Lean thinking defines value as providing benefit to the customer; anything else is waste.
In a startup, who the customer is and what the customer might find valuable are unknown.
A startup needs a definition of value.
Think of all true debate and prioritisation of effort that went into features that customers would never discover, if we shipped sooner, we could have avoided that waste.
Is it possible to discover how flawed your assumption is without building anything? e.g. offer the customer the opportunity to download the product on the basis of its proposed features before building anything.
Conduct an experiment, offering customers the chance t try something and then measure their behaviour.
Learning the essential unit of progress for startups. Thus, validated learning is backed up by empirical data collected from real customers.
The hard work of discovering what customers really want and adjusting products and strategies to meet those desires requires that your job is to find a synthesis between your vision and what customers would accept. It is not to capitulate to what customers think they want, or to tell customers what they ought to want.
True startup productivity: systematically figuring out the right things to build
You need to develop the language of validated learning to provide ban alternative concept to rally around, e.g. graphs showing the growth of use, or revenue
The way forward is to learn to see every start up in any industry as a grand experiment. The question is not “Can this product be built”, the more pertinent questions are “should this product be built?” and “can we build a sustainable business around this set of products and services?“. To answer these questions we need a method for systematically breaking down a business plan into its component parts and testing each part empirically. E.g. a Scientific method, everything needs to be an experiment designed to achieve validated learning.