What is ‘Lean Startup?’ A guide to all the aspiring entrepreneurs.
Posted: Dec 09, 2015
Have you heard of the term ‘The Lean Manufacturing!’ This term which is also a process was invented by a Japanese entrepreneur of an automobile factory. It was 1936 when this frustrated Japanese Founder invented this process to curb his production issues at the factory. He worked and studied the flaws and strengths to create this model to maximise the output. We call him by the name of Kiichiro Toyoda, Founder of Toyota Motors.
The essential factor of this model is to have a systematic approach of eliminating the wastage and to even the workloads within the manufacturing system. ‘Lean’ as it's often called in the business circuit is the model which analyzes the perspective of a client by reducing everything that the client doesnot require and at the same time enhancing what adds value to the client. Taking a cue from this case study a serial entrepreneur with a few failed startups founded the concept called ‘The Lean Startup’ which caught on in the startup industry like a wildfire. His name is Eric Ries. And as he puts it, ‘A Lean Startup is a proven scientific formula’ for entrepreneurial success.
Too many startups begin with building a product that they assume what people want. They spend months and years developing it without showcasing it to the prospective customers and most of the times as we know the consumer behavior tends to be the opposite of what one envisions. The Lean Startup is a principled approach to new product development. This method teaches the entrepreneur when to accelerate and when to slow down. When to persevere and when to pivot. Here are few benefits that every entrepreneur should know about starting up a business with a Lean Startup approach.
According to Eric, having a Lean Startup approach creates order, not chaos. It’s a tool to test your vision in a systematic manner. He feels that entrepreneurs create new products or services under extreme uncertain conditions and they usually avoid all form of management procedures, which eventually leads their startups to go belly up in no time. The ‘Lean’ approach is more like a management approach. It’s not just about spending wisely, it’s about establishing a process that is built around the development of a product. In this way, you leave less gap for uncertainty to creep in.
The Concept of MVP…
This model is touted to help entrepreneurs reduce cash burn rate which is also what many institutional investors look for in a startup. This is done by creating a process which focuses on creating shorter goals for product development with continuous learning with current consumer feedback. One of the most used and interesting concepts that were born in the Lean Startup movement was the concept of ‘Minimum Viable Product (MVP).’ Making an MVP means launching a product in phases to get maximum market feedback and to track the product traction. In simpler terms, it means launching an almost ready product in the market to assess and understand the requirements via feedback and then developing the product with a clear understanding of the synergy between the product and the early adopters. Many startups tend to scale up fast due to investors pressure and we have seen this in the recent times that their scaling becomes faster than learning, which eventually leads to scaling down, job cuts and sometimes failure. Startups need to have a clear understanding of the problems and limitations that are present in the market and by creating MVP you are in frequent touch with the market which will not only help you in creating the best-suited product but can also help you in positioning your product in a most advantageous way.
Lean Startup approach is all about validated learning. It’s a learning process. When the focus is built on developing the right thing you automatically shrink the development process and work in a smart way as oppose to building a unique product blindly which consumers may or may not like. With the lean startup approach, entrepreneurs can plan shorter goals for product development to ensure maximum wins with frequent feedback and efficient management process.