Book Review – The Lean Startup

The book – “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries is centered around the concept of the Validated Learning in startups. The journey from Startup to Enterprise is not that easy and structured thinking, organized decision making and right strategy is utmost important for the success. “Build-measure-learn feedback loop is the framework of thinking which brings in a systematic approach to measuring the progress at a startup and that’s the main framework laid by Eric in this book.


I found few interesting approaches to products, startups, MVPs in this book and real examples of the real business situations has been very helpful to understand. For me, the biggest take away was “Just do it” is not the right approach to build a successful product business. And these are several other key learnings from the book.

  • Leap of Faith – All startups make some assumptions about their viability. Toyota does it via (“go and see for yourself“) where Chief Engineer of Toyota drow through North America and he collected interesting observation and implemented in new Toyota car which was a success. Intuit, believed that someday people will use a computer to pay bills and track expenses and he verified by calling random people.
  • MVP (Build) – MVP of any new product idea is very helpful to test the idea, market and help saving cost and time on building the product that customer will love. Groupons MVP was a WordPress blog and a mailing list. For Dropbox founder, it was very hard to convince the VCs for the idea of DropBox thus he created a nice video demonstrating the seamless behavior before building the actual product. Nick Swinmurn, took the photos of shoes at local shoe stores and if the user bought it, he would buy and ship it to them. This absolutely minimum product tested customer demand as well as other business issues like payments, returns and build Zappos which was acquired by Amazon for $1.2 Billion.
  • Pivot or Persevere (Measure) – Measuring the results once an MVP is out is the very important pivot or persevere. A startup’s runway is the number of pivots it can make. There are several types of pivot a startup can have – Zoom-in Pivot, Zoom-out Pivot, Customer Segment Pivot, Customer need pivot, Technology Pivot, Channel Pivot, Value Capture Pivot etc.
  • Grow-Adapt-Innovate (Learn) – Continues learning helps to accelerate the growth. New customers come from the actions of the past customers. Sabeer Bhatia grew Hotmail by adding a signature “Get your free e-mail at Hotmail” to every outgoing email. As a startup grows, it has to adapt to the changing customer based.

The more information about “Lean Startup Methodology” available here. 

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