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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 9 May 2012
One of the things that strikes me about the book Running Lean is how practice almost all of the advice is. It's not a long book, but it gave me great breadth of knowledge in to the aspects of running a lean business. It's not a massive step from most of the good Toyota books on lean but it does have a different angle (more start-up company focused) and it does make many of the lean ideas easier to understand.

I really liked the way the author focused on the Lean Canvas idea for distilling and communicating ideas about your business. It sometimes felt overkill but overall it was useful and I've already seen some value from having a go at writing down my ideas.

The book also serves as a way of questioning your ideas about your business with particular respect to whether not you have an audience that will actually buy your products.

For example the author, Ash-Maurya, states:

"Failing to build a significant path to customers is among the top reasons why startups fail"

Throughout the book Ash talks a lot about finding the right audience and the right product - it's the basics of getting success in the market - but Ash also talks a lot about why it's important to only build the minimum to satisfy this audience and market needs.

There is some talk about work in progress, Kanban boards and daily flow, but not enough to make it worth buying this book just for those topics. Instead, this book takes a more holistic approach across many functions and elements of a business so it glances over many topics but does give a nice wide view of running a lean business.

There are some interesting work hacks (i.e. - how to get stuff done) in the book also but again, there are other books with more depth in time management, productivity and work ethics.

I don't believe this book is for those wanting a deep dive on certain areas of running a successful and lean business. Instead I believe it is for those who want an introduction and some techniques, tools and models to use to decide, plan and act on their business, and for this audience this book is very good indeed.

There are some interesting ideas and insights in to how to get continuous flow working in your business as well as ideas on how to ensure you're best prepared to ship software.

I really enjoyed this book but I think that if you read around lean anyway you will already have gained most of these insights. Saying that, the Lean Canvas is a neat tool for helping you think about and organise your thoughts around your business. It can certainly help you drive out the audience for your business and some of the ideas around what it is you are offering and for what price.

Overall a pretty good book. Very well written too and great for those who are thinking about heading down the lean route or are looking for ways to optimise their existing business, but too shallow for those who read around this topic in further detail.
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on 7 November 2014
I've read a lot in the area of tech startups, the lean startup and customer development in general and have to say that I'm a huge fan of this book, mostly because its extremely practical, and guides you through the whole process.

If you're looking for something that's heavy on the theoretical side of things then maybe this book isn't for you, but if you're after a practical step-by-step guide of approaching your startup using lean techniques then it doesnt get much better than this book.
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on 11 March 2012
Every startup has it's good and bad days. Question is, what to do, when you find that your initial idea is not quite as good as you expected it to be.

Ash tries to answer this question by providing clean path to the success. By describing various aspects of running project he will show you issues that are particularly worth addressing. I have to admit that Ash provides you with lots of valuable information regarding issues you will probably encounter during project.

Generally, problem with this kind of books is that evaluating provided solutions is very hard. You can't definitely tell that solution will work for you as well. In "Running Lean" you go through various aspects of running business with CloudFire project in a background - serving as example. Question is whether solutions good for CloudFire will be good for you?

One thing I definitely found interesting in the book was Lean canvas - variation on a Business Model Canvas. Comparing to Business Model Canvas it better fits small projects. In fact, Lean canvas can be applied not only to a whole project but to a single task as well. This is quite convenient if you want to describe the tasks before proceeding with solving it.

In general, I think this book addresses some general issues but covers topic too much narrow. It is hard to tell how it fits into general concepts of running projects if you don't have any other sources related to the topic at your bookshelf.
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on 10 November 2014
This is a great book written by Ash, one of the leading exponents of Lean Startups.

He takes the Lean concepts and shows how businesses need to achieve Problem / Solution fit and then Product / Market fit before they can go for Scale.

He introduces a template called the Lean Canvas which I have used myself a number of times - which is incredibly useful for getting entrepreneurs to focus on the key things they need to have answered before starting on building a product.

A great book and well worth the read
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on 24 February 2013
It is the first book I will suggest for people who want to understand Customer Development (Lean Startup). The reason it's that it is practical. The second is that it's really practical.
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on 8 November 2014
It will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with Ash Maurya's writing that this book is distinguished by a remarkably readable and wholly practical approach. He offers a systematic, straightforward roadmap for testing your way to a successful business model.

The concepts are too good to be restricted to start-ups: many of the principles are equally relevant for well established organisations that need to develop greater clarity around their value proposition, their offering and their go-to-market model.
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on 1 March 2012
As someone whom recently lost their job in a callcenter and had no real aim in life aside from avoiding the similar line of work again, I started to look into becoming my own boss. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do, but no real idea about how to put it into practice. The demotivation of being unemployed didn't help.
A friend then pointed towards Running Lean as a roadmap to follow, and although I still haven't launched yet, it's certainly helped me with getting towards that point and will almost certainly help well beyond it too.
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on 14 December 2015
inspiring. extremely well written. very very pragmatic. so clear that the author has actually "walked the talk". a must read for startuppers and wannabe. a very good read for technology managers in big companies, too
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on 8 November 2014
Most good books on marketing have good ideas, but this book gives you a practical guide on how to implement them.

The advice contained within this manual is also very useful for an established business to get to understand their business model. Once you understand why your business exists from the model, it will make growing your business 10x easier, as well as focusing your mind on keeping the business going during difficult trading conditions.
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on 19 November 2014
This book is packed full of practical advice and considering how easy it is to read I always recommend it to people thinking about setting up a start up or testing out new product ideas in big corporations.

There is no doubt in my mind that virtually everyone will save more money from the practical tips in this book than the cost of the book itself.
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