The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

After more than ten years as an entrepreneur, I came to reject that line of thinking. I have learned from both my own successes and failures and those of many others that it’s the boring stuff that matters the most. Startup success is not a consequence of good genes or being in the right place at the right time. Startup success can be engineered by following the right process, which means it can be learned, which means it can be taught.

All innovation begins with vision. It’s what happens next that is critical.

Ask most entrepreneurs who have decided to pivot and they will tell you that they wish they had made the decision sooner.

A startup is a human institution designed to create a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty.

As you consider building your own minimum viable product, let this simple rule suffice: remove any feature, process, or effort that does not contribute directly to the learning you seek.

Build-Measure-Learn feedback loop is at the core of the Lean Startup model.

Customers don’t care how much time something takes to build. They care only if it serves their needs.

entrepreneurship should be considered a viable career path for innovators inside large organizations.

Failure is a prerequisite to learning.

if you cannot fail, you cannot learn.

Innovation is a bottoms-up, decentralized, and unpredictable thing, but that doesn’t mean it cannot be managed.

In the Lean Startup model, an experiment is more than just a theoretical inquiry; it is also a first product.

Leadership requires creating conditions that enable employees to do the kinds of experimentation that entrepreneurship requires.

Metcalfe’s law: the value of a network as a whole is proportional to the square of the number of participants. In other words, the more people in the network, the more valuable the network.

Reading is good, action is better.

Success is not delivering a feature; success is learning how to solve the customer’s problem.

The ability to learn faster from customers is the essential competitive advantage that startups must possess.

The big question of our time is not Can it be built? but Should it be built? This places us in an unusual historical moment: our future prosperity depends on the quality of our collective imaginations.

the Lean Startup is a new way of looking at the development of innovative new products that emphasizes fast iteration and customer insight, a huge vision, and great ambition, all at the same time.

The lesson of the MVP is that any additional work beyond what was required to start learning is waste, no matter how important it might have seemed at the time.

The only way to win is to learn faster than anyone else.

The point is not to find the average customer but to find early adopters: the customers who feel the need for the product most acutely. Those customers tend to be more forgiving of mistakes and are especially eager to give feedback.

This is one of the most important lessons of the scientific method: if you cannot fail, you cannot learn.

We must learn what customers really want, not what they say they want or what we think they should want.

What if we found ourselves building something that nobody wanted? In that case what did it matter if we did it on time and on budget?

When blame inevitably arises, the most senior people in the room should repeat this mantra: if a mistake happens, shame on us for making it so easy to make that mistake.

When in doubt, simplify.

You cannot be sure you really understand any part of any business problem unless you go and see for yourself firsthand. It is unacceptable to take anything for granted or to rely on the reports of others.

You can’t take learning to the bank; you can’t spend it or invest it.

Zero invites imagination, but small numbers invite questions about whether large numbers will ever materialize.