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Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works [Hardcover]

Ash Maurya
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 9 2012 Lean Series

We live in an age of unparalleled opportunity for innovation. We’re building more products than ever before, but most of them fail—not because we can’t complete what we set out to build, but because we waste time, money, and effort building the wrong product.

What we need is a systematic process for quickly vetting product ideas and raising our odds of success. That’s the promise of Running Lean.

In this inspiring book, Ash Maurya takes you through an exacting strategy for achieving a "product/market fit" for your fledgling venture, based on his own experience in building a wide array of products from high-tech to no-tech. Throughout, he builds on the ideas and concepts of several innovative methodologies, including the Lean Startup, Customer Development, and bootstrapping.

Running Lean is an ideal tool for business managers, CEOs, small business owners, developers and programmers, and anyone who’s interested in starting a business project.

  • Find a problem worth solving, then define a solution
  • Engage your customers throughout the development cycle
  • Continually test your product with smaller, faster iterations
  • Build a feature, measure customer response, and verify/refute the idea
  • Know when to "pivot" by changing your plan’s course
  • Maximize your efforts for speed, learning, and focus
  • Learn the ideal time to raise your "big round" of funding
Get on track with The Lean Series
Presented by Eric Ries—bestselling author of The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses—The Lean Series gives you solid footing in a proven methodology that will help your business succeed.

Frequently Bought Together

Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works + The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses + Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster
Price For All Three: CDN$ 58.59

Some of these items ship sooner than the others.

Product Details

Product Description

About the Author

Ash Maurya is the founder of USERcycle. Since bootstrapping his last company seven years ago, he has launched five products and one peer-to-web application framework. Throughout this time he has been in search of better, faster ways for building successful products. Ash has more recently been rigorously applying Customer Development and Lean Startup techniques to his products.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but too shallow March 11 2012
By mko
Every startup has it's good and bad days. Question is, what to do, when you find that your initial idea is not quite as good as you expected it to be.

Ash tries to answer this question by providing clean path to the success. By describing various aspects of running project he will show you issues that are particularly worth addressing. I have to admit that Ash provides you with lots of valuable information regarding issues you will probably encounter during project.

Generally, problem with this kind of books is that evaluating provided solutions is very hard. You can't definitely tell that solution will work for you as well. In 'Running Lean' you go through various aspects of running business with CloudFire project in a background ' serving as example. Question is whether solutions good for CloudFire will be good for you?

One thing I definitely found interesting in the book was Lean canvas ' variation on a Business Model Canvas. Comparing to Business Model Canvas it better fits small projects. In fact, Lean canvas can be applied not only to a whole project but to a single task as well. This is quite convenient if you want to describe the tasks before proceeding with solving it.

In general, I think this book addresses some general issues but covers topic too much narrow. It is hard to tell how it fits into general concepts of running projects if you don't have any other sources related to the topic at your bookshelf.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Practical and insightful: a quick read June 28 2013
This is an excellent book. It was a quick read which provided a great overview of the "lean startup" concept along with many links to other resources. The "Lean Canvas" tool described in this book would be helpful to readers who want something practical: a roadmap for implementing the lean startup concept.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read full of practical tools Oct. 28 2012
By M.A.
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book shows how to put the principles to work. I recommend to anyone trying to apply the Lean Startup approach.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Really what I needed July 21 2014
By Carlos
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really like the book! It has a very easy to follow methodology for startups. I would really recommend this book! Its quite usefull.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  503 reviews
51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An engaging guide for startups, and any product development effort March 1 2012
By J Mello - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
This book is a concise guide that helps you take immediate action in using lean startup and customer development principles. More simply, as the subtitle states, it shows you how to "Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works". The book opens with a brief chapter on the principles behind Lean Startup and Customer Development. For each chapter after that, Ash describes what you will learn, shows you clearly what you need to do, and what decisions you need to make.

The book's chapters are:

1. Meta-Principles
2. Running Lean Illustrated
3. Create Your Lean Canvas
4. Prioritize Where to Start
5. Get Ready to Experiment
6. Get Ready to Interview Customers
7. The Problem Interview
8. The Solution Interview
9. Get to Release 1.0
10. Get Ready to Measure
11. The MVP Interview
12. Validate Customer Life Cycle
13. Don't Be a Feature Pusher
14. Measure Product/Market Fit
15. Conclusion
Appendix - Bonus Material - comments and insights on topics including: building a slow burn startup, thoughts on premature funding, achieving flow, pricing models, teaser and landing pages, sales letters, continuous deployment, conversion dashboards

Throughout the book, Ash shows when and how to use methods for activities like: business model planning, interviewing customers, setting up tests for hypotheses, pricing, determining your Minimum Viable Product (MVP), forming hypotheses and conducting tests.

The book isn't just theory. Ash moves beyond the discussion and rationale for using Lean Startup methods which Eric Ries covers in his book The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses. Ash uses tools, checklist, process flows, interview scripts, and visuals throughout the book to show you how to get the work done.

I've started employing pieces of this methodology in my work at a medium sized business. It is helping me lower risks for projects I manage, and also helps me get to solid solutions and products more quickly, and at lower costs.

If you want a book that will help you get to work NOW on using Lean Startup and Customer Development methods, this is it. Grab this book, and get moving!
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why I love this book March 2 2012
By Emiliano V. - Published on
I've read several books in this field, The Lean Startup, Making Ideas Happen, The Art of Start, and Running Lean is always the first book I recommend to any entrepreneur. It's that great of a book.

What makes this book standout is that there's great intellectual depth behind the concepts and ideas Ash presents but written in a clear, practical manner that makes it easy to follow. If you're debating between Running Lean or The Lean Startup by Eric Ries, definitely start with Ash's first. Here's an example why - Eric advocates doing customer discovery, i.e. talking with customers, and discusses the benefits of doing so. Ash does that and goes further by giving you the actual tactics on how to do so. Where to find those potential customers, how to reach out to them, and even a template of the questions to ask them. That's the beauty of his book, it goes beyond the "why" and gives you the specific hows to execute.

The other big benefit of this book is the structure of the content as it's a linear storyline. There's a quick overview, and then Ash starts going from an idea to validating it incrementally into a successful, product that's structured for growth. So you only need to read up to the point your venture is at. That itself follows the idea within the book of "Right Action, Right Time" which puts more of your time taking your venture to the next stage.

This is a 5 star book and worth every penny.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical advice that will elevate your lean startup game March 1 2012
By Steve Odom - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is one of the essential books for lean startup practitioners. It isn't theory. You can tell these are real lessons from Ash's own experience running lean startups. This book is very prescriptive; telling you specific things to accomplish. The one thing I found really valuable was the focus on how to map out your startup using the one page "lean canvas". After reading this book, I really got it and elevated my lean startup game.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Practical but lumpy March 14 2012
By Michael - Published on
I figure that if I get more than one usable idea out of a 'how to' book then I am doing well. I got three from this book - a rare achievement in a market full of formula driven thrash.

The first message is clear - long winded business plans that pretend to predict the future have no place in a lean start up and, as someone who's done a lean start up, I agree. The other message? Focus on the customer.

None of that is new, but what I did find new was an approach to business planning and metric monitoring that gets all the important stuff onto one page. While written for software startups, the book has lots of value for anyone trying to get a new business up and running (I'm starting a non-software company and the book has been a godsend).

I would have given this book five stars but it is lumpy. Some points are labored, the obvious is stated a few times too many, and it is a bit heavy on the aconyms..

But these are minor flaws in a book that is perhaps most marked by the obvious excitement of the author for his topic. As for the three things I learnt? Two have been mentioned (the one page plan and metrics - truly great) and the third was some sensible stuff startegies to follow as you get your product to a market fit.

If you are planning a software start up then buy this book - my guess is that you will learn something (if not you can feel comfortable in your pre-existing well rounded knowledge). If you are planning a start-up in another field then this is still worth a read. As I indicated above, I'm starting a new business (a small group tour company) and while much of the book wasn't relevant to the specifics of that business, there was enough there to justify the cover price and time taken to read it.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great practical advice for startups, step by step customer development March 1 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Running Lean is the best book out there for entrepreneurs that want to launch their startups using customer development and lean startup. Clear, to the point and practical, it is full of gold and no BS. The structure of the book and its real life examples make it really easy to implement in no time. If you want to DO this is your book, and you will also learn something along the way, a lot more than with other books that talk a lot of theory and are more oriented to the corporate boardroom.

I really enjoyed reading it and using it to build a new project.
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