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Publisher's Summary

Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable. The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched.

Eric Ries defines a startup as an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. This is just as true for one person in a garage or a group of seasoned professionals in a Fortune 500 boardroom. What they have in common is a mission to penetrate that fog of uncertainty to discover a successful path to a sustainable business.

The Lean Startup approach fosters companies that are both more capital efficient and that leverage human creativity more effectively. Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies on “validated learning”, rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counter-intuitive practices that shorten product-development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute.

Rather than wasting time creating elaborate business plans, The Lean Startup offers entrepreneurs - in companies of all sizes - a way to test their vision continuously, to adapt and adjust before it’s too late. Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups in a age when companies need to innovate more than ever.

©2011 Eric Ries (P)2011 Random House

What the critics say

"Eric has created a science where previously there was only art. A must read for every serious entrepreneur—and every manager interested in innovation." (Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, Opsware Inc., and Netscape)
"At Asana, we've been lucky to benefit from Eric's advice firsthand; this book will enable him to help many more entrepreneurs answer the tough questions about their business." (Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder of Facebook and Asana)
"In business, a ‘lean’ enterprise is sustainable efficiency in action. Eric Ries’ revolutionary Lean Startup method will help bring your new business idea to an end result that is successful and sustainable. You’ll find innovative steps and strategies for creating and managing your own startup while learning from the real-life successes and collapses of others. This book is a must read for entrepreneurs who are truly ready to start something great!” (Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager and The One Minute Entrepreneur.)

What listeners say about The Lean Startup

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a world class education for entrepreneurs.

its 2020 and this information is still ahead of it's time. this book teaches a framework for testing, tweaking and taking ideas to market with record timing and precision results.

3 people found this helpful

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An essential, but should have paid a voice actor

Pros
Good book to teach you the basics of some of the ways of thinking for current startups, especially in tech. Also helpful to understand some now widely used terms, like (mvp) minimum viable product.

Cons
The reading is fairly monotone and makes it hard to follow along at points. However, I find this is common for audiobooks.

3 people found this helpful

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Love it...

Super high level and though provoking. Gave me way.more context about what a lean startup is all about.

3 people found this helpful

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  • S2
  • 2020-12-18

Really nerdy, dry, monotone boring voice

The content has some good tips for people who are totally clueless about continuous improvement or how to facilitate needs reviews and build plus iterate per continuous customer feedback. I really hated listening to this guy’s voice and was grateful when the book finally ended. I just forced myself to push through all the contents as this book seems to be a classic. Was very difficult to pay attention to this almost monotone, extremely nerdy sounding boring voice. Lots of self-promotion.

1 person found this helpful

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Top Business Book for Software Orgs

This is probably the top SaaS book I've ever read. Does a great job of balancing applied and theory.

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Validation through structured innovation

Appreciate the ability to bring a measurable order to what is perceived as messy chaos. Many valuable lessons to apply how to get it right through many small changes, tests and progress checks.

Thanks. Already have some solid improvements

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Terrible ending

The content is good for the most part. There are good tips and ideas here, but lacks focus at the end and fails to tie things together in a coherent and useful way. Worth a listen but you can skip the last chapter or two and save yourself some time.

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good summary of lean startup.

it was an easy to understand guide to the start up market. the book was a bit repetitive.

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Practical

I really like the core idea of this book, and the author gives good suggestions of how to put it in practice. One of my favourites.

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Must read

If you are even remotely interested in starting your own company please consider this book mandatory reading. Highly, highly recommend.

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  • Jason Comely
  • 2013-02-19

Informative, mature but not original or essential

If you're coming out of high school and are scheming up your first (or maybe second) startup, then this is the book for you. You'll learn a lot.

On the other hand, if your a consultant, read business blogs and have launched a few products in your time, you probably won't learn much.

The narration is by the author, laid back but personable. He knows what he's talking about. He offers clarity and direction. The Lean Startup won't teach you everything, but if you are relatively new or confused, or perhaps discouraged by past failures, get this.

64 people found this helpful

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  • Razvan Rogoz
  • 2012-12-29

8:30 Hours On Validated Learning & System Thinking

This is not a bad book by any standart. It presents a very good framework for building a start-up (especially useful for tech start-ups) and it delivers exactly what it promises - the lean methodology to build a business.

This methodology is based on adding a new critical metric to your business, validated learning or seeing what works and what doesn't. It's the opposite of "build it and they'll come". Instead it's "build the minimum product, see if they come and then improve it based on what gets results".

Most entrepreneurs employ wishful thinking - hoping or feeling like the market has a moral obligation to buy what they've built just because they've bought it. In the lean start-up methodology you don't take any chances and you use only real world data to see if your idea will float or sink.

The only downsize to this book is that after 8 hours, I've got about 3 good ideas from it. Yes, three good ideas that I've applied both in my personal and professional life but nothing more nonetheless. This means at least for me that the book could have been shorter, maybe 50% of it's current lenght. There are a lot of examples and after a time you are in a position of "yes, I've got it, move on".

As far as my experience with Audible, again, it was an amazing one. Chapters are a little strange in this audiobook (I'm listening it on a SanDisk Sanza) but overall, it's an amazing book for results oriented people. The methodology here can be used both in a business and in your personal life, so don't shy away from this book even if it's designed for entrepreneurs.

And as far as the lenght, do as I do, sometimes play it on fast speed. The narator speaks rather slowly and clearly so I can understand it even on high speed.

28 people found this helpful

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  • cfpb
  • 2012-03-04

Some helpful tips, nothing mindblowing.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I don't think I would recommend this book to a friend. It's not bad, but its not groundbreaking or anything.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The most interesting aspect was the great tips Ries presents and even though they involve a tech company, they can be applied to any company. The least interesting part is the slow stories of his boring tech company.

Have you listened to any of Eric Ries’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not even heard of Eric Ries's before listening to his book. I have read

What did you take away from The Lean Startup that you can apply to your work?

Produce in small batches, test often using the right metrics, and make timely adjustments.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Taufiq
  • 2012-02-17

A great read!

Every entrepreneur should read this. If you are in the product development field this is a must read for you. Eric Ries explains the best practices of how to discover customers for your ideas, how to plan/test/release your products to market and when to pivot. A must read for every startup organization.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Zed
  • 2012-02-11

Great book, fascinating ideas

What did you love best about The Lean Startup?

Really enjoyed the content of the book. Exciting stuff. Can't wait to put what I learned here to use. The author (and narrator) was very good as well. Very well read.I ended up having to buy the book as well. While listening was nice, it was the sort of content that I really needed to think about and ponder. While I thought and pondered (ok, maybe daydreamed...), the book played on. I found myself having to stop, back up, and play stuff again a number of times. For content like this, I find that reading the book is necessary for it to sink in. Your mileage may vary. :)

26 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2011-10-23

What really counts in startup product development

This book makes you think about what is the minimum viable product you need to get your product started.

We waste so much effort on so many features but what is the absolute minimum and how do you validate it against your assumptions.

Makes you think about all the things you did in the past, was it really necessary to build all that ... hmmm...

8 people found this helpful

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  • Jess
  • 2012-01-23

Must read for any one contemplating a startup.

Would you listen to The Lean Startup again? Why?

So many minor but significant tips and tricks, it's hard to get it all in on the first listen.

What other book might you compare The Lean Startup to and why?

Listen to this after reading Getting Real by 37 Signals

Any additional comments?

The concepts outlined works best, if you operate in large markets where it take short amount of time to get a descent sample for your experiments.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Mukul Rao
  • 2018-01-30

Good content but really dry naration

This book was a great introduction to key concepts such as validated learning, MVP, the build measure learn loop etc. However, the narration is really monotonous. This made this book really hard to get through

2 people found this helpful

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  • Maxime
  • 2011-12-12

The simple and efficient way to get on the market!

What did you love best about The Lean Startup?

To me, the Lean Startup is about starting a business without having a complete product. I simply loved it even if for entrepreneurs like me, it's something hard to do. I always want it to be perfect but find out that I had problems in the past working too long on something that wasn't wanted.

Definitely cut corners and launch as soon as you can! Then, iterate often.

Have you listened to any of Eric Ries’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I listened to an interview on Mixergy and think it was also really interesting.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No

10 people found this helpful

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  • None of your damn business
  • 2012-03-23

Required reading for anyone who makes products

Would you consider the audio edition of The Lean Startup to be better than the print version?

I have a strong preference to Audiobooks, so I'm biased. They both have advantages, I'm sure. It helps that Ries performs his own words. Less gets lost in translation.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Not that kind of book. My favorite Anecdote is in the beginning where the executive team is actually spending time prototyping the business in the field to test their thinking. So much time gets wasted in meetings and 'brainstorming' when you can just go and ask people/test your ideas.

Have you listened to any of Eric Ries’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not really - this is the kind of book that you need to mull over. Listening to more than 30 minutes at a stretch makes it hard to digest all that's being said.

Any additional comments?

Its going to be a modern classic in terms of business books.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Louis
  • 2020-03-05

Lecture obligatoire mais approche criticable.

Étrange livre.

C'est un monument car il fait parti de la révolution de l'innovation du XXIème siècle et il argumente pour la maximisation d'acquisition de connaissance éprouvée plutôt que de la rentabilité ou l'efficacité. Au final, en maximisant le premier on espère maximiser indirectement les deux derniers de manière plus durable.

Et c'est ce concept de croissance durable qui est l'idée essentielle selon moi. Éviter de perdre du temps sur des tâches qui n'ont aucune valeure validé, apprendre grâce à de la méthode (pseudo)scientifique, se concentrer sur des métriques pertinentes : voilà quelques uns des piliers de ce livre.

Il mérite d'être lu, car je pense que tout résumer va forcément caricaturer le propos.

Alors pourquoi 3 étoiles seulement ?

Déjà parce que j'ai un problème avec le concept de base : que la lean start-up est la réponse à un environnement hautement imprévisible. La conséquence est que ce modèle permet de trouver une situation vivable pour votre entreprise, peu importe ce que vous faite. Et voilà les exemples de business qui sont décrits dans ce bouquin : rien de fondamentalement révolutionnaire ou important pour l'humanité. L'utilité de la start-up d'Eric Ries est même... pas franchement convainquante. En gros, cela semble super pour maximiser les profits et exploiter les faiblesses des utilisateurs mais cela ne représente en rien une méthode pour faire quelque chose de vraiment important et vraiment dur.

J'irai même plus loin. Le modèle lean-start-up va même vous obliger à vous concentrer sur des actions les plus simples possibles car le cycle de création est court.

En gros, vous ne revolutionnerait pas le monde avec ce modèle, par contre aussi pourri que votre idée soi à la base, vous pourrez en tirer le meilleur profit.

Et voilà, on ne fait pas Tesla, SpaceX out Paypal avec ce modèle. On fait Facebook ou Instagram. Les premiers apportent un vrai service à l'humanité. Les secondes utilisent les faiblesses de l'humanité pour leur profit.

Autre critique: tout ce chapitre sur les "5 why". En gros, pour trouver la cause d'un problème, demandez vous cinq fois pourquoi. Pourquoi cinq et pas quatre ou six ? Parce que yolo. Bref, cette méthode est critiqué et à juste titre (parce que poser 5 fois la questions peut entraîner des milliers de combinaisons toutes valables) et n'a rien à faire dans une approche scientifique. J'ai vraiment trouvé ça abusé de voir que c'était la méthode principale de résolution de crise chez Ries.

Insatisfaisant mais lecture obligatoire pour tout entrepreneur moderne.

1 person found this helpful