O'Reilly logo

The Lean Entrepreneur: How Visionaries Create Products, Innovate with New Ventures, and Disrupt Markets by Eric Ries, Patrick Vlaskovits, Brant Cooper

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 8

The Valley of Death

image

The Valley of Death is where startups go to die.

You have a minimum viable product (MVP) and a little customer interest. Or you have an MVP you’ve been iterating for months and have customers, but no serious traction. Or you have a solid product some customers are passionate about but little organic growth. Or you have a pretty impressive number of paying customers, but can’t figure out how to find more. Or you’re growing and feel poised for a breakout, but your margins are virtually nonexistent and you are skating on the edge of insolvency.

Your viral coefficient is 0.42. You are officially a Minimum Viable Business (MVB).

If you’re on the disruptive side of the innovation spectrum, your death will be lonely, one of indifference as you wander aimlessly, unknown to your competition and customers. On the other hand, if your idea hews closer to the sustaining side of the innovation spectrum, your death will be instigated (and celebrated!) by your competition and perhaps even unknowingly facilitated by your anti-segments.

Nearly all startups can build product. This isn’t a problem. Founders fail to create enough value for customers; or they create value, but not for enough people; or they fail to truly understand the core value they provide and who might most benefit from it.

They don’t understand their must-have use case. Or they don’t understand how ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required