The Lean Startup
Ideas can be innovative, cool, fun and much more, but it doesnt make them necessary, profitable or value giving.
The Lean Startup Model is based on hypotheses and experiments, testing assumptions and always reviewing, measuring and analysing everything.
Every process, service or product should be treated as an experiment. Every single experiment should include hypotheses that answers specific questions. Every single assumption should be tested and questions should be well thought out.
To do this there is a feedback loop model that consists of three equally important parts, which are build, measure and learn. For experiments you use minimum viable products (MVP’s) which are basically simple and usually bad prototypes of your product or service. By using the feedback loop you gain knowledge through ”validated learning”, an idea of setting a goal and a metric for it, testing it out and seeing how close to your goal you can get and lastly improving and trying it out again with more experiments.
Apart from what I have just explained, value hypothesis and growth hypothesis are probably the most important things to remember from this book. These hypotheses will eventually give you a clear view of where you are at the moment and where you can be in the future. Its pretty simple, the value hypothesis is the assumption of how much value you can give to your customer, but this assumption will undergo vigorous testing before proven correct. The value hypothesis is also important to figure out first and only then should you move on to your growth hypothesis and its testing. The growth hypothesis is an assumption of how customers find your product and again basically how well and which ways you can grow. If you figure out a good growth hypothesis and it works, you can keep it forever (maybe).
I found all these ideas to be pretty sweet. I think trusting experiments and always being in a sort of beta form makes more sense than conventional tactics that have been around forever. I think these things make you actually connect with your customers and bridge the gap and make way for trust, happiness, cooperation and I guess most of all satisfied customers and profitable business. Receiving feedback and basing your products and services off of it, I think is obviously a nice way to work in many situations.
If i were to seriously consider using this theory and framework right now there are atleast a few things I have already put into practice or will probably in the future. A few of us have started a project based on designing clothes etc. Something that has comforted me with this new project of designing clothing and building a brand is in a sense the feedback loop. I can make mistakes and change my vision as many times as I want, as long as i work in small batches, testing out different ideas and reviewing what i think suites me and my team best. Even if i were to pivot on the brand principles or something else, i would lose maybe 12 customers (fans), which in the long run will make no difference, especially if the set-up and goals of the project are backwards. We could also use the idea of MVP’s and they could be about certain processes perhaps. Not so much with the product itself, but more so with how and where to sell the products. Testing out different platforms and reviewing what types of people they attract and what type of image they give us as a clothing brand.
So, things I will definitely take to practice is the feedback loop, working with small batches and using “MVP’s” to do experiments and review.