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The Lean Startup Hardcover – 15 Oct 2011

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group, Division of Random House Inc (15 Oct. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780307887894
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307887894
  • ASIN: 0307887898
  • Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 2.9 x 21.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 159,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Every so often a business book comes along that changes how we think about innovation and entrepreneurship. The Lean Startup has the chops to join this exalted company. (Philip Delves Broughton Financial Times)

Mandatory reading for entrepreneurs... loaded with fascinating stories and practical principles (Dan Heath, coauthor of Switch and Made to Stick)

If you are an entrepreneur, read this book. If you are thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, read this book. If you are just curious about entrepreneurship, read this book. (Randy Komisar, founding director of TiVo)

The Lean Startup will change the way we think about entrepreneurship (Tom Eisenmann, Professor of Entrepreneurship, Harvard Business School)

Eric Ries has created a science where previously there was only art. A must-read for every serious entrepreneur - and every manager interested in innovation (Marc Andreessen, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz, Opsware, and Netscape)

I know of no better guide to improve the odds of a startup's success' (Mitchell Kapor, Founder, Lotus Development Corp)

This book is the guided tour of the key innovative practices used inside Google, Toyota, and Facebook, that work in any business (Scott Cook, Founder and Chairman, Intuit) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Eric Ries is an entrepreneur and author of the blog Startup Lessons Learned. He co-founded and served as CTO of IMVU, his third startup. He is a frequent speaker at business events, has advised a number of startups, large companies, and venture capital firms on business and product strategy, and is an entrepreneur-in-residence at Harvard Business School. He lives in San Francisco. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Andrew on 12 Oct. 2011
Format: Paperback
If many more European start-up founders had read this book we might have more successful start-ups. That said, as of 2011 we ARE beginning to get a lot of more switched on, more product focused entrepreneurs starting companies. That can only be good.

I would recommend without question, reading this book. Many of the recommendations inside are ones I have learned the hard way; but even having said this, the urge for any engineer remains to build functionality and that is a dangerous route if you don't know what your customer or user wants.

Based upon the premise of "assumptions" that we all make, this book gives a convincing -and in my view correct- case for finding ways to prove your assumptions before you build a real product - by hook or by crook. That might mean a skeleton site, a video, a very basic minimum product.

Whether you are running a start-up in a corporate as a division or a traditional bootstrap in a garage, I challenge you not to find some value in this book if you are an early stage company which has not already burnt it's way through all it's money. Read this book before you do and build the right thing, not the wrong thing, for your users or customers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Matt D Whetton on 14 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback
I finished reading this book a couple of weeks ago and have to say for the most part I really enjoyed it. This was really my introduction to the whole lean start-up movement, and it has definitely strongly influenced how I'll look at developing products in the future.

The Good

The book is full of interesting anecdotes and stories from Ries experience and research that are mostly provided to support his case that the lean start-up is the way to go. They are combined with practical advice on how to tackle innovation, and what it really means. There are some great phrases that will stay with me for a long time - like (and I'm paraphrasing) "if you put a product out there to see what happens you will always succeed, in see how it does". It really highlights that in order to decide whether something is a success, it has to be able to fail - i.e. have something measurable that says whether it succeeds or fails. All in all the concepts behind a large portion of the lean startup are really great, and make a lot of sense.

The Bad

On the down side I found the book to be a little unstructured and with too much sales pitch for me. I bought the book because I'd heard about the lean startup movement and really wanted to get an understanding of the core principles and how they fit together. What I found was that a large portion of the book was selling the concepts to me - I actually find this with a lot of books - I think its where an author is trying to validate their theories. For me I was sold on a lot of theories early on, and found some of the sales pitch bits a little annoying. I also found that whilst it filled my head with great ideas, I came away struggling to put it all together into something that's actionable.
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Format: Paperback
I selected this observation by Drucker (1963) because it continues to suggest caution when deciding what to do, how and when to do it, etc. Michael Porter also offers a helpful reminder: "The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do." This is especially true of those who are either planning to launch a start-up or have only recently done so. Given the number of Four and Five Star reviews of this book featured by Amazon as of this moment (136 of a total of 153), Eric Ries has clearly attracted and rewarded the attention of those who share his determination to "improve the success rate of new innovative products worldwide." He offers a method by which to achieve that objective, based on five separate but interdependent principles best revealed within the book's narrative, in context.

Ries suggests two primary reasons for the failure of most startups. One is trusting indicators of likely success that are either inappropriate or unreliable such as a good business plan, a solid strategy, and thorough market research. A startup is by nature and unknown quantity, Ries points out, as are its prospects. Also, many entrepreneurs and their investors become impatient, then frustrated, and abandon traditional management practices. I agree with him that all startups must be managed and only those that are managed well have a chance to survive. It is also important to keep in mind that, at one time, each of the "Fortune 500" was a startup, launched by one or more entrepreneurs who would not be denied.

Credit Ries with pursuing what Jim Collins and Jerry Porras characterize in Built to Last as a Big Hairy Audacious Goal or BHAG: To provide "a new discipline for entrepreneurial management" that takes into full account "the chaos and uncertainty that startups must face...
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Robert Edgar on 24 July 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recently bought The Lean StartUp by Eric Ries shortly after reading The StartUp Owner's Manual by Steve Blank and Bob Dorf which was absolutely excellent. By comparison the Lean StartUp was very disappointing and too much emphasis on anecdotes and past successes / failures and not enough on the future. Reads like a novel and I could not recommend it unfortunately. His videos were much better - free on YouTube.
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