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Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster (Lean (O'Reilly)) Hardcover – 21 Mar 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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  • Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster (Lean (O'Reilly))
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  • Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works (Lean (O'Reilly))
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  • The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 440 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (21 Mar. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449335675
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449335670
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Alistair Croll has been an entrepreneur, author, and public speaker for nearly 20 years. He’s worked on a variety of topics, from web performance, to big data, to cloud computing, to startups, in that time.
In 2001, he co-founded web performance startup Coradiant, and since that time has also launched Rednod, CloudOps, Bitcurrent, Year One Labs, the Bitnorth conference, the International Startup Festival and several other early-stage companies.
Alistair is the author of three books on web performance, analytics, and IT operations, including "Lean Analytics" http://leananalyticsbook.com/, a book on using data to build a better business faster that's due out in March from O'Reilly Media. He lives in Montreal, Canada and tries to mitigate chronic ADD by writing about far too many things at "Solve For Interesting": http://www.solveforinteresting.com. Alistair chairs O'Reilly's Strata Conference.

Benjamin Yoskovitz is a serial entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience in web businesses. The co-founder of Standout Jobs and Year One Labs, he is also an active mentor to numerous startups and startup accelerators. Ben is the author of "Instigator Blog" (instigatorblog.com), and regularly speaks at startup conferences. He's currently VP Product at GoInstant, which was acquired by Salesforce in 2012.


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Format: Kindle Edition
Lean Analytics is a practical guide and checklist for developing a high-growth start-up. The authors' main premise is that you should find a single meaningful metric, and then run experiments to improve it until this KPI is good enough to move to the next problem (of the next stage) of your business.

The book divides into two halves. The first section guides you in working out what you should be doing - there's even a useful chapter on deciding what to do with your life and whether you'll actually enjoy doing what you're proposing. It encourages you to have clear goals, experiment, and move through build->measure->learn cycle as quickly and frequently as possible
The Lean Analytics part is about picking a number, setting it as the target, and having enough confidence that if you hit it then you consider it a success.

The second half of the book maps things into six (mainly) Internet-based business models and five stages of maturity within those models. It argues that a combination of the model and the stage of maturity determines which metric you should be focused on. This section is less successful than the first because it offers a fleeting, high-level overview which means that you'll need to get detailed information from somewhere else (however, if it had gone into detail then we'd have a 1000+ page tome, with most sections irrelevant to the majority of readers).

Most of us are not going to build a high growth start-up, let alone an Internet start-up. Maybe you'll be building-up a small service business? There are enough good ideas, structure and discipline, and collective wisdom to make reading this book well worth your while.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Clash have a brilliant song called `Should I stay or should I go'. I don't know what the lyrics exactly refer to but it is a question most startup entrepreneurs probably ask themselves at some point. I regularly meet startups who are torn between `banging your head against a brick wall' and `doing everything you can to run through a brick wall' to use two popular analogies. Lean Startup and now Lean Analytics can provide an answer to manage the balancing act of giving everything you can without chasing a lost cause.

Running Lean by Ash Maurya is the first in the O'Reilly Lean Startup Series. It is brilliant. Lean Analytics by Alistair Croll and Benjamin Yoskovitz is the second in the series. It is equally brilliant. It is comprehensive and it should change how you do business in your startup. Eric Ries writes a wonderful Foreword to Lean Analytics which he describes as moving beyond the Lean Startup bumper stickers and diving deep into the details of innovation accounting thereby avoiding the perils of vanity metrics. He concludes that the book is a `guide for all practitioners who seek new sources of growth'. I believe that `measuring what you do is critical to achieving success in a new business venture' - this book will help you to figure out what you should be measuring by helping you to ask the most important questions and get clear answers quickly. It is critically important that you can firstly measure your progress and communicate that with your internal and external team.

The Preface explains that Lean Startup helps you identify the riskiest parts of your business plan, then finds ways to reduce those risks in a quick, iterative cycle of learning. Most of its insights boil down to one sentence: Don't sell what you make; make what you can sell.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is quite a long book. I think it's excellent, and a natural follow-on to The Lean Start Up, which I'd also rate 5/5. I've just finished it. Here is what I can remember:

It lists the different types of (mainly software) companies: e-commerce; Software as a Service, free mobile app, media site, user-generated content, 2-sided marketplace.

A start-up company goes through 5 stages of growth: Empathy - listening to the customer to learn whether you've got a business or not; Stickiness - making sure you have a product that users will come back to, one that is "sticky", by iterating; Virality - once you've got a sticky product, and not before, think about getting more users. Virality can be inherent, artificial and/or word of mouth. Next, is Revenue, when you start to really concentrate on making money (before, you were getting the product and market fit right); Scale - growing the business.

What is also very useful, and most apt for the title of the book, is knowing what is a good metric. There are lines in the sand for all the business types, and the different growth stages. These can help you know when to move to the next stage, or even whether to pivot, and change company type.

I'm going to read it again, faster this time, and make notes. I think it's well worth a second read.
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By TechKing HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on 27 Jun. 2016
Format: Hardcover
The goal of the book is to help you, as a startup, understand what types of analytics you should incorporate so as to run a more effective business, in keeping with the ideas of a Lean Startup. The author should have taken their own advice and kept it there. On top of that the book tries to solve everything, ranging from how to categorize the growth phase of your company, what analytics are appropriate for various types of companies (mobile apps versus SaaS e.g.), and even how to operate within enterprises. To me, this takes the authors well out of their core area of expertise, rendering some of the chapters almost useless.If the authors had focused on that core area and gone into more depth the book would have been great. But by spreading so thin and across so many areas, the book goes well away from the author's core strengths.
Sections of the book are quite good... looking at some lightweight case studies of startups and the analytics they used to navigate muddy waters. As a result, although the core information can be quite interesting, I would have been a lot happier with the book if it reduced its scope and went more into depth just into analytics, with more information in the case studies, and more examples of actual data to look at and suggestions on how to avoid false metrics. In fact, these topics, discussed at the beginning of the book, were the best sections -- what the authors call vanity metrics.

Altogether, I'd read other books instead of this one: Web Analytics 2.0 does a much better job of covering analytics methodologies and techniques; Lean Startup gives a better overview of the Lean approach; Innovator's Dilemma is a much better look at how to think through startup issues.
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