Great piece by Erick Schonfeld of TechCrunch, including a video interview, with Lean Startup Thinker Eric Ries. I will be discussing lean startup methodology a great deal during the coming semester with my undergrad entrepreneurship students.
Ries argues that an entrepreneur’s greatest advantage is their obscurity. If your first product sucks, at least not too many people will know about it. But that is the best time to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them to make the product better. “It is inevitable that the first product is going to be bad in some ways,” he says. The Lean Startup methodology is a way to systematically test a company’s product ideas.
Fail early and fail often. “Our goal is to learn as quickly as possible,” he says. He also argues that startups should launch their products quietly until they figure out what customers really want. We discuss how Color could have used that advice. Ries also gives me a crash course in some of the increasingly popular Lean Startup terminology, such as “minimal viable product,” “product/market fit,” or “build-measure-learn feedback loops.”