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The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses Paperback – 6 Oct 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Penguin (6 Oct. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670921602
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670921607
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.4 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

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)

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.


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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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6 of 6 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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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Neil Asher on 7 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I come from an direct mail and affiliate marketing background, our normal MO is to sell other peoples products, usually those products have gotten to market and have already established they work from a product to customer fit point of view.

We continually test new products and marketing strategies to see what works, and as a direct response marketer we build our fortunes (or lack of) on testing what sells and what does not, otherwise known as what people want to buy.

For a better understanding of how to do this if you're not a tech start up in silicone valley try scientific advertising as a great starting point.

If you are a tech startup you'll love this book, it's probably aimed at you primarily.

If you have a regular business get this book the ideas that are presented are good and tried and tested by thousands of direct response marketers that tread this path every day.

It is (like this review) full of waffle, but the waffle gives it context and context aids understanding so that's alright.

So overall yes get the book, but, this is a poor imitation of a good book on this subject, start with the greats of direct response marketing and you'll truly get the idea.

Neil Asher
Roarlocal
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 25 April 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The first word that comes to mind to describe this book is "boring".

I cannot understand how it could have got so many 5 stars - people need to read more business books! If you want an excellent book on lean startups you MUST read The Startup Owner's Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company: 1 by Steve Blank. Do not waste your money on this book.

The book is nevertheless quite an interesting read in some parts, but unquestionably very over-rated and very padded out. The book may have something to offer about how to save time and costs when running a start up, but this has more to to with common sense than with the real concept of 'lean' as with 'lean manufacturing'.

Eric Ries tells us a lot about his experience as a CTO in a Silicon Valley startup and how they managed to dupe investors out of $millions before they all realised that to have a successful startup, you must start with the customer and try and define what customers' need or desire that you are going to satisfy. What Eric and his colleagues did was to essentially start by developing a very expensive Web product without really finding out if anyone actually wanted it. Anyone with any business education should have avoided the costly mistakes that they initially made. This book goes on to suggest various ways that could help you save time and money by not doing what they did. But, it is however very, very short on any detail.

The book is very much geared towards IT startups who lack the staff with a strong business education, particularly those IT startups who think they are going to be the next Facebook, or at least have $Ms to invest in the early stages.
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