Lean startup: understand what it is and how to apply the concept

Lean Startup is an approach for you to build a new business based on the belief that entrepreneurs must investigate, experiment, test and interact while they develop products.

This approach has been getting popular insofar as organizations understand the importance of innovating and, at the same time, delivering products and services in a timely manner.

Through this article, you will understand the concept of Lean Startup and also have some tips to implement it in your business. Check it out!

What is a Lean Startup?

The concept of Lean Startup came up in the beginning of 2000 and it evolved into a method in 2010. It was developed by Steve Blank and Eric Ries, entrepreneurs of the Silicon Valley.

The ideas of this approach go against the old principles used by entrepreneurs when they were launching a new product or service.

Traditionally, they developed a business plan which was used to raise funds to finance the activities involving the creation of products or services. Everything was developed in a furtive way in which ideas were kept from everyone’s eyes – only employees and investors had access to them.

Model-based testing

In Lean Startup, entrepreneurs must seek for a business model and test their ideas out. At the same time, they must use the feedback from their customers in order to make the necessary changes.

Continuous involvement

This approach also includes entrepreneurs getting continuously involved in the activity loop of exploring and developing hypothesis which are tested out by customers so that they can get feedback. This is also known as validated learning. Thus, they use these feedbacks to redesign their products.

Interaction and agility

The concept of Lean Startup also defends interactive or agile development, which are concepts that were adapted from the software development world. A lean startup will quickly build a prototype and put it into the market so that it can evaluate the success of the product without spending unnecessary resources. Besides, it will use the data generated by the first marketing tests to influence the next creation stage. In a lean production, this approach is called Kaizen. In programming, it is called Agile.

Minimum Viable Product

In addition to that, the Lean Startup methodology requires entrepreneurs to develop a minimum viable product, or MVP, which can be tested. This makes it easier to adjust products in accordance with the feedbacks from customers. It will effectively make the process quicker and reduce the costs of each great interaction.

How to apply the Lean Startup approach onto your company

The Lean Startup methodology is a widely used approach as far as innovation efforts are concerned, specially in companies of the so called “new economy” (startups, for instance), and it can be used in projects and even in consolidated business models. For that to happen, it is necessary to make some adjustments.

Generally speaking, these are the basic points to be observed:

  1. understand what the problem/challenge is and define the solution to it: go beyond suppositions so that you can get to an efficient resolution. Invariably, customers/users are individuals who know how to point out aspects that can be improved;
  2. create an MVP: develop a product with a minimum set of necessary resources for it to serve as a prototype and to help you test possibilities out;
  3. experiment and measure: carry out tests while you are developing the product or service. By testing the parts out, you make it possible to move forward and get to a satisfactory result before the end of the project.

Now that you can understand what Lean Startup is and you can see how to apply this method, check how much it costs to make an innovation project viable!


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