Friday, November 4, 2011

Eric Ries of The Lean Startup

This Week in Startups show has a super informative & super entertaining interview with Eric Ries, entrepreneur and author of The Lean Startup.

Eric Ries

From Wikipedia:
"Lean startup" is a term coined by Eric Ries, his method advocates the creation of rapid prototypes designed to test market assumptions, and uses customer feedback to evolve them much faster than via more traditional product development practices, such as the Waterfall model. It is not uncommon to see Lean Startups release new code to production multiple times a day, often using a practice known as Continuous Deployment. According to the New York Times, "The term 'lean start-up' was coined by Mr. Ries, 31, an engineer, entrepreneur and blogger. His inspiration, he says, was the lean manufacturing process, fine-tuned in Japanese factories decades ago and focused on eliminating any work or investment that doesn’t produce value for customers."

Lean startup is sometimes described as Lean Thinking applied to the entrepreneurial process. A central tenet of Lean Thinking is to reduce waste. Lean startup processes reduce waste by increasing the frequency of contact with real customers, therefore testing and avoiding incorrect market assumptions as early as possible[5]. This approach attempts to improve on historical entrepreneurial tactics by reducing the work required to assess assumptions about the market, and to decrease the time it takes a business to find market traction. This is referred to as Minimum Viable Product.

In The Entrepreneur's Guide to Customer Development, Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits add a fourth element, and that is the use of powerful, low-cost and easy-to-use analytics. While some characteristics of lean startups have been practiced for years, the confluence of these trends is a recent phenomenon that increases the speed of iteration or "number of learning cycles per dollar", as a business hones in on a product-market fit.

Click here for the audio version of this episode.
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