three takeaways from eric ries' the lean startup

2020-12-11

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~2 min read

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234 words

Immediate reaction: It’s a business book and any reader should understand that going in. In many ways, it lives up to (or down depending on perspective) the implications therein. The biggest flaw is one that afflicts the entire genre, namely: what could have been said in a few words was stretched to fill several hundred pages. That said, what is said is valuable and, having read it, I feel like I have a new perspective.

My biggest takeaways:

  1. The purpose of a business is to deliver value to a customer. Product is secondary. Profit is a consequence of delivering value efficiently.
  2. An organization’s purpose is to learn how to deliver value as quickly as possible. This is accomplished through repeated circuits through a “Build-Measure-Learn”.
  3. Learning is the measure of progress. In order to learn, experiments must be run and validated. Validation cannot occur in the absence of a null hypothesis, therefore, before building anything, you must have a null hypothesis.

Honorable mentions:

  1. Good design is one that drives desired customer behavior.
  2. In a world of abundance, the hardest task facing a group is not whether or not something could be built, but what should be built. Technical competence is not the gating feature. Attention is.

There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all. — Peter Drucker


Hi there and thanks for reading! My name's Stephen. I live in Chicago with my wife, Kate, and dog, Finn. Want more? See about and get in touch!