I am currently on a share-as-I-learn journey, where I share tips across my social media platforms from my (otherwise) personal lessons. The basics of the journey is that I share as I learn, on my social media handles- @dnddyon (on both Twitter and Instagram)- and then, attempt a reflective summary of the entire lessons here, on my blog- @dnddyon’s .
Today’s post is from my reading of Eric Ries’s The Lean Startup. My lessons from the book were initially shared on twitter using the tags, #studywithdebby and #leanstartup . The Lean Startup is divided into sections, and I shared the lessons in reference to these sections (emboldened below).
Below are the lessons shared as was tweeted with the @dnddyon twitter handle, and also, an attempt at a reflective summary (using the >>> sign) of how we can extend some of these lessons to other areas of our lives.
“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?”
>> I’d like to think about product and services here beyond those of “corporate businesses”. I’d like to think about them in terms of other areas of life. It therefore helps to always have effective and sustainable reasons for pursuing a cause.
“The first step (of whatever you may) would be to break down the grand vision into its component parts.
“Identify the elements of (whatever) plan (you have) that are assumptions rather than facts, and figure out ways to test them.”
>> Taking life a step at a time is always easier and less complicated than jumbling everything together. It also helps to try out things/situations before concluding on them.
“The products a startup builds are really experiments; the learning about how to build a sustainable business is the outcome of those experiments.
>> We basically all learn on the job, so trying out things should not ever frighten us- they rather make us better.
“Startups need extensive contact with potential customers to understand them, so get out of your chair and get to know them.
>> Who requires our products and services? What makes these people thick? We should be eager to find these out and to tailor our products and services to what we find out.
“We must be willing to set aside our traditional professional standards to start the process of validated learning as soon as possible.
“We all need a disciplined, systematic approach to figuring out if we’re making progress and discovering if we’re actually achieving validated learning.
>> It is always helpful to run with an evaluative open mindset and to build on what you already (think you) know.
“Without a clear-eyed picture of your current status – no matter how far from the goal you may be – you cannot begin to track your progress.”
“Only 5% of entrepreneurship is the big idea, the business model, the whiteboard strategizing, and the splitting up of the spoils”
“The other 95% is the gritty work that is measured by innovation accounting: product prioritization decisions, deciding which customers to target or listen to, and having the courage to subject a grand vision to constant testing and feedback”
“We all must face this fundamental test: deciding when to pivot and when to persevere”
>> Effective evaluation of progress is key to growth. Often times, pause and check how effective or not your processes and steps have been.
Pivot (or Persevere)
“… do we need to make a major change? That change is called a pivot: a structured course correction…”
“The heart of the scientific method is the realization that although human judgement may be faulty, we can improve our judgement by subjecting our theories to repeated testing”
“Startup productivity is about aligning our efforts with a business and product that are working to create value and drive growth”
“In other words, successful pivots put us on a path toward growing a sustainable business”
>> Sometimes, pause, consider and decide whether to continue with your processes or to replace them (if they are mostly ineffective).
“What if it turns out that the customer doesn’t want the product we’re building?”
“Although this is never good news for an entrepreneur, finding out sooner is much better than finding out later.”
>> Feedback no matter how unpleasant is always good. It helps to know if you’re on the right path or if you need to replace some processes.
“At the root of every seemingly technical problem is a human problem.”
“Five Whys provides an opportunity to discover what that human problem might be.”
“Repeating “why” five times… can help uncover the root problem and correct it.”
“Simple rules: 1. Be tolerant of all mistakes the first time. 2. Never allow the same mistake to be made twice.”
“The first rule encourages people to get used to being compassionate about mistakes, especially the mistakes of others.”
“Remember, most mistakes are caused by flawed systems, not bad people.”
“The second rule gets the team started (in) making proportional investments in prevention.”
>> Firstly, seek (until you find) the real reasons why things are they way they are, so as to be properly guided in decisions and actions. Secondly, try as much as you can to prevent errors from becoming the norm.
Epilogue: Waste Not
“We believe that most forms of waste in innovation are preventable once their causes are understood.”
“All that is required is that we change our collective mindset concerning how this work is to be done.”
“… the real goal of innovation: to learn that which is currently unknown.”
“The Lean Start Up movement stands for the principle that the scientific method can be brought to bear to answer the most innovative question: How can we build a sustainable organisation around a new set of products and services?”
>> Try to repair or re-engage processes that cause wastage (of all kind resources).
Join the Movement
“Reading is good, action is better.”
“The most important resources are local.”
>> Basically, start where you are with what you have, and grow from there.
Was this helpful?
You could engage me in questions (and contributions) in the comment section.
All the best!