Lean Startup™ is a mindset: the elimination of waste in the discovery and creation of new value. Its application evolves with your idea. At the beginning of your innovation effort, you are very likely wrong about your assumptions, and what you believe to be true is probably false. Executing on false assumptions is the epitome of waste.
“Eliminating waste” sounds like a reasonable enough idea. Understanding customers, testing assumptiogns, and using evidence to make decisions all sound pretty straightforward. Completing the lean startup exercises in this book, documenting assumptions on sticky notes, and even conducting viability tests sound pretty easy.
Lean Startup is hard.
Once you get the mindset, you will understand how to apply your own version of lean startup to any endeavor that faces uncertainty.
The trick to success is separating what is known from what is not known. Known has been validated in the market; unknown hasn’t. When something is known, you optimize its execution. In an existing market, you may truly know how to market and sell products. You can document the process. You can teach it to others. You can manage the execution of the process.
You can’t simply execute in the unknown. Or you can, but it means you’ve got one shot to get it right. So, what are some examples of “known”?