Earl Carlson

All Business Owners Should Read The Lean Startup by Eric Reis

All Business Owners Should Read The Lean Startup by Eric Reis

Jul 19, 2012
Let me start off by saying that I'm not getting paid for writing this, and I won't receive any affiliate money for linking you to this book. I just want you to read this book now. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries can help any business grow.

The basic premise of The Lean Startup is that the businesses that survive and expand are those that build, measure, and learn.

Ries proposes that by ollowing an iterative building cycle one can discern potential flaws in product creation sooner, and more cheaply. One example the author utilizes involves putting letters in envelopes with his daughters. His daughters suggest that the quickest way to complete the task would be to use large batches to process the letters: first folding all of the letters; then stuffing into envelopes; and finally sealing and stamping the letters. Reis decides to race his daughters using small batches – completing the entire process one letter, envelope, and stamp at a time.

After winning the race, Reis asks his daughters, “What would have happened if you found out that the envelopes were too small for the way you folded the letters?” As this example shows, the beauty of a quick iteration cycle (small batch process) lies in the speed at which you receive feedback. Instead of potentially investing millions into a new product with an unforeseen flaw, a business can know quickly if something is wrong with its process.

While under this proposed iteration cycle, it is imperative to measure results and make meaningful comparisons of those metrics to your businesses current goals. These goals and measurements must be honest drivers of business and not just fluff used to bolster up the company image artificially.

Ries stresses that you must judge if your business is on the right track to achieve its goals, or if you must pivot. Simply, a pivot is a change in your businesses product, strategy, or engine of growth. Many large businesses have chosen to pivot over time, one of the most notable examples being Groupon. Their company started out as The Point – a social activism platform – but was gaining no significant user base. After realizing the business was in a sinking ship, the founders created a Wordpress Blog that would later become Groupon. The founders understood that their results weren’t matching their goals.

This is only a quick summary of a very detailed and intelligently written book. Again, I suggest you take the time to sit down with this book, read through it, and, at the very least, implement just one or two of the ideas that stick with you.