What is a Lean Startup?

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The ideas behind Lean Startups were developed by Eric Ries in his book The Lean Startup. It’s a great book for anyone planning to start a company.

In this article, we’re going to discuss the essence of Lean Startup, how it can be applied to non-tech startups and what you can do to stay lean.

Lean Startups

The essence of Lean Startups The main idea behind the Lean Startup is that startups should minimize wasting time and energy on things that may not be viable. You should spend as little as possible on your idea in order to validate it. If your idea doesn’t work out, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and money. Ries explains this concept with his famous Build-Measure-Learn loop (or Build-Measure-Learn feedback loop).

As a startup founder, you should measure the progress of your company at each stage. You can measure anything from user acquisition to product usage or even revenue. Then you have to act upon the results of your measurement and learn from them. This is a very important part of the startup process; learning from mistakes is vital for future success.

The goal of the whole process is not just validation but also learning about your market or product. In Ries’s book, he explains how he learned that his first startup wasn’t making enough money because users were uploading photos that were too small in size to be used by any business, so he had to make some changes in the product itself before continuing with it. This is just one example of many other things that helped him validate his ideas for future projects.

How to apply Lean Startup concepts to non-tech startups

While Lean Startup principles are mostly used by tech companies (because they are easier to measure), you can still apply them even if you’re working on a non-tech business project:

Ask yourself what would happen if your project doesn’t work out at all . How much time and money would be wasted?

What are all possible solutions?

If you have an idea for a company or product, think about all possible reasons why it might fail and try to fix them before actually investing time and money into it — don’t waste your resources on something that might never happen or won’t be profitable enough.

Figure out the potential audience of your product . If you’re launching a startup for example, find out who might buy your products and how many of them there are. Will they really buy it? In what price range? This way, you’ll learn how many resources you will need to launch your product.

If you’re launching a startup for example, find out who might buy your products and how many of them there are.

Will they really buy it?

In what price range?

This way, you’ll learn how many resources you will need to launch your product.

Set up SMART goals

This is an essential step in any kind of business but most importantly in startups, where you shouldn’t waste time and money if your ideas won’t work out. Set yourself a goal and make it SMART:

Specific — what exactly you want to achieve;

Measurable — how you will measure your progress;

Achievable — what will be the result if the goal isn’t achieved;

Relevant — what makes this goal important for your business;

Time-bound — when do you plan on achieving it.

This is an essential step in any kind of business but most importantly in startups, where you shouldn’t waste time and money if your ideas won’t work out. Set yourself a goal and make it SMART:

Startups should be lean, but not too lean. If you can save resources by not doing something, then do it (just don’t cut everything that could potentially work).

Remember that you should always seek feedback and learn from your mistakes. Moreover, startups that are too lean can also fail — if you don’t have enough resources, you might not be able to effectively reach your goal.

When it comes to lean startups, the most important thing is to constantly learn new things and figure out what works best for your company. If something doesn’t work out, try something else and never stop learning.

In summary

Lean Startup is a startup methodology that helps you validate your ideas and learn about your market before actually launching it. It helps you save resources and decrease the risk of failure. You can apply it to any kind of company or project as long as you’re persistent enough to learn from your mistakes.

About the Author

I am the Founder of Cudy Technologies (www.cudy.co), a full-stack EdTech startup helping teachers and students teach and learn better. I am also a mentor and angel investor in other Startups of my other interests (Proptech, Fintech, HRtech, Ride-hailing, C2C marketplaces and SaaS). You can also find me on Cudy for early-stage Startup Founder mentorship and advice.

You can connect with me on Linkedin (https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexanderlhk) and let me know that you are a reader of my Medium posts in your invitation message.

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Founder of Cudy Technologies (www.cudy.co), a full-stack EdTech startup helping teachers and students teach and learn better. I am also a mentor and investor.

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Alexander Lim

Alexander Lim

Founder of Cudy Technologies (www.cudy.co), a full-stack EdTech startup helping teachers and students teach and learn better. I am also a mentor and investor.

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