KEY PRINCIPLES OF LEAN STARTUP PROCESS
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 in your bedroom, your garage, or dedicated office space. And it doesn't 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 not forget that a business is not just a product, customer and owner; it is an organization that comprises many different entities and subordinates. Managers should be able to react immediately in risky situations, manage investors, and encourage employees to experiment as long as the risks are deemed acceptable.
The Lean startup approach considers every action to be an experiment, which is aimed to achieve validated learning. All the hypotheses should be empirically proved. It is very important to ensure you are relying on correct metrics and are not deceived by some irrelevant figures.
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 are appropriate.
Build, measure, learn
The Lean Startup Process is organized around the "build-measure-learn" principle. This includes building a minimum viable product (MVP) fast and figuring out the next steps based on customers' feedback.
To better understand how it works, let's imagine you're a startup founder trying to develop a mobile app to help people eat a healthier diet. Let's have a 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're starting to think 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 moving on, asking for customers feedback you'll be either confirming or rejecting these assumptions.
The second principle of the lean startup approach is to start testing the product idea with potential customers. This way, you can verify if the product features, pricing, and customer acquisition you have in mind could or couldn't work.
In the case of your 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 they struggle with balancing micronutrients. This would give you a better understanding of how your app should work, what features should it have.
Short, iterative product development cycles
This point is about building your product in short development cycles - iterations.
Let's imagine the initial round of testing your MVP was a great success and you decided to build a complete product. However, this could lead you to develop features users don't 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.