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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb.
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...
Published on 12 Oct 2011 by Andrew

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Lean StartUp - Less is more sometimes...
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...
Published on 24 July 2012 by Robert Edgar


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Lean StartUp - Less is more sometimes..., 24 July 2012
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This review is from: The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses (Paperback)
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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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb., 12 Oct 2011
By 
Andrew "reviewer" (LONDON, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses (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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48 of 55 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Accelerate Learning Rather Than Just Executing the Original Business Plan, 13 Nov 2011
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses (Paperback)
"Now Moses wrote down the starting points of their journeys at the command of the LORD." - Numbers 33:2 (NKJV)

Having taught entrepreneurs for many years and studied many of the most successful ones, I am always struck by how differences in focus on learning seem to correlate with achieving more or less success. Those who believe that they just need to implement their business plan usually flop. Those, by contrast, who assume they don't know the "right" answer . . .but desperately want to find out . . . seem to do quite well.

My favorite saying about entrepreneurs is that their first business model is their worst one. Fail quickly, often, and inexpensively in seeking a better business model, and you will eventually find a profitable business model and offerings.

While this book covers lean operations as well as business model and offering development, I thought that its main value comes in the example of how a Web-based business should measure its performance and monitor how well potential improvements work out. If you have such a business, the book's contents are directly applicable by you.

If you want to apply the book's lessons to a different kind of business, you'll find the information here to be more difficult to apply.

I believe that this book will be most helpful to those who haven't tried to start a business before and are accustomed to making incremental improvements in existing, successful businesses.

If you already understand the importance of measuring performance in creating trial, turning trial into regular purchases, and regular purchases into loyalty to a product or service, you will probably wonder what all the fuss is about. In that regard, pay attention to Mr. Ries' ideas about how minimal an offering you can put together to test.

The book's biggest drawback is that Mr. Ries doesn't give very many clues about what to test if the current program isn't working. As such, his approach lacks enough depth to totally guide a startup to success.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite fat for a lean book, 17 April 2013
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The content is good (great) - both thought-provoking and practically useful, but one gets the feeling that the author never uses ten words where twenty will suffice. The result is an overly wordy and slightly repetitive book - which is kind of ironic given the subject matter!
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Startups shouldn't have all the good ideas. Grown ups need them too., 7 Oct 2011
By 
M. Littlewood - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses (Paperback)
Eric Ries is an extraordinary entrepreneur. The innovative way in which he has launched The Lean Startup itself is testament to his incredible creativity and energy.

Anyone, whether they are in technology or any other sector, who is involved in product development, should read this book, make sure that everyone in their team has read this book and then argued over a beer about whether it applies to them. Not everyone will agree with everything he says, no doubt some people will think they know better, good luck to them.

Some people will rail against the use of terms like, 'Pivot', that Eric uses to describe the (entirely rational) process of discovering the market for a startup. Pivot runs the risk of being the most misunderstood and overused term in startup land as it has become a euphemisim for all sorts of things including, 'failed', 'given up' or 'lost interest'. It is hardly Eric's fault however that he has created and popularised a concept that powerful.

Having been involved in successful and unsuccessful startups, and unsuccessful projects in large corporations, Eric has invested an obscene amount of his time and effort into working out why there is so much wasted effort in product development. More importantly, he has come up with a very plausible hypothesis for a better way of doing things better. Measurably better.

I do have a big problem with this book and some of the language in it.

To quote Eric Ries, "So here's my definition of a startup. A human institution designed to create something new under conditions of extreme uncertainity. And, of course, the importance of disruptive innovation in creating something that is truly different than what came before."

For my money, that is not the definition of a startup. That is the definition of an inventor, an innovator, a startup, any business unit, product management team or organisation in the world.

Why not apply that definition to another entity?

"So here's my definition of Apple. A human institution designed to create something new under conditions of extreme uncertainity. And, of course, the importance of disruptive innovation in creating something that is truly different than what came before."

Apple is the largest corporation in the world. Doesn't the definition apply equally well?

And that is the essence of my problem with this book. It is keeping some extraordinary insights into how you can make things that people love in the world of startups. Grownups need to read this. They might sneer at the concept of a pivot, it is an overused term. I can't think of a single organisation that wouldn't benefit from the concept of minimum viable product though. The world would be a better place if big corporations understood this. They will waste less money making stuff people don't want.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very Over-Rated, 25 April 2013
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This review is from: The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses (Paperback)
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. If you are thinking of setting up a new business in a more traditional line of business and you are based in somewhere like Truro or Bradford or Edinburgh in the UK, you will find this book of limited use.

Be aware that it is full of Americanisms and Silicon Valley-speak. To be honest this book really is not much use if you are thinking of setting up any business other than an IT/software product or service.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Practical with lot of examples, 11 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses (Paperback)
Lotan of Common Sense guidelines and Real life examples makes It easier to test and apply The book. Recommended for anyone interested to get new ideas on ways of working
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars awesome read, 3 Jan 2014
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Slightly drawn out but packed with valuable content that shoul be applied to all start ups. A bible for entrepreneurs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE book for entrepreneurs!, 2 Sep 2013
I can’t remember what prompted me to buy this book, but I’m glad I did. The Lean Startup framework has been built on the solid foundations of lean manufacturing and agile development, and applied to an entrepreneurial environment. But I’m no budding entrepreneur; I have no ambitions of starting my own company. My interest is in how this philosophy of lean entrepreneurship and innovation applies to what the author terms “established companies”. And it does. His suggestions on creating innovation groups, essentially mini-startup companies within an existing organisation are invaluable for anyone interested in product development. And for those wanting to start up their own company – don’t. Not until you’ve read this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great concept, good book but too much sales pitch, 14 Nov 2012
This review is from: The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses (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. Since reading this book I've started reading Running Lean by Asha Maurya which provides a much more practical approach to teaching some of these principles.

I also have a pet gripe with one of the underpinning facets of the lean startup movement - that is this influence and constant reference to Toyota's approach! I've really read so much about Toyota and thoroughly agree with the sentiment that they have been incredibly innovative in approach - I'm a huge fan (my brother even works there)!! But I've also seen several movements that try to piggy back on the Toyota approach, and interpret each of there principles in different ways. for example I've seen different companies interpret the `single piece flow' concept into entirely different things. I feel like the lean startup movement started with some truly innovative concepts of their own such as the minimum viable product, and proceeded to `flesh out' the theories with those borrowed from Toyota. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, and I may change my opinion, but for now I'm not a fan of this!

In The End

Although I have just ranted about the down side of the book and concept, I feel that there is far more good than bad about the whole movement. After reading this and doing some further research, I definitely consider myself a proponent of the movement - and I think the whole thing really makes sense, especially if you enjoy continuous integration / deployment / delivery.

Really enjoyed this book, and it has definitely changed my approach. Small gripes but nothing too much.
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