A Lean Approach Is Right (Not Just For Some)

“Lean” Blah Blah Blah

I get that people are tired of reading and hearing about lean startups, that people have started to poke holes in the methodology and very eloquently explain the shortcomings of lean.  I definitely understand – it’s become like that really annoying song on the radio that you can’t get out of your head, and no matter what station you listen to, it is in the rotation.  I’m guilty of promulgating it.  But that’s because I believe, at its core, it is the right foundation upon which to build a startup.

Lean Is The Heart and Soul of Startups

Key word being foundation.  It is not the be all and end all of startups and entrepreneurship.  But if you look at the build-measure-learn loop, that’s the right foundation upon which to start almost anything.

Lean DiagramWhy?  It’s the scientific method.  Testable hypotheses (build), the tests of those hypotheses (measure), and the analysis of the data from the tests (learn). The scientific method is a disciplined search for knowledge about something of interest.  Isn’t that what entrepreneurs do?  Or at least they should do?  Be disciplined.  Search for knowledge.  Pursue something of interest.  It just makes sense.  If you don’t think so, I call shenanigans.  You’re nuts.  All the buzzwords, I agree, are getting tiring.  But put those aside, look at the foundation, and it’s a rock solid foundation.

Look Within and You’ll Find Lean

Entrepreneurs – what to do?  Take the lean approach, put it into practice.  Build something.  Measure how people use that thing, how they interact with it, how they feel about it and about using it.  Measure whatever is important about the thing.  Then learn something from that measurement.  And do it all again.  And again.  And again.  Any entrepreneur out there not do that?  Really?  Put whatever label you want on it.  Whether it’s lean or something else, it doesn’t matter.  Fact is, you likely have gone through some version of that build-measure-learn process.  Because if you haven’t, you’re likely not in business anymore.  Because the scientific method is the the core of knowledge acquisition.  And isn’t that what we all do?  So, in the end, get over what anyone calls it.  Today’s label is going to be replaced tomorrow with new labels.  Forget about the labels – just understand the foundation (build-measure-learn) and learn to build your startup on that foundation.

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