“The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries is a brilliant and insightful look into the world of startups that will change the way you approach your business and products. How can you do it? By implementing the manufacturing strategy.
Lean methodology comes from Toyota’s lean manufacturing. It is a strategy, which can be summed up in 3 words: create – measure – learn (repeat). In this process you have to make many experiments, before you lunch some product or functionality. At the beginning you create MVP (minimum viable product) for your first potential customer. You check the reaction, collect feedback and build additional features. That will save you a lot of time and money. How? By effectively managing available resources. Don’t create full product before knowing customers need. You may ask: why should I apply such a strategy? Because as a startup you don’t have enough answers to launch a complete product. Startup is not a smaller version of company. It is a project, which exists in an uncertain ecosystem. Startup has to prove some hypothesis and become a scalable business in the future.
Let’s say you assume that people will love your product, because it is beautiful and simple to use. However, eventually you will realize that this is not enough, because people don’t actually need to use your product. Before creating any product, ask your potential customers: would this kind of product fill your needs or solve your problems? If they say yes, give them MVP to test, measure the reaction and improve the product based on their feedback.
You can also use the lean methodology in your life. If you are not sure who to become, just experiment. Try new things, do some internship, check your reaction. Take up some unusual activities until you find what makes you happy and what satisfies you the most. Then create a bigger value to this activity. Ask yourself: what kind of results can I achieve? How can I monetize this activity? Can my skill help other people? How can I grow and master my skills in this area? Who can be my guru and give me some lessons?
Don’t waste energy and resources. The cleaner and simpler your vision of success is, the easier it’ll be to manage your time and energy. Lean is about small steps to huge success. So stop reading, go outside and do something great!