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The Lean Startup Paperback – Jan 1 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd (Jan. 1 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670921602
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670921607
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.4 x 23.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #143,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Robson on Sept. 19 2011
Format: Hardcover
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 By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Jan. 26 2012
Format: Hardcover
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pierre Séguin on 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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed this book for the back story of Eric Ries starting up IMVU but more importantly the reminder to foster a culture of learning. As Eric points out in the book, management tends to have a bias towards rewarding successful execution on projects versus learning towards success. This can leave teams playing safe and slow down innovation. The concept of MVP or Minimal Viable Product is not so common sense today and I think anyone can take this to heart and increase the innovation in what they do. Build just enough to make sure they will come...

5 stars.
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By VG on April 13 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are so many books on Startups that few (in my opinion) apply to startups that are not in high-tech sector. This is why I judge them by whether the methods could be applied to other industries. This book delivers on that front and in a big way. Some ideas are contrarian, and I suspect they will be adopted as mainstream with time.

I liked this book. The reason I didn't give it 5 stars is that it was not easy to read. Eric Ries is a brilliant person with brilliant ideas, yet his writing style is not for everyone.
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