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Tech Bites Book #1: The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

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How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses.

Ries shows us how to cut through the fog of uncertainty that surrounds startups. His approach is rigorous; his prescriptions are practical and proven in the field. The Lean Startup will change the way we think about entrepreneurship.  As startup success rates improve, it could do more to boost global economic growth than any management book written in years

Tom Eisenmann, Professor of Entrepreneurship, Harvard Business School

What

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

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 an age when companies need to innovate more than ever.

Who

Eric Ries is an entrepreneur and author of the popular blog Startup Lessons Learned. While an undergraduate at Yale University, he co-founded Catalyst Recruiting. Although Catalyst folded with the dot-com crash, Ries continued his entrepreneurial career as a Senior Software Engineer at There.com, leading efforts in agile software development and user-generated content. 

He co-founded and served as CTO of IMVU, his third startup, and is happy to admit that he has had many startup failures along the way. He now provides precious counsel to a number of startups, large companies, and venture capital firms on business and product strategy. Since 2010 he has been an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Harvard Business School. In 2015, Ries began organizing The Long-Term Stock Exchange (LTSE), which is building a new U.S. stock exchange that aims to align the interests of companies and long-term investors and improve the public company experience.

Why

The Lean Startup is one of the core business books that revolutionised the business startup environment. Eric Ries stripped everything down to the core basic principles of being lean, and agile in response to customer feedback. While Ries’s approach of stripping everything to its core principles is not a novel one, it is collated and distilled in a very dynamic, while at the same time clearly structured manner. Ries really focuses on the technology industry throughout the book but his ideology is applicable to all sectors.

Even though The Lean Startup is full of information, Ries is also able to inspire as he dares you to challenge everything and rationalise with customer validation that your vision is viable and scalable.

Top takeaways

  • Anyone interested in startups (especially in the tech sector) must give this book a read;
  • This book is ideal for those seeking to optimise current product development efforts in an established business;
  • Learn from Ries’s failures: he accepts them rather than hiding away from them so that the reader can learn from his experiences.

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