The book of the month is…
Eric Ries’s “The Lean Startup” is a book that changes how we think about innovation and entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurs in every setting make the same mistakes. They build elaborate products before daring to test them with consumers. They make decisions based on the wrong information, and they stick with bad ideas long after they should. Their behaviour is supported by the entrepreneurial myths of innovators and this lead many to unnecessary failure.
Ries uses his experiences as the basis for the main lessons in “The Lean Startup”, as well as a rich array of entrepreneurial stories, mostly drawn from the technology industry.
He defines a start-up as a “human institution designed to create a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty”. The words “human” and “uncertainty” are essential. A start-up does not just rely on a brilliant idea, but also requires managing people through all the challenges of innovation and growth, specially through times when the idea will fail and when people will fight over what to do next.
Ries argues for step after step of small experiments. He is a great fan of repeated “split testing”, whereby you test slightly different versions of the same product with different groups of customers to see which works best. Useful data will be vital to making the decision based on reason rather than emotion. He emphasises the importance of “innovation accounting”, a way of digging much deeper than headline numbers such as revenue growth to track changes in customer adoption, retention and usage patterns.
His book is full of useful ways to rethink start-up terms in a clinically and intelligently way. He wishes businesses could innovate with less waste. Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups.
A must read book for entrepreneurs and innovator