I read an interesting article by Alex Cheatle (The Founder of Ten Group) in the Entrepreneur section of the Financial Times this weekend that warns business leaders to be wary of old business axioms.
I could not agree with Alex more and as someone at the very early stages of a startup (I am still working my notice at my job) I have found the principles laid out by The Lean Startup movement offer some degree of antidote to the malaise. At the core of The Lean Startup movement is the belief that we should challenge all assumptions about business. The whole process revolves around turning these assumptions to facts- or at least to find out that our assumptions are incorrect as early as possible.
The movement has grown in one sense from the response to the question- “Why do so many startups fail?”
The short answer is that companies of all sizes spend too much time, money and effort developing products and services that nobody wants or needs.
The Lean Startup movement offers a framework to allow entrepreneurs to better manage the process as they test their assumptions about their customer offering and the potential to build a business around the idea.
As Reis points out, in this day and age the question is no longer can we build it but should we?
Although it was The Lean Startup book by Eric Reis that initially caught my (and the worlds) attention, the wider movement is much greater than one book or one individual and it has inspired me to read wider and deeper. It is a movement that is gathering pace worldwide albeit with much more velocity in the US than in the UK and is having a significant impact on the whole startup ecosystem.
The words ‘startup’ and ‘entrepreneur’ conjour up many thoughts in people’s minds- both positive and negative. It is important at this stage to state that all the proponents are keen to point out that the terms startup and entrepreneur are not restricted to college students in their dorm room.
“a startup is an organization formed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model.”
I am hesitant to refer to the movement as an ‘Entrepreneurial Enlightenment’ as some have done but it is doing some great work in rethinking the approach to starting up in business with the aim of improving the success rate of startups.
If you are involved in a startup or are in the process of developing a product within an established business and you are not aware of The Lean Startup movement then I highly recommend reading some of the fantastic content online as a starting poing. The following websites are a great starting point:
There are a lot of assumptions out there about startups and business in general, it is imperative that we test and challenge these assumptions, this is how we can truly innovate and succeed.
Join me on the journey as I challenge all the assumptions I have about business!