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Five Lean Startup Principles

Five_Lean_Startup_PrinciplesThe Lean Startup Method is based on five principles. They highlight the difference between traditional management that aims to get things done and innovation management that aims to create new things.

1 Entrepreneurs are everywhere

Startups don’t just happen in garages. Anyone creating a new product or service is effectively a startup. And, this includes people working within large organisations.

2 Entrepreneur = manager

Normally we view entrepreneurs and managers as two different species operating in vastly different worlds. However, a startup is not just about the product. It’s ultimately an organisation that needs management to make it happen. And, whilst the world of big business has proven methods for big organisations we do need to adopt some new principles for managing innovation and startups.

3 Validate Learning

Whilst we might set out to make something original, create a new revenue stream or serve our customers in different ways, the number one goal of a startup is to learn how to build a sustainable business. And, this learning can be validated by running regular experiments to test your assumptions and find out what works with actual customers. The key is to learn what people value enough to pay for.

4 Build-Measure-Learn

The basic activity of a startup involves three things: build your product, measure the customer’s response and learn whether to keep going or change direction. The true game is to accelerate this feedback loop. The faster you can learn what the market values the more likely you can build a sustainable business.

5 Innovation Accounting

Innovation is not a free-for-all. We need to be held to account for our actions. We need to measure progress, establish milestones and prioritise the important tasks. We need a new way of accounting designed for startups.

Book Rapper

This is an extract from the Book Rapper issue Pioneer: How to Create and Manage Innovation. It’s derived from Eric Ries’ classic book The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses.

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