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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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Lean into It: The Lean Startup Culture

Arguably, whether you are launching your own startup or trying to create an internal startup in a big business, it’s the culture that will dictate success. Culture doesn’t mean that your offices are in an up-and-coming neighborhood, on the wrong side of the tracks in a cool 100-year-old building that was once the home of architects, with a retractable roof, Nerf guns strewn about, free soda and beer, and weekly Halo network gaming competitions. (Of course, you can have all that if you want and if you do, we’d certainly appreciate an invite.)

Culture does mean that you create an environment that reinforces your values and aligns the company toward achieving your vision. It does mean that you create proximity to your customer as part of the fundamental DNA.

There is no defined lean startup culture. We identify a few core philosophies and then recommend other factors you should consider implementing. First, be a learning organization.

Sounds easy, but it is more difficult in practice. Somehow the Myth of the Visionary and the concomitant Eureka! moment are so ingrained in our culture that many entrepreneurs and business leaders believe their visionary abilities apply even to the most minor tactical decisions. All those we consider great visionaries, however, learned their way toward achieving change. They made mistakes, they reacted to the market, and more often than not they performed multiple business-model pivots.

A learning organization puts ...

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