Business Planning

Lean Startup

What is the lean methodology?

Lean Methodology focuses on creating a minimum-viable-product to test a business idea, then iterating quickly based on feedback from the first customers, and acting on the information to make changes to your product or service.

How do I use lean in my business?

We believe in testing a business idea as quickly as possible. This might mean making a quick prototype and getting customer feedback instead of spending a long time on the preparation and planning and waiting until your product is 100% “perfect.” The value in having a prototype for potential customers is that you can quickly and easily get feedback on what needs improvement. After all, dreams are better done than thought of. In essence, lean startups are not afraid to “do” and change quickly.

Sketch out a hypothesis of how your business creates value for our customers. Then develop your minimum viable product (MVP). Next, you will find potential customers or partners who can give feedback on your business model and product or service offering. Accept feedback on any part of your business, from your marketing channels to your product features. Make changes and ask for customer feedback again. These iterations in your business should be agile, or quick.

Why is having a lean startup important?

The lean approach will save you time and resources by letting you test and develop your ideas faster and more easily. After some repeating, you will have something that already has satisfied customers. This means you can scale your business with less risk.

Pro Tip

Jorge Heraud and Lee Redden founded Blue River Technology while at Stanford following the Lean approach. Their vision evolved from robotic lawn chairs to smart weed-killing robots. The founders changed their product according to their customers’ feedback and got new customers and new markets for their core product and had a commercial product ready in nine months. Blue River Technology has successfully used lean to improve their business!