Google Hangout calledToday at noon, Google For Entrepreneurs will host a "Lean Startup meets Design Thinking". They asked Eric Ries, founder of the Lean Startup, for his top tips on being a lean entrepreneur…
One: Recognise that everything you do in a start-up is an experiment
When you’re building something new, you don’t know if it will work or what will happen in the future. Of course, entrepreneurs have a vision about the future – and that’s great, you want to have that conviction. But let’s not be confused: A conviction is not a fact, it’s a hypothesis. So anything we do to bring that conviction into reality is an experiment. With Lean Startup we advocate taking a more scientific approach to entrepreneurship, asking the question, “What’s the best experiment I can design for my product?”
The classic start-up intuition is, “Okay, I should spend two or three years in my basement, by myself, making my product perfect, and then launch it with great fanfare on an unsuspecting world.” That is an experiment.
It’s a valid experiment and you will learn a lot from it; for example, the day after your launch you will learn whether people are interested in buying your product or not. So if your goal was to learn whether people want this product, is this really the best experiment you could run?
That’s where the concept of a ‘minimum viable product’ comes in. Is there a smaller, easier, cheaper experiment I could do that would give me the same learning? Everything in Lean Startup stems from that basic question: How do I find out the things I really need to know – what we call the ‘leap of faith assumptions’ – the things that have to be true for my business plan to become a reality? How do I test those things quickly and easily instead of painfully and publicly? That is the core of what we try to teach.