June 22, 2018 12:38 am

Book Review: The Lean startup

Filed under: Agile,Business,Process Improvement,Project Management — ramsblog @ 12:38 am


The Lean Startup by Eric Ries is one of the significant books I have read in the recent past. Great tips and examples to learn processes for a start up. You have the Ideas, start rolling them the product. This book can be your tag along guide as you go through the process.

My understanding before reading this book was , it was geared for those geeks who want to start a new company and explore into various options to making their ideas transforming into cool products. However, As I went through reading each chapter, I was able to recall my day to day projects at work and apply some of those concepts. A start up company OR an established company but coming up with new products and features , this book would help in visualizing and developing those cool features faster and obtain feedback along the way.

This book is structured into 3 sections – Vision, Steer and Accelerate. A key take away about adopting the projects into a Lean fashion, is the amount of learning you have while developing that cool product or feature. Validated the learning and identify the moment of flying out with colors, or Pivot and improve the course.

LOFA – Leap of Faith Assumption – is a key in taking risks and getting into the venture – either in-house or through external VC funding, Execution, and last not but not the list Innovative Accounting for the investment of all the resources (Time, Money, Ideas, and any other raw materials  like expertise, technology, etc.,)

This book will walk you through Learning opportunities via Experimentation, LOFA leading to execution, defining MVP (Minimum viable product) , marketing, being flexible on Pivoting / Perseverance. These should go with some sort of Feedback in the so-called Build-Measure-Learn pattern.

Later part of the book takes you  through batching process, the efficiency / Effective way of batching work size, with simple examples and case studies. This chapter however, I think, is somewhat debatable. I sense there are some overlapping thoughts, contradictory statements between the types of batches appropriate. But however, I agree, it is contextual and depends on the project is appropriate to go batch process, and if so, the size, feature set, and the product.

There are numerous examples all through the book that would help to learn from others’ experience. If not anything, I would recommend you read all those examples provided across the book. Examples from Groupon, Facebook, Toyota, and several other companies included in the book. Fascinating examples to learn from.

One key take-away for troubleshooting the process or incidents. I also learned this from my little one a few years ago, of asking Why on every response. “5-Whys” is a technique described here, coined by Toyota Production process to identify the core root cause. “5” may not be a silver bullet or a golden rule, but use the depth as appropriate to the context.


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