in manufacturing have been successfully adopted in the software development world. Many of these practices can be further pursued in other industries, but much of the drive has been concentrated in these two areas and so such examples are more readily available.

    In his epilogue, the author reminds the reader of the Peter Drucker quote that states that "there is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all." Ries furthers this thought by stating that "most people I meet believe that in their industry at least, projects fail for good reasons: projects are inherently risky, market conditions are unpredictable, 'big company people' are intrinsically uncreative. Some believe that if we just slowed everything down and used a more careful process, we could reduce the failure rate by doing fewer projects of higher quality. Others believe that certain people have an innate gift of knowing the right thing to build. If we can find enough of these visionaries and virtuosos, our problems will be solved."

    "These 'solutions' were once state of the art in the nineteenth century, before people knew about modern management. The requirements of an ever-faster world make these antique approaches unworkable, and so the blame for failed projects and businesses often is heaped on senior management, which is asked to do the impossible. Alternatively, the finger of blame is pointed at financial investors or the public markets for overemphasizing quick fixes and short-term results. We have plenty of blame to go around, but far too little theory to guide the actions of leaders and investors alike. The Lean Startup movement stands in contrast to this hand-wringing. We believe that most forms of waste in innovation are preventable once their causes are understood. All that is required is that we change our collective mind-set concerning how this work is to be done." Well said.

    NOTE: I reviewed this book in August 2011, but I'm resubmitting because Amazon apparently lost its records for this one. Since I didn't make note of my original headline, I've created a generic one. I had received a pre-publication uncorrected proof of this book, and my review was categorized as a top review for a very long time until it disappeared.

    Sentiment
    • Positive
    Content
    • Lean Startup Principles
    Aug 31, 2022
  • Concept fine, book bad

    The concept of a lean start up is a fine concept, but anything you want to know about it you can find for free online and better presented than this. This book is repetitive, drones on about the Author’s life, and rarely gets around to a point. I stopped reading a few chapters in and returned it.

    Sentiment
    • Negative
    Content
    • Book Length and Repetitiveness
    Aug 27, 2022
  • Alot of fluff

    took a book that could have been 50-100 pages and made it 300. Alot of time spent for little knowledge gained for a small business owner.

    Sentiment
    • Negative
    Content
    • Book Length and Repetitiveness
    Aug 22, 2022
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Sentiment Analysis (of 30 reviews)
27 Net Promoter
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