3 Biggest Takeaways From “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries

I finished Eric Ries’ book “The Lean Startup” today. I had to write this post as soon as I got to my computer because the book has completely changed my view on entrepreneurship and business. It really is that good and I recommend everyone get a copy and get started immediately.

Here are my three biggest takeaways from the book:

1. Get started yesterday and build a MVP

Throughout the book Ries stresses the importance of building a minimum viable product and launching it immediately. Don’t worry about making it “pretty” or obsess over every little feature. Get something that generally works into the hands of users/customers and begin to get feedback from them. This also helps in saving time and money during development.

2. Complete “Build, Measure, Learn” cycle quickly

Every start-up or department within a larger company needs to build a MVP and get it out quickly. Have set metrics (not vanity metrics) to measure the important aspects of the product/service. Internalize and learn the important lessons of the feedback so that you can add them to the next cycle. Ultimately you want to complete this loop as quickly as possible and continue to go through it over and over again. Quick, fast, and in a hurry!

3. Ask 5 Why’s to get to the root of a problem

Most people solve issues by taking a guess at what caused it. By asking “Why?” 5 times you will get to the actual cause. Never do it in a smartass way but always constructively. By doing this, you eliminate the blame game between individuals and departments and find the real cause. No need to solve surface problems if there is a much more deeply rooted issue. Find the issue and resolve it to become more efficient and reliable.

As you can see the book is a wealth of knowledge. I could write about 20 different learning points if I had the time. If you are a business student, entrepreneur, or just generally interested in business I highly recommend the book. Not only is it very informative, but it is easily understandable and well-written. You can purchase the book at http://www.amazon.com/The-Lean-Startup-Entrepreneurs-Continuous/dp/0307887898/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1333336443&sr=8-1.

What are your impressions of the book? Have you implemented any of the lessons after reading it? Share your comments below!