What makes failures particularly painful is not just the economic damage done to individual employees, companies, and investors; they are also a colossal waste of our civilizations most precious resource: the time, passion, and skill of its people.
The Lean Start up takes its name from the lean manufacturing revolution that Taiichi OIhno and Shigeo Shingo are credited with developing at Toyota. Among its tenets are drawing on the knowledge and creativity of individual workers, the shrinking of batch sizes, just-in-time production and inventory control, and an acceleration of cycle times.
Progress in manufacturing is measured by the production of high-quality physical goods. With scientific learning as our yardstick, we can discover and eliminate the sources of waste that are plaguing entrepreneurship.
The Lean start up asks people to start measuring their productivity differently. Because start up’s often accidentally build something nobody wants, it doesn’t matter much if they do it on time and on budget. The goal of a start up is to figure out the right thing to build – the thing customers want and will pay for – as quickly as possible.
Too many start up business plans look more like they are planning to launch a rocket ship than drive a car. They prescribe the steps to take and the results to expect in excruciating detail, and as in planning to launch a rocket, they are set up in such a way that even tiny error in assumptions can lead to catastrophic outcomes.
The Lean Start up method is designed to teach you how to drive a start up. Instead of making complex plans you can make constant adjustments with a steering wheel called the Build-Measure-Learn feedback loop.
Start up’s have a true north, a destination in mind: creating a thriving and world-changing business which is the start ups vision. To achieve the vision, start ups employ a strategy, which includes
- a business model
- a product roadmap
- a point of view about partners and competitors
- an understanding of who the customers will be
The product is the end result of this strategy.
Products change constantly through the process of optimization. Less frequently, the strategy may have to change (called a pivot). Every setback is an opportunity for learning how to get where they want to go.
New product development in our modern economy routinely requires exactly failure on the way to greatness, as this is where the real learning happens; fail fast though 🙂