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The Lean Start Up

TRENDAFRiCA April 17, 2013

The Lean Start Up’  by Eric Ries was a hot top at this year’s SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, according to Native digital agency. In an unpredictable, fast paced environment, this methodology is helping big brands to get their products out quickly, while experimenting and learning from their customers.

Several panels were held on the methodology from Ries’s popular book. At the core of Lean Start Up thinking is the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) – a rough, beta version of the product to test customer interest and provide proof of concept and technology.

“This strategy helps companies avoid early investment in unproven products or technologies and ensures efficient use of precious capital, all going directly towards iteratively rebuilding the MVP into what will eventually be the company’s core offering.”

Ries defines a startup as: “an organisation 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.”

Most startups fail, but Ries’s premise is that many of those failures are preventable.

Ries positions his methods as useful to both entrepreneurs and those looking to innovate from within established organisations. The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched.

According to Ries, 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.

Ries writes that 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 an age when companies need to innovate more than ever.

It’s a hugely informative book and worth a read.

*The Lean Start Up – How today’s entrepreneurs use continuous innovation to create radically successful businesses by Eric Ries, is published by Crown Business, New York (2011).

 

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