Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Lean Startup methodology

Over the past year, I've been networking quite heavily in Austin TX.  Meeting with entrepreneurs for coffee, mentoring, and advising startups (both formally and informally).  This has been a lot of fun, and I've met some amazing entrepreneurs as a result of this activity.

One of those amazing entrepreneurs I met is Ash Maurya, who just finished a book Running Lean (  Ash is an expert in the Lean Startup methodology, which is an approach to starting a business that aims to improve the odds of 9/10 startups failing.

The Lean Startup methodology is of particular interest to me.  One of the businesses that I launched,, would have benefitted quite a bit from that methodology.  That business lost money (we are still trying to recover the investment), primarily because we followed a more "traditional" way to start a product-based business, which is (Build Product -> Sell Product -> Build Demo).  Unfortunately, this leaves little room for customer feedback, to iterate on your product, and to validate that customers want to buy your product.  Had we built a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) rather than spending almost 2 years in development, we would have reduced risk considerably.

Lean Startup is becoming adopted all over the world -- there are dozens of meetup groups, including the USA, Israel, and the UK.  Over 3700 people subscribe to the Lean Startup Circle google group.  I've been informally advising companies on Lean Startup for several months now, and it really resonates with me.


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