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

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Crowd-Funding Test

Although some entrepreneurs spend three months writing business plans for their gadgets, others make a product video and seek funding on Kickstarter. Kickstarter and other crowd-funding sites are a highly disruptive force that allow entrepreneurs to test and validate product ideas very quickly, with little product development.

As of this writing, Kickstarter has led to the successful funding of over 24,000 projects, backed by 2 million people who contributed $250 millon.

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The Olloclip is one such example. The brainchild of Patrick O’Neill, the Olloclip is a pocket-sized, three-in-one lens you can quick-mount to your iPhone to dramatically improve photo quality. From the outset, O’Neill’s ambition was to get the lens into Apple’s retail stores, but that’s no small ambition.

“There’s so much you have to do: you’ve got to get the company set up, streamline production of your product, and be able to produce in mass quantities. Your packaging needs to be right. You have to get that developed and designed and manufactured and everything takes a long time. Everything takes longer than you would think and costs more, but you’ve got to do it right.”

So you can bet the farm on your idea or create prototypes on a 3D printer and launch a project on Kickstarter.

Thirteen hundred backers and 1,500 units later, they were in business. “That gave us 1,300 really enthusiastic, ...

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