Entrepreneurs are everywhere
If you have a startup, you're an entrepreneur who can already apply lean startup methodology.
It doesn't matter if you work out of your bedroom, your garage, or have dedicated office space. It doesn't even matter what the size of your startup is; if you want to save time and resources, practice lean startup methodology. Entrepreneurship is a management
An entrepreneur must never forget that a business is not just a product, customer and owner; it is an organization comprised of many different entities and subordinates. Managers should be able to react immediately to risky situations, manage investors, and encourage employees to experiment, as long as the risks are deemed acceptable. Validated learning
The Lean startup approach considers every action to be an experiment aimed at achieving validated learning, and is one of the many benefits of lean startup methodology. All hypotheses should be empirically proved, and it is very important to ensure you are relying on correct metrics and are not being deceived by irrelevant figures. Innovation accounting
To successfully build a sustainable business, entrepreneurs have to be capable of monitoring progress objectively, setting up milestones, prioritizing work, and making the right decisions based on what the data shows is appropriate.Build, measure, learn
The Lean Startup Process is centred around the "build-measure-learn" principle. This includes building a minimum viable product (MVP)
quickly and figuring out the next steps based on customer feedback.
To better understand how this works, let's imagine you're a startup founder trying to develop a mobile app to help people maintain a healthier diet.
Let's look at some important points:
Start with hypotheses
Acknowledge that your initial product idea is based on assumptions, not facts. You need to phrase these assumptions as hypotheses and verify them.
When you first start thinking about your diet app, you may have the following assumptions in mind:
"A healthy diet means the same thing for all my customers."
"Most people are worried about high-calorie food intake."
"People are willing to pay for an app that helps them eat better."
After asking for customer feedback you'll be either confirming or rejecting these assumptions.Customer feedback
The second principle of the lean startup approach is to start testing the product idea on potential customers. This way, you can verify if the products' features, pricing, and customer acquisition you have in mind will or won't work.
In the case of this hypothetical diet app, customer feedback could help you verify your initial hypotheses. For example, you may find that your potential users don't have problems with high-calorie food intake - but rather they are struggling with balancing micronutrients. This would give you a better understanding of how your app should work and what features it should have. Short, iterative product development cycles
This point is about building your product in short development cycles, also called iterations.
Let's imagine the initial round of testing for your MVP was a great success and you have decided to build a complete product. However, this could lead you to develop features users don't really need - for instance, a premium subscription plan with access to 500 recipes for low-calorie dishes.
Instead, you could use short iterations to see if it's worth investing in that feature.
Practicing these three points will allow you to save time and resources.