Principles of a lean startup

Principles of a lean startup

I´m reading Eric Ries´ book “The Lean Startup” at the moment.

After I´ve seen a great amount of positive reviews I had to give it a try and it has of course a great start.

Ries seperates his book in three parts: Vision, Steer, Accelerate broken down in topics like Start, Define, Learn, Test, Measure, Pivot … In each chapter he uses practical examples like his own project IMVU, Zappos, HP and so on.

The roots of the Lean StartUp model:

The Lean StartUp takes its name from the lean manufacturing revolution (-> Toyota). Lean thinking is radically altering the way supply chains and production systems are run. The Lean StartUp adapts these ideas to the context of entrepreneurship, proposing that entrepreneurs judge their progress differently from the way other kinds of ventures do. It asks people to start measuring their productivity differently. Because startups often accidentally build something nobody wants, it doesn’t matter much if they do it on time and on budget. The goal of a startup is to figure out the right thing to build – the thing customers want and will pay for – as quickly as possible.


Straight in the beginnen he gives his 5 Principles of the Lean StartUp:

  1. Entrepreneurs are everywhere: You don’t have to work in a garage to be in a startup. The concept of entrepreneurship includes anyone who works within my definition of a startup: a human institution designed to create new products and services under conditions of extreme uncertainty. That means entrepreneurs are everywhere and the Lean StartUp approach can work in any size company, even a large enterprise, in a sector or industry.
  2. Entrepreneurship is management: A startupis an institution, not just a product, and so it requires a new kind of management specifically geared to its context of extreme uncertainty considered a job title in all modern companies that depend on innovation for their future growth.
  3. Validated learning: Startups exist not just to make stuff, make money, or even serve customers. They exist to learn how to build a sustainable business. This learning can be validated scientifically by running frequent experiments that allow entrepreneurs to test each element of their vision.
  4. Build-Measure-Learn: The fundamental activity of a startup is to turn ideas into products, measure how customers respond, and then learn whether to pivot or persevere. All successful startup processes should be geared to accelerate that feedback loop.
  5. Innovation accounting: To improve entrepreneurial outcomes and hold innovators accountable, we need to focus on the boring stuff: how to measure progress, how to set up milestones, and how to prioritize work. This requires a new kind of accounting designed for startups – and the people who hold them accountable.


I´ll give some short summaries of the most important topics within the next 1-2 weeks. I´m pretty sure there are a great number of good advices and tools written down in his book which I want to share with you.

So stay tuned.

4 thoughts on “Principles of a lean startup

  1. Pingback: Principles of a lean startup – part 2 | self.vestors

  2. Pingback: Principles of a lean startup – part3 | self.vestors

  3. Pingback: Principles of a lean startup – part4 | self.vestors

  4. Pingback: Principles of a lean startup – part9: Epilogue and Conclusion | self.vestors

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