Please…. Go Lean!
March 2, 2012 7 Comments
After a long time I’m back to writing. The last few months have been hectic with 2 deals getting finalized, 2-second rounds being worked on and the near closing of the fund. Hope to have good News soon.
Over this period I finally got to read in detail Eric Ries’ The Lean Startup. For those of you that haven’t, I DEEPLY recommends.
The text feels like that it would be synthesized in a 20 page long document rather than a book but the examples are good to get us thinking about the concept and how to apply to our companies.
The gist of it is simple, DONT GO OUT DOING Something UNTILL YOU KNOW THAT IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.
All the popular buzzwords we hear derived from it are based on that principle:
FAIL FAST: Find a way of testing your hypothesis with minimal effort. Don’t put extra effort into something until you know it is not going to fail
MVP: The minimal product you have to build in order to test your hypothesis
PIVOT: If the base assumption didn’t hold true, change the strategy and test another model
All of these deal with something that Brazilian entrepreneurs struggle with: Failure and Uncertainty.
We as a Catholic country do not deal well with failures. Yet, these can be fundamental in proving us that we were wrong in our assumptions.
Putting the efforts as tests are a good way of dealing with the Failure Fobia we have as, even if the hypothesis didn’t prove to be true, we will be able to claim that the test succeeded in teaching us that.
We have to be able to say “we don’t know that” and put every statement that starts with “I think”, “assume” and so on, to simple tests to tell us if we are right or wrong on that assumption.
Uncertainty, in turn, is completely opposite to our romanticized image of a successful entrepreneur. We imagine the visionary that in day one was sure how he would build the new Apple, Google or Microsoft. That is normally how the story is told after the fact.
The ugly truth is that most entrepreneurs have hypothesis/vision and when they take it to Market, that vision evolves, changes and even is proven wrong. Embracing this fact will help you set up your company in order to find out what Works and what doesn’t and this, in turn, will accelerate its path to success.
My 15-minute summary of the ideas probably doesn’t do the book justice and you should read it. I just wanted to get the ball rolling and get entrepreneurs thinking more about how to discover/test business models rather than rely on sheer inspiration.
Here is a video on the topic