Our goal is to help entrepreneurs apply lean startup. To do so, let’s take a quick step back and make sure we’re starting from a common point.
The lean in lean startup does not mean small startup, or a startup with no money or no vision.
It comes from lean manufacturing as represented by the Toyota Production System. Basically, lean manufacturing is about optimizing efficiency in all value-added activities and minimizing or eliminating all non-value-added activities, where value added means providing value to customers. Customers include both the final user of the product and internal customers who link activities through the lifecycle of product development and delivery.28
Critically, optimization that adversely affects value being provided is not lean. Also inherent in the Toyota Production System is the concept of continuous learning and continuous improvement.
Many discussions about lean fail to capture several key points:
It’s interesting that, whereas most lean discussion and implementation focuses on product development processes (manufacturing, for example), if you look at the product from the customer’s point of view, they couldn’t care less about the product development process. Hopefully the customer’s ...