Origin of the Lean Startup
The concept of Lean Startup is based on Eric Ries, who wrote the book „The Lean Startup“. Ries describes what he has observed at various startups, how they proceed, and what he himself has incorporated into his startups. The basis of this approach, however, is a startup term, which differs greatly from the one used here. In his opinion, a startup is an organization that creates something new under uncertainty. Lean start-up theory is thus aimed at both young companies and already established companies, who have developed and launched a new product idea.
Elements of Lean Startup Theory
The Lean Startup approach is based on the Build Measure Learn cycle. The focus is on an interactive product launch followed by a short product development cycle. The central element is the customer feedback, which enables a measurable learning to the product and the customer requirements and market requirements. On the basis of these findings, product development can go into the next phase. The goal is to build up a successful company with as few capital and minimized processes as possible, or to launch a new product on the market. Beta versions or prototypes are developed, which are then further developed or modified according to the customer feedback. The costs incurred in this process are thus reduced to a minimum.
Success Factors of a Lean Startup
With the Lean Startup approach, founders can develop a functioning business model logically, quickly and user-oriented. However, they should consider some principles to keep the balance on the lean business path. One of the most important aspects concerns marketing. This means that potential users must be convinced of the respective product at an early stage, especially in order to reach the important customer feedback as quickly as possible. Since Lean startups are companies that create innovative products, new marketing measures should also be developed to underline the added value of their own product. Furthermore, founders should actually deal with every problem. Otherwise the lean startup would be ad absurdum. After all, only those who take account of the problems in product development and develop solutions for them has learning effects and can make progress. Even if the resources are scarce, Lean startups should not do without a corporate culture, because only with a healthy culture can a Lean startup be sustained in the long term. When selecting the employees, care should therefore always be taken as to whether they fit into the respective startup culture and integrate harmoniously into the team. In the Lean start-up, the user is king, because he decides how the business model’s validity is ordered. Founders should therefore precisely identify their users and beneficiaries. In addition, „Lean“ means not only to establish with few means, But to focus on the essentials – be it a specific product idea or a partial solution. It is important that the validation of the respective business model is beneficial.
Lean Canvas instead of Business Model Canvas
Even though Lean start-ups focus on learning-by-doing, it is necessary to present their own business ideas clearly. However, if the business model were squeezed into a 50-page business plan, it would be contrary to the basic idea of the Lean approach. Based on the business model canvas , a tool for visualizing a business model, Ash Maurya has developed a Lean Canvas specifically designed for lean startups. At Lean start-ups, the focus was on learning, but the Business Model Canvas would take this aspect too little into account. For this reason, aspects that are primarily important for already established companies have been replaced by those which are relevant for Lean startups. Thus, the component key activities,