Lean startup method: 5 principles at a glance


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Text comes from: Lean Startup: Schnell, risikolos und erfolgreich Unternehmen gründen (2014) by Eric Ries, published by Münchener Verlagsgruppe (MVG), Reprints by friendly permission of the publisher.
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Products change constantly during fine tuning of the motor. Possibly, albeit more rarely, the strategy must also be changed, so-called course correction. The overriding vision, on the other hand, is rarely touched. Best of HR – Berufebilder.de®

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Eric Ries 80Eric Ries has established the lean start-up method and made it popular.

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When must the course be corrected?

Entrepreneurs make every effort to get a startup to their destination. The setback is an opportunity to learn how to get there best. In reality, a startup is a hodge-podge of activities.

Many things happen at the same time: the engine runs smoothly, we gain new customers and maintain the existing stock; we undertake fine-tuning, try to improve product features, marketing and operations on an ongoing basis; and we control our vehicle, have to decide if and when a course correction might have occurred.

Balance challenges

The challenge for an entrepreneur is to bring all these activities together and balance them. The smallest startup also faces the difficult task of supporting the existing customers technically and at the same time bringing innovations to the market.

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Self-established Company are confronted with the need to invest in innovation so as not to be obsolete. What changes in the growth phase is the mix of these activities in the work portfolio of a company.

Entrepreneurship is management. But imagine a modern mana ger who has been entrusted with the task of incorporating a new product into the existing structures of an established company.

"We have achieved nothing"

Maybe after a year he will step in front of his CFO and confess: “Unfortunately, we have not achieved the growth targets we forecast. We have almost no new customers and sources of income. Nevertheless, we have learned a lot and are on the threshold of a groundbreaking new business. All we need is another year. ”

As a rule, this would be the last report that an intrapreneur reimburses to his employer. The inability to present concrete results is usually attributed by the management to unreliable planning or poor implementation.

The road to fame and wealth

Both of these are among the most serious failings, but in today's economy, precisely these stumbling blocks pave the way for fame and wealth to new product development.

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The LeanStartup movement takes into account that even these in-house innovators are among the entrepreneurs and that entrepreneurial thinking and acting management can contribute to their success.

5 Principles of the Lean Startup Method

I have up Best of HR – Berufebilder.de® written numerous contributions to the structure and functioning of a lean start-up. Now it's time to review the five principles that underlie the Lean Startup Method.

1. Entrepreneurs are everywhere

You don't have to start your business in a garage. The term entrepreneur applies to everyone who works in a “startup”. I understand this to be a human form of organization that aims to create new, innovative products and services under extremely uncertain conditions.

This means entrepreneurs can be found everywhere and the Lean startup approach also works within an established company, regardless of size, sector or industry.

2. Entrepreneurship is management

A startup is not just a product, but an organization and therefore requires leadership skills that are tailored to the context of extreme uncertainty. The term “entrepreneur” should be introduced as a job title in all modern companies whose future growth depends on their innovative strength.

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3. Valid learning processes

Startups do not just exist to make products, make money, or satisfy customer needs. Their real purpose is to learn how to build a viable business model.

These learning processes can be validated by ongoing experiments that help entrepreneurs verify each element of their business vision.

4. Build-measure-learn

The basic activity of a start-up is to transform ideas into products, measure customer responses, and learn whether the path should be continued or require adjustments.

All successful startup processes should be designed to accelerate this feedback loop.

5. innovation balance

In order to improve the results of the start-up activities and to promote the self-responsibility of the entrepreneurs, we must focus on the boring mud: measuring success, setting up milestones as landmarks, assigning tasks to the respective priorities.

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This requires startups and the people to whom they are accountable, a new way to keep track of the debit and credit book.


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  1. Lean despite growth: company organization for successful startups »t3n

    [...] many startups capitulate to management tasks. According to Ries, they don't even try to direct their company - according to the motto: It'll work out somehow. Thereby [...]

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