23 Tweetable Insights From "The Lean Startup"

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23 Tweetable Insights From "The Lean Startup"

 

Across different industries, there are people that I deeply respect.  This respect is based fundamentally on two attributes:

1) They are disproportionately right with their ideas (or at least, I think they're right).

2) They are exceptionally good at communicating their ideas at useful levels of abstraction.

In the marketing industry, one of my favorites is Seth Godin. When it comes to startups, one of my favorites is Eric Ries.

I had dinner with Eric in Boston when he was in town for the Business of Software conference (it's coming up again, you should go.  I'm speaking again, for the 4th year in a row).  During that dinner we chatted about the book Eric was working on.  I sympathized with his plight.  Writing a book is hard, even if you're a good writer, like Eric.  I'm happy to announce that Eric's book was released today.  If you're reading this blog (which you clearly are), you should read Eric's book, "The Lean Startup".  Seriously.  leanstartup

The following are some quick quotes and insights from Eric with convenient tweetable links (so you can spread the wisdom and look really smart and clueful to your twitter followers).  Enjoy.

23 Tweetable Insights From "The Lean Startup"

1) Our future prosperity depends on the quality of our collective imaginations. [tweet]

2) A startup is a human institution designed to create under conditions of extreme uncertainty. [tweet]

3) The answer to strategic plans being difficult and disorienting is *not* to rely on chaos. [tweet]

4) The goal of a #leanstartup is to move through the build-measure-learn feedback loop as quickly as possible. [tweet]

5) Lean thinking defines value as providing benefit to the customer; anything else is waste. [tweet]

6) The goal of a #leanstartup is to learn what is valuable to the customer. [tweet]

7) Leaning is the essential unit of progress for startups. [tweet]

8) Test assumptions you've made about your business, its customers and how you're serving them. [tweet]

9) Our job is to find a synthesis between our vision and what customers will accept, not just to capitulate. [tweet]

10) Just trying to make the customer happy does not produce a sustainable business model. [tweet]

11) True startup productivity is not just making more stuff, but systematically figuring out the right things to build. [tweet]

12) If you don't know what you're testing, all the results in the world will tell you nothing. [tweet]

13) Begin with a clear hypothesis that makes predictions about what is supposed to happen. [tweet]

14) The goal of every startup experiment is to discover how to build a sustainable business around the vision. [tweet]

15) It's not enough to just give it a whirl; you've got to give it a whirl with purpose and direction. [tweet]

16) Early adopters are those who crave a solution to the problem you've identified. [tweet]

17) Ask yourself: Do consumers recognize that they have the problem you are trying to solve? [tweet]

18) Build not only a product that can sell well, but a platform through which to deliver it. [tweet]

19) If we do not know who the customer is, we do not know what quality is. [tweet]

20) The three A's of metrics: actionable, accessible and auditable. [tweet]

21) Vanity metrics allow you to form false conclusions and live in your own private reality. [tweet]

22) Lethargy and bureaucracy are not the inevitable fate of companies as they achieve maturity. [tweet]

23) Be tolerant of all mistakes the first time, not don't make allow the same mistake twice. [tweet]

Did any of these strike a chord with you?  What's your favorite insights?

Posted by Dharmesh Shah on Wed, Sep 14, 2011

COMMENTS

you lost me at Seth Godin.... sigh.

posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 6:48 AM by maria


Great list. Typo in 7 and grammer in 23 though?

posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 7:01 AM by Justin Johnson


Two of my favorites to add to the list: (1) The 11th commandment is Thou Shalt Not Kid Thyself; (2) The Forgotten Beatitude is Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not get bent out of shape.

posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 7:15 AM by Doug Gregory


I'm a big fan of Eric and the lean methodology. Thanks for the quotes Dharmesh.

posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 9:14 AM by John Best


I put this kind of aphoristic wisdom (which it is) in the form of a narrative called "Don't Let Your Dream Business Turn Into a Nightmare". You might find it of interest if you have thoughts of starting a business.

posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 9:23 AM by Alan Stransman


Same mistake twice? Sorry, Thomas Edison would disagree with his over 10,000 experiments to find the light bulb. His answer: Did you learn something from that mistake? Sorry, but I consider your "mistake" comment a somewhat a wrong answer.

posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 9:24 AM by Kevin Cullis


Tweet button not working for me - but re:"The goal of a #leanstartup is to move through the build-measure-learn feedback loop as quickly as possible."  
 
 
 
Isn't the goal to do this as often as possible - not just quickly? 
 
 
 
The more often you iterate, the better and strong the product / business becomes (unless it crashes and burns - in which case, get there faster)? 
 
 
 
Br 
 
Neil

posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 9:29 AM by Neil Lewis


Ok... I bought the book

posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 9:46 AM by Mike Flanagan


The key word Kevin is SAME mistake twice. Edison made many mistakes, but didn't keep repeating the same mistake.

posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 9:56 AM by Mikre Kennedy


Same mistake twice? 
 
I got this as an email as a member of your On Startups LinkedIn group. TWICE. This isn't the first time this has happened. Any way of cutting down the duplicate emails, Dharmesh?

posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 10:02 AM by greg


I find tweets vacuous.

posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 10:07 AM by David Conroy


Hi Dharmesh - Please always preface the word 'customer' with 'cash.'  
 
Here, in Silicon Valley, there is a myth of 'social proof.' Sure, users are important, but if they won't pay, there is no business, startup or otherwise!  
 
Yes, there are corner cases, but YouTube is the exception, not the rule.  
 
Cheers,  
 
John

posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 10:13 AM by John Maloney


Hi Mikre, 
 
I guess then you'd apply the "same mistake twice" premise to include applying it to kids learning to walk, training for the Olympics or a new job, repeating the same test to see if the results are the same, or how about just being human. 
 
I'd change the comment to "don't continually make the same mistakes" leaving enough space to make a mistake a third, fourth, or even fifth time, especially in complex situations that have multiple variables. Beyond those numbers I'd start saying "don't make the same mistake." 
 
Sorry, still don't agree with the premise. If no one learns from mistakes, then I'd agree with the premise, but not the numbers. In fact, mistakes are really, really good for us. 
 
It's called exploration and discovery.

posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 10:27 AM by Kevin Cullis


I dont think these quote's work/make sense outside of some more context.

posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 10:34 AM by Diederik


Still trying to make sense of that.

posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 10:38 AM by pat roche


It's all about context (and apologies for spelling my name wrong ;o) Agreed mistakes are not a bad thing, but repeating the same mistake without taking any corrective action, in a business context, isn't good. It would be similar to doing the same thing and expecting different results. I'm okay with agreeing to disagree though.

posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 10:41 AM by Mike Kennedy


Mike, 
 
No problem on spelling your name wrong, it'll happen again, for sure. :-) 
 
Now we're in agreement, to keep making the same mistakes without corrective action is bad, but the context says, "What's the root cause?" Then the question becomes: "What is the correct corrective action(s)?" Take a look at W. Edwards Deming's view of corrective actions http://www.symphonytech.com/articles/pdfs/spfunnel.pdf

posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 11:02 AM by Kevin Cullis


seriously, these posts are turning into a spam machine. how about something insightful rather than churn ...

posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 1:04 PM by cowper


My experience has been that many start-ups think they are being lean when they are actually being cheap. Cheap avoids all of these nasty rules of engagement listed above but inevitably costs more in the long run. 
Another commonly made mistake that should be anathema to start-ups is made during hiring. I see all too many companies hiring people who want the title, but not the job. There should be no opportunity at delegating in a start-up, if there is, it's not lean. If there isn't, the company will fail while the "insert title here" does not do "insert job here".

posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 1:21 PM by Rick W.


Ok, you sold me. I ordered a copy!

posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 2:32 PM by Kip Marlow


Excellent points that require some thought to fully comprehend what it being communicated. I look forward to reading this book. 
 
I could not help but look at number 4, move through the build-measure-learn feedback loop as quickly as possible, number 6, learn what is valuable to the customer, and number 7, leaning is the essential unit of progress for startups as a unit. Together they seem to support they concept of fail fast, fail often, but fail forward. That is not to suggest failing intentionally, but merely that failure is often the precursor to success. 
 
In regards to number 23, be tolerant of all mistakes the first time, not don't make allow the same mistake twice, I noted someone mentioned Thomas Edison would differ with that idea because he learned from his mistakes. But, I think that is exactly what is being said here. Mistakes are tolerated as a way to learn, but this point does not suggest committing the same mistake over and over deliberately. 

posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 3:45 PM by Chris Sinclair


Excellent words of encouragement(especially #1). One of my personal favorite statements pertaining to business startups is..."With all new ventures, come an inherent degree of risk, and risk is the price we pay for the opportunity."

posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 4:59 PM by Charles Thompson


A bit of hyperbole and not enough substance behind what your sharing. More depth or context is better than one liners but i love your energy

posted on Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 2:02 AM by richard


Far removed from the real stuff. Might appear fascinating to newbies, but experience alters perception.  
 
It's not about do's & don'ts. It's about performing with the do's & continuing despite the don'ts.

posted on Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 5:29 AM by K.Y.


Great summary. Waiting for book to arrive today :)

posted on Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 12:27 PM by Sumu


Really nice insights.

posted on Saturday, September 17, 2011 at 8:16 AM by Vikas Kumar


Good stuff - like having ready made tweets to share with the world. Thanks for sharing.

posted on Sunday, September 18, 2011 at 5:17 AM by Sandra Peachey


Hi! 
My blog has in its core the lean startup concept. My challenge is: 
Create 5 projects in 500 days with just $1000. Wish me luck :)

posted on Monday, September 19, 2011 at 4:17 AM by André


Hi Dharmesh, 
How do you add the [Tweet] option after the above mentioned bullet points. Is there some tool for it. How do you do it. 
 
Thanks.

posted on Sunday, October 09, 2011 at 12:19 AM by Mitesh Puri


Good piece of advice.i like #23 and #6 but i didnt understand #3

posted on Monday, October 17, 2011 at 12:47 AM by jay


Very good post. I agree with all of these items.

posted on Monday, October 31, 2011 at 6:04 AM by Ankan


more informative..

posted on Thursday, November 03, 2011 at 7:16 AM by Ankan


Comments have been closed for this article.