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The Lean Startup

"It builds on many previous management and product development ideas, including lean manufacturing, design thinking, customer development, and agile development. It represents a new approach to creating continuous innovation. It’s called the Lean Startup."
Overall, I found "The Lean Startup" to be informative and instructive, but while I picked up on many interesting concepts, such as: build-measure-learn feedback loops, minimum viable products (MVP), different engines of growth, cohort-based metrics, split-test experiments, etc.; many of those concepts weren't new to me at all (I accidentally discovered that I've been using them for some time; obviously, without having any idea that they were associated with or related to the Lean Startup). Nonetheless, reading about something known (or semi-known) often opens new dimensions, exposes different points of view, and helps with bringing things into focus as well as rationalizing and amalgamating thoughts, knowledge, and experience. This was certainly the case for me here (and don't get me wrong, there were plenty of concepts and ideas in the book that were novel to me as well).

If I had to say something critical, it would probably be that while the author constantly talks about and makes references to the scientific methods behind the Lean Startup, I found little evidence of any kind of science in the book. Admittedly, if I did, it would probably be a book of a totally different type and character and it would not have been such an easy and enjoyable read.

I would certainly recommend this book to any aspiring (or seasoned) entrepreneur; and to anyone interested in human enterprises and subjects of business and economics. And here are a few selected quotes (in no particular order):
"We have wildly divergent associations with these two words, entrepreneurship and management. Lately, it seems that one is cool, innovative, and exciting and the other is dull, serious, and bland. It is time to look past these preconceptions." 
"A startup is a human institution designed to create a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty."
"We often lose sight of the fact that a startup is not just about a product, a technological breakthrough, or even a brilliant idea. A startup is greater than the sum of its parts; it is an acutely human enterprise."
"There is no way to remove the human element - vision, intuition, judgment - from the practice of entrepreneurship, nor would that be desirable."
"The goal of a startup is to figure out the right thing to build—the thing customers want and will pay for—as quickly as possible. In other words, the Lean Startup is a new way of looking at the development of innovative new products that emphasizes fast iteration and customer insight, a huge vision, and great ambition, all at the same time."
"Should this product be built?” and “Can we build a sustainable business around this set of products and services?"
"A startup has to measure progress against a high bar: evidence that a sustainable business can be built around its products or services."
"Startups are in a life-or-death struggle to learn how to build a sustainable business before they run out of resources and die."
"Innovation is a bottoms-up, decentralized, and unpredictable thing, but that doesn't mean it cannot be managed."
"Cultivating entrepreneurship is the responsibility of senior management."
"1) Do consumers recognize that they have the problem you are trying to solve? 2) If there was a solution, would they buy it? 3) Would they buy it from us? 4) Can we build a solution for that problem?"
"Upon completing the Build-Measure-Learn loop, we confront the most difficult question any entrepreneur faces: whether to pivot the original strategy or persevere."
"The Lean Startup method builds capital-efficient companies because it allows startups to recognize that it’s time to pivot sooner, creating less waste of time and money."
"As you consider building your own minimum viable product, let this simple rule suffice: remove any feature, process, or effort that does not contribute directly to the learning you seek."
"The only way to win is to learn faster than anyone else."
"Ultimately, the Lean Startup is a framework, not a blueprint of steps to follow. It is designed to be adapted to the conditions of each specific company."
"Geoffrey Moore, who observed that companies generally follow one of two major business architectures: high margin, low volume (complex systems model) or low margin, high volume (volume operations model)."
"In 1911, Frederick Winslow Taylor wrote: We can see our forests vanishing, our water-powers going to waste, our soil being carried by floods into the sea; and the end of our coal and our iron is in sight. But our larger wastes of human effort, which go on every day through such of our acts as are blundering, ill-directed, or inefficient … are less visible, less tangible, and are but vaguely appreciated. We can see and feel the waste of material things. Awkward, inefficient, or ill-directed movements of men, however, leave nothing visible or tangible behind them. Their appreciation calls for an act of memory, an effort of the imagination. And for this reason, even though our daily loss from this source is greater than from our waste of material things, the one has stirred us deeply, while the other has moved us but little."
"Although we harness the labor of scientists and engineers who would have dazzled any early-twentieth-century person with their feats of technical wizardry, the management practices we use to organize them are generally devoid of scientific rigor."


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