Book: The Lean Startup
Author: Eric Ries
Twitter Review: Your startup is like a game of chess and The Lean Startup explores how to manage a startup in a very creative, strategic and methodical way.
Review: Running a startup is more than just running blindly and throwing things against the wall hoping something will stick. In his book, The Lean Startup, Eric Ries explores the aspects of running a startup. The book is divided into three parts each exploring the specific cycle of the journey for startups. Part one is Vision, part two is Steer and the final section is Accelerate. Ries also outlined five principles of the Lean Startup which are evident throughout the book: (1) Entrepreneurs are everywhere (2) Entrepreneurship is management (3) Validated Learning (4) Build-Measure-Learn and (5) Innovation accounting.
More than just a typical business book, Ries peels back the mysticism and sometimes even the “Hollywood mythmaking” that is attributed to ventures and explores the heart of what the entrepreneurship journey truly consists of. Rather than just a made for Hollywood movie where the entrepreneur wakes up in the middle of his or her sleep and develops a multi-million dollar idea, a successful startup consists of a series of strategic chess moves and mistakes that lead to successful ventures. As Ries wrote, “Unfortunately, the real work that determines the success of startups happens during the photo montage. It doesn’t make the cut in terms of the big story because it is too boring. Only 5 percent of entrepreneurship is the big idea, the business model, the whiteboard strategizing, and the splitting up of the spoils. The other 95 percent is the gritty work that is measured by innovative 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.” Ries explores and captures that process in the Lean Startup. More than just a case study or a story, this book explains how to manage a startup. “It may seem counterintuitive to think that something as disruptive, innovative, and chaotic as a startup can be managed or to be accurate, must be managed.”