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The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses [Kindle Edition]

Eric Ries
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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"The Lean Startup has a kind of inexorable logic, and Ries’ recommendations come as a bracing slap in the face to would-be tech moguls: Test your ideas before you bet the bank on them. Don’t listen to what focus groups say; watch what your customers do. Start with a modest offering and build on the aspects of it that prove valuable. Expect to get it wrong, and stay flexible (and solvent) enough to try again and again until you get it right. It’s a message that rings true to grizzled startup vets who got burned in the Great Bubble and to young filmgoers who left The Social Network with visions of young Zuckerberg dancing in their heads. It resonates with Web entrepreneurs blessed with worldwide reach and open source code. It’s the perfect philosophy for an era of limited resources, when the noun optimism is necessarily preceded by the adjective cautious." Wired


"Eric has created a science where previously there was only art.  A must read for every serious entrepreneur—and every manager interested in innovation."
—Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, Opsware Inc. and Netscape

“This book should be mandatory reading for entrepreneurs, and the same goes for managers who want better entrepreneurial instincts. Ries’s book is loaded with fascinating stories—not to mention countless practical principles you’ll dearly wish you’d known five years ago.” —Dan Heath, co-author of Switch and Made to Stick

“Ries shows us how to cut through the fog of uncertainty that surrounds startups. His approach is rigorous; his prescriptions are practical and proven in the field. The Lean Startup will change the way we think about entrepreneurship.  As startup success rates improve, it could do more to boost global economic growth than any management book written in years.” —Tom Eisenmann, Professor of Entrepreneurship, Harvard Business School
“The Lean Startup is the book whose lessons I want every entrepreneur to absorb and apply.  I know of no better guide to improve the odds of a startup's success."
—Mitchell Kapor, Founder, Lotus Development Corp.
"At Asana, we've been lucky to benefit from Eric's advice firsthand; this book will enable him to help many more entrepreneurs answer the tough questions about their business."
—Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder of Facebook and Asana
“Ries' splendid book is the essential template to understand the crucial leadership challenge of our time: initiating and managing growth!” —Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Business, University of Southern California and author of the recently published, Still Surprised: A Memoir of a Life in Leadership.
"The Lean Startup isn't just about how to create a more successful entrepreneurial business, it's about what we can learn from those businesses to improve virtually everything we do. I imagine Lean Startup principles applied to government programs, to healthcare, and to solving the world's great problems.  It's ultimately an answer to the question 'How can we learn more quickly what works, and discard what doesn't?'"
— Tim O'Reilly, CEO O'Reilly Media
“Eric Ries unravels the mysteries of entrepreneurship and reveals that magic and genius are not the necessary ingredients for success but instead proposes a scientific process that can be learnt and replicated. Whether you are a startup entrepreneur or corporate entrepreneur there are important lessons here for you on your quest toward the new and unknown.”  —Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO
“The roadmap for innovation for the 21st century. The ideas in The Lean Startup will help create the next industrial revolution.” —Steve Blank, lecturer, Stanford University, U.C. Berkeley Haas Business School
"The key lesson of this book is that start-ups happen in the present—that messy place between the past and the future where nothing happens according to PowerPoint. Ries's ‘read and react’ approach to this sport, his relentless focus on validated learning, the never-ending anxiety of hovering between ‘persevere’ and ‘pivot’, all bear witness to his appreciation for the dynamics of entrepreneurship."  —Geoffrey Moore, Author, Crossing the Chasm
"If you are an entrepreneur, read this book. If you are thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, read this book.  If you are just curious about entrepreneurship, read this book.  Starting Lean is today's best practice for innovators.  Do yourself a favor and read this book." —Randy Komisar, founding director of TiVo and author of the bestselling The Monk and the Riddle
“How do you apply the 50 year old ideas of Lean to the fast-paced, high uncertainty world of Startups? This book provides a brilliant, well-documented, and practical answer. It is sure to become a management classic.” —Don Reinertsen, author of The Principles of Product Development Flow
The Lean Startup is a foundational must-read for founders, enabling them to reduce product failures by bringing structure and science to what is usually informal and an art.  It provides actionable ways to avoid product-learning mistakes, rigorously evaluate early signals from the market through validated learning, and decide whether to persevere or to pivot, all challenges that heighten the chance of entrepreneurial failure.” —Professor Noam Wasserman, Harvard Business School
“One of the best and most insightful new books on entrepreneurship and management I’ve ever read.  Should be required reading not only for the entrepreneurs that I work with, but for my friends and colleagues in various industries who have inevitably grappled with many of the challenges that The Lean Startup addresses.”  —Eugene J. Huang, Partner, True North Venture Partners
"What would happen if businesses were built from the ground up to learn what their customers really wanted? The Lean Startup is the foundation for reimagining almost everything about how work works. Don't let the word startup in the title confuse you. This is a cookbook for entrepreneurs in organizations of all sizes." —Roy Bahat, President, IGN Entertainment
“Every founding team should stop for 48 hours and read Lean Startup. Seriously stop and read this book now.” —Scott Case, CEO Startup America Partnership
“In business, a ‘lean’ enterprise is sustainable efficiency in action. Eric Ries’ revolutionary Lean Startup method will help bring your new business idea to an end result that is successful and sustainable. You’ll find innovative steps and strategies for creating and managing your own startup while learning from the real-life successes and collapses of others. This book is a must read for entrepreneurs who are truly ready to start something great!” —Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager® and The One Minute Entrepreneur

“Every entrepreneur responsible for innovation within their organization should read this book. It entertainingly and meticulously develops a rigorous science for the innovation process through the methodology of “lean thinking”.  This methodology provides novel and powerful tools for companies to improve the speed and efficiency of their innovation processes through minimum viable products, validated learning, innovation accounting, and actionable metrics. These tools will help organizations large and small to sustain innovation by effectively leveraging the time, passion, and skill of their talent pools.” Andrea Goldsmith, professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, and cofounder of several startups
“Business is too important to be left to luck.  Eric reveals the rigorous process that trumps luck in the invention of new products and new businesses.  We've made this a centerpiece of how teams work in my company . . . it works!  This book is the guided tour of the key innovative practices used inside Google, Toyota, and Facebook, that work in any business.” Scott Cook, Founder and Chairman of the Executive Committee, Intuit

Product Description

Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable.  The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched.

Eric Ries defines a startup as an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. This is just as true for one person in a garage or a group of seasoned professionals in a Fortune 500 boardroom. What they have in common is a mission to penetrate that fog of uncertainty to discover a successful path to a sustainable business.

The Lean Startup approach fosters companies that are both more capital efficient and that leverage human creativity more effectively.  Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies on “validated learning,” rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counter-intuitive practices that shorten product development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute.

Rather than wasting time creating elaborate business plans, The Lean Startup offers entrepreneurs - in companies of all sizes - a way to test their vision continuously, to adapt and adjust before it’s too late. Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups in a age when companies need to innovate more than ever.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
In David Fincher's 1999 cult classic, Fight Club, there's a scene where Tyler Durden and the Narrator are cruising down the highway talking about the future of their boxing club (first fight's free, then you franchise out, etc). They're arguing about who's in charge, what's the goal of the group, how to deal with growth: they're entrepreneurs and they've both come up with something great, that seems to be catching on. And what does Tyler Durden do? He takes his hands off the wheel, and lets the car go where it wants. The car steers itself, and Tyler hits the gas.

This would be a great opening for my Lean Startup review, had Tyler and the Narrator not gone off the road. The car was destroyed, but the leaders survived, and got a little wiser. Was that a Pivot?

This book is not just about small tech startups, though if you've heard anything about it (the buzz has been building around the interwebs for about 2 years now, mostly on tech sites), you'd be forgiven for the assumption. Frankly, if this book was just about starting tech companies in Silicon Valley, it'd be pretty boring, aimed at a very very niche audience. It's neither.

The brilliance of this book is that it's ideas (admittedly borrowed somewhat from Lean Manufacturing) can be applied to almost any project, service, or company. It will make your venture faster, smarter, and cheaper. In fact, you can even use the principles in here if you want to keep your job (you're not an Entrepreneur, you're an Intrapreneur' I like that).

So why is Entrepreneurship (for example) so scary? Because we always hear about how 90% of small business fail within a year. No one doubts the numbers, or bothers to look them up. We just decide not to take the gamble.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I selected this observation by Drucker (1963) because it continues to suggest caution when deciding what to do, how and when to do it, etc. Michael Porter also offers a helpful reminder: "The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do." This is especially true of those who are either planning to launch a start-up or have only recently done so. Given the number of Four and Five Star reviews of this book featured by Amazon as of this moment (136 of a total of 153), Eric Ries has clearly attracted and rewarded the attention of those who share his determination to "improve the success rate of new innovative products worldwide." He offers a method by which to achieve that objective, based on five separate but interdependent principles best revealed within the book's narrative, in context.

Ries suggests two primary reasons for the failure of most startups. One is trusting indicators of likely success that are either inappropriate or unreliable such as a good business plan, a solid strategy, and thorough market research. A startup is by nature and unknown quantity, Ries points out, as are its prospects. Also, many entrepreneurs and their investors become impatient, then frustrated, and abandon traditional management practices. I agree with him that all startups must be managed and only those that are managed well have a chance to survive. It is also important to keep in mind that, at one time, each of the "Fortune 500" was a startup, launched by one or more entrepreneurs who would not be denied.

Credit Ries with pursuing what Jim Collins and Jerry Porras characterize in Built to Last as a Big Hairy Audacious Goal or BHAG: To provide "a new discipline for entrepreneurial management" that takes into full account "the chaos and uncertainty that startups must face...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Action Now Nov. 30 2013
Starting a business is an uncertain outing and this is where Ries’ book nails it. Entrepreneurs have always possessed a higher risk tolerance than most and we need these folks more than ever to drive employment. However, anyone in business can benefit from thinking like a startup by innovating within their own jobs and given it is a mindset it can also be applied to non-profits, NGOs, public sector, and volunteer organizations. Ries advocates not getting bogged down in excessive planning instead focusing on adjusting as one goes – ‘action now’ is its rallying cry.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great ideas worth trying. March 9 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
This book teaches the best way I've heard so far to manage risk in innovative enterprises. If you're on the fence about starting a business because you're risk-averse, read this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading June 9 2013
I honestly was tepid about reading this book. I thought it would be filled with dry material. Maybe because I have associated "lean", with "bean counters / accounting". I couldn't have been more wrong.

This book is filled with stories, that not only demonstrate the ideas at hand, but provide compelling evidence that will turn you into a believer. Going from vanity metrics, and fuzzy data -> to actionable metrics that will allow you to make real business decision (do we persevere, and keep the course... or do we pivot and change direction?). I found this book not only compelling and interesting.. but a real world changer.

For anyone in a leadership role... this is essential. Easy to read, and amazing. Well done.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The bible for lean Aug. 24 2014
By SBuckle
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A must-read for anyone interested in the lean thinking. It builds nicely on top of heavy-weight books about innovation like Innovators Dilemma and Crossing the Chasm, but it more of a manual then warning. As companies, big and small, try to be more nimble and start-up-like in order to stay ahead of the competition - read: ahead of disruption - the lean & agile approach helps orient planning and action. A lot of companies are on this path, now it is a matter of how successfully they can implement.

Ries' manual is an easily digestible read. I appreciate him assuming the reader has already bought in to the lean approach, which allows him spend more time on action than on convincing why lean works.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading
Good book, great ideas, but could be much shorter.
Published 2 months ago by Eric J A Archambault
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book. Reference it all the time
Amazing book. Reference it all the time.
Published 2 months ago by Stephen R
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideas worth spreading
Ideas worth spreading and trying.

A lot of good ideas, mostly presented has exemple in company we know or have heard of.
Published 2 months ago by Ben
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
it gave a lot of good ideas on getting feedback on my products.
Published 3 months ago by john Dryden
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!!!
Published 4 months ago by Dhiman Saha
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book. Well written and very organized.
This book has lots of excellent information and case studies to back it up. Ries is an extremely organized and knowledgable individual. Read more
Published 7 months ago by C. J. Inch
3.0 out of 5 stars Impressive
I like books written by authors who not just talk the talk but have walked the walk. Good Book by a doer.
Donald Keyes
Published 14 months ago by Donald Keyes
5.0 out of 5 stars Converting established large batch focus to use Lean Startup...
Very interesting read that challenges most of what I was taught to believe about bigger batches being better; the more you make the more money you make. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Eric Thomson
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Great Book! learn a lot :) love this book, all start up should read this book as well. Highly recommenced.
Published 18 months ago by djc
5.0 out of 5 stars mandatory for startups
Awesome book I plowed through in a few days. Eric Ries is a master of the digital landscape and focuses on how to align business goals and strategies with customer needs. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Oogie
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