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Guess what’s so special about this
“Build and they will come” is not a strategy,
it’s a prayer. – Steve Blank
Necessary, but not
Meet the most ferocious lion in
Internet Hall of Shame…
Google’s Hall of Shame
4.85yrs to pull out???
“So what is it that makes some startups successful and
leaves others selling off their furniture? Simply this:
startups that survive the first few tough years do not follow
the traditional product-centric launch model espoused by
product managers or the venture capital community.
Through trial and error, hiring and firing, successful startups
all invent a parallel process to Product Development. In
particular, the winners invent and live by a process of
customer learning and discovery.
I call this process "Customer Development,” a sibling to
"Product Development” and each and every startup that
succeeds recapitulates it, knowingly or not.”
– Steve Blank
“A startup is NOT a smaller version of a
large company” – Steve Blank
What’s a Startup?
“A startup is a human institution designed
to create a new product or service under
conditions of extreme uncertainty”
The products a startup builds are really
experiments; the learning about how to
build a sustainable business is the outcome of
Lean Startup Model
• The Lean Startup provides a scientific approach to
creating and managing startups and get a desired product
to customers' hands faster. The Lean Startup method
teaches how to drive a startup-how to steer, when to
turn, and when to persevere-and grow a business with
maximum acceleration. It is a principled approach to new
• Lean Startup favors
– experimentation over elaborate planning,
– customer feedback over intuition, and
– iterative design over traditional ‘big design up front’
Lean Startup Principles
Entrepreneurs are everywhere
Entrepreneurship is management
Are all Startups the same?
Work to live
Work to fee
Born to be
have a vision
3 Stages of a startup
“Do I have
“Have I built
“How do I
From: Running Lean – Ash Maurya
Three Stages of a Startup
A Pivot is a structural course correction to test a
new fundamental hypothesis about the product,
strategy and engine of growth. It is not a failure!
So, what is your product?
From: Running Lean – Ash Maurya
A strategy used for fast and quantitative market
testing of a product or product feature
A Minimum Viable Product has just those features
that allow the product to be deployed, and no more.
The product is typically deployed to a subset of
possible customers, such as early adopters that are
thought to be more forgiving, more likely to give
feedback, and able to grasp a product vision from an
early prototype or marketing information. It is a
strategy targeted at avoiding building products that
customers do not want, that seeks to maximize the
information learned about the customer per dollar
spent. "The minimum viable product is that version of a new
product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of
validated learning about customers with the least effort." The
definition's use of the words maximum and
minimum means it is decidedly not formulaic. It
requires judgment to figure out, for any given
context, what MVP makes sense.
An MVP is not a minimal product, it is a strategy
and process directed toward making and selling a
product to customers. It is an iterative process of
idea generation, prototyping, presentation, data
collection, analysis and learning. One seeks to
minimize the total time spent on an iteration. The
process is iterated until a desirable product-market fit
is obtained, or until the product is deemed to be non-
Coffee Shop MVP
Good MVP: You have a menu with only a few selection of coffee, but all of them taste
great. Your shop is clean and tidy with white painted walls and decent looking coffee
tables with comfortable seats. Your cashier is polite and you take Visa and Mastercard.
No American Express though (we're cool with that).
Bad MVP: You have a menu with a few selection of coffee, but most of them taste
horrible. Your shop is below par and your seats are uncomfortable. Also, your store only
takes cash and your cashiers are flirting with each other.
Horrible MVP: You have 40 items on your menu - Coffee, frappuccino, espresso, cakes,
croissants, biscuits, tea, fried rise, chicken nuggets, etc (you get the idea). You gold plate
your store front and your store interior is pimped out with the most expensive furniture
and coffee mugs. You put Samsung LCD TVs at every table and the chairs are massage
chairs. You take Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Home Depot gift cards.
If you’re not embarrassed by your first product release, you’ve
released too late – Reid Hoffman
• Validated learning about customers is the measure of progress in a Lean
Startup – not lines of working code or achieving product development
• Process in which one learns by trying out an initial idea and then measuring
it to validate the effect. Each test of an idea is single iteration in a larger
process of many iterations whereby something is learnt and the lessons
applied to the succeeding tests.
• Typical steps in validated learning:
– Specify a goal
– Specify a metric that represents the goal
– Act to achieve the goal
– Analyze the metric - did you get closer to the goal?
– Improve and try again
• Enables startups to prove objectively that they are learning
how to grow a sustainable business
– Use an MVP to establish real data on where the company is right
– Startups must attempt to tune the engine from the baseline
toward the ideal. This could take many attempts.
– Pivot or persevere
• Actionable vs. Vanity Metrics
– For a report to be considered actionable, it must demonstrate
clear cause and effect. Otherwise, it is a vanity metric.
– Actionable metrics can lead to informed business decisions and
subsequent action. These are in contrast to 'vanity metrics' -
measurements that give “the rosiest picture possible” but do not
accurately reflect the key drivers of a business.
Case Study: Ash Maurya’s Running Lean
From: Running Lean – Ash Maurya
Pivot vs. Optimizations
• Pivot is change in direction without change in strategy
• Pivot before Product/Market Fit, Optimize After
• Pivots are about finding a plan that works, while
optimizations are about accelerating that plan.
• Don’t build
• Search for the
assumptions • Build, measure
“I never perfected an invention that I did not think about in
terms of the service it might give others... I find out what
the world needs, then I proceed to invent....”
- Thomas Edison
• The Startup Owners Manual – Steve Blank
• Four Steps to Ephphany – Steve Blank
• The Lean Startup – Eric Ries
• Running Lean – Ash Maurya
• Business Model Generation – Alexander Osterwalder