What is Lean Startup Methodology? Understanding the basics

Sanchit MalikStartup Basics2 Comments

Lean Startup methodology is something which has become really popular in the startup community. Thanks to Eric Ries who coined this methodology.

I am going to share few of my learnings from this methodology and some of the methods which I experimented at my work which turned out to be successful.

Let me give you an example:

Say I have a product idea which I think can be a big hit and I want to launch it as soon as possible in my potential target audience.

I work really hard on that product for 6 months, make it bug free and I launch it after 6 months.

Today is the launch day and I am really excited about the launch of my product. As soon as I launch my product, I try to sell it to my potential customers. But, I don’t see the curiosity to use the product for 1st two weeks. The time goes on and I realise that there’s actually no need of that product in my target audience.

In fact, after talking to my customers I realise if I would have build the product in a different way it would have worked. I feel sad that I spent so many months working on the product whose need wasn’t even there.

What were the crucial mistakes I did while launching this product?

– I worked whole heartedly on my product for 6 months and assumed on my own that there’s a need for that product.
– I was scared to launch my product in the initial stage as I wanted it to be bug free and perfect enough for the launch.

What happened in the end?

I wasted my 6 months and the results were nothing . Hard work went in the void.

How could I have avoided this mistake?

I should have launched a basic preliminary version within a month and then should have tried to sell the product concept at least even though it was not error free. Atleast I would have come to know if the product was of any use for the customers and then I could have worked on enhancing the features of the product based on the customer feedback.

So the method Build -> Measure -> Learn -> Build -> Measure……

is called Lean Startup Methodology.

The best real life example of Lean Startup has been of Zappos (acquired by Amazon) Founder.

He had a hypothesis that there’s a need of having an online store for shoes. He started with a small experiment. He started asking local shoe vendors if he could take pictures of their inventory. In exchange for permission to take the pictures, he would post the pictures online and come back to buy the shoes at full price if a customer bought them online.

There was a demand and people started buying from him and while selling shoes online he figured out how to manage inventory, how to build a better site, how to market the site and much more.

Most of the entrepreneurs would have thought about inventory management, margins etc. But he was the one who cracked it and sold it for 1B$ to Amazon.

This is nothing but Lean startup Methodology.

-> The products a startup builds are really experiments.
-> The Learning about how to build a sustainable business is the outcome of those experiments.

The lean startup methodology is an ideal methodology which gives you a framework to build your product and sell it in the right way after understanding your customer needs.

Even if you are a first time entrepreneur, if you do in the right way, you can definitely achieve your goals.

I would highly recommend reading the book Lean Startup if you are an entrepreneur or you plan to become one.

Here’s the book link:

The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses

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