Book review – The Lean Startup

by on September 13, 2011

Do you have plans to launch a new business? Or a new product for an existing business?

When I was asked for be a part of the launch promotion for a new book, The Lean Startup, I knew that what makes a successful product launch would be a great topic for entrepreneurs. I myself was interested in learning more about the process, and as a blogger for small business owners on a budget, the idea of a lean launch was equally appealing. So I dove into the book.

The author, Eric Ries, is an entrepreneur in residence at Harvard Business School and has been involved in several start-ups. He was frustrated by how long it took to learn what the mistakes are in your product or delivery. His mission became to help entrepreneurs make WAY better and WAY faster business decisions.

The Lean Startup is a set of practices for entrepreneurs to help them achieve success in building their startup. It’s a principled approach to new product development, that’s different from the methods usually employed and advocated in product launches.

This is my fav quote from the book:

“We have the capacity to build almost anything we can imagine. The big question of our time is not Can it be built? but Should it be built?”

To answer this crucial question, the Lean Startup teaches a method for breaking down your business plan, and testing out each part of it.

It’s not about making huge complicated plans and executing them. It’s about starting small to prevent waste. It’s based on always being ready to make constant adjustments, so that if something is not working, a quick shift can help turn things around. Your vision will remain the same. How you get there just might be a little different than you thought.

It can be scary testing things out. And then finding out that things aren’t going so well. But if things aren’t going as you might have hoped, it doesn’t mean it’s time to abandon your idea. It means it’s time to figure out how you can make improvements. Experimenting early is hugely important.

It all comes down to figuring out what your customers want and what provides value to them. The book provides plenty of examples and case studies to help drive home concepts.

There will be failure on the way to greatness. Eric teaches us how to fail successfully and quickly.

To learn more about Eric, visit his blog, Startup Lessons Learned.

To pick up the book, click here.

On to you… what have you learned in launching new products or services? What tips do you have to share?


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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael A. Robson September 19, 2011 at 11:48 pm

Just finished this book. Wow. I have tons and tons of notes on how to improve my umcoming ‘pet project’. I would encourage anyone who has either a business plan in mind or is currently working on something, to grab this book and take tons and tons of notes. This book will make your next project better, and show you exactly how to iterate for at least the next 5 years. Ries has figured out how to take almost all the risk out of entrepreneurship, by taking away all assumptions. Get it!!
Michael A. Robson recently posted..“The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries


Martina September 20, 2011 at 7:52 am

Thanks for sharing your views on the book Michael! I agree that it’s a fantastic resource for anyone looking to either start of business, or get a new project or product going in an existing. It certainly was a wakeup call for me. Test early, test often.


Felix December 19, 2011 at 5:56 pm

I think you will like to know about a online course with even the participation of Eric Ries. (I did it and liked!). Here is the link:


Martina December 20, 2011 at 7:47 am

Thanks for the tip Felix!


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