One of the methods used for funding a new company is the Lean Startup that has proven to be very efficient when creating a business and launching a product to the market.
This methodology aims to drive the startup in a way that it can grow faster, by shortening crucial times in the process.
What is Lean Startup?
This method was first introduced by Eric Ries in 2008 and that later clarified in his book published in 2011. This term also comes from the Lean Manufacturing theory implemented by Toyota, and it evolved to being applied to startups.
The Lean Startup consists of developing products that are proven to be desired by the customers, so the sales can boost immediately as soon as they’re available in the market.
This is the opposite of the normal method of entrepreneurship that consists of developing a product and waiting for the demand.
With the Lean Startup method, the business owner confirms that a product solves a real problem, and then makes an effort to reduce the production time to make it available as soon as possible.
The difference between Lean Startup and Traditional Businesses
Most people start their business with an idea for a product, and they spend too much time developing it in a rudimentary form, without listening to what customers want. Once they have the product finished, they see that there are no demands because the customers are not interested, so the startup fails.
That is the Traditional Business, but with the Lean Startup, the customer is directly involved in the process, so the business owner can know their reaction to the product and determine if it’s good to launch it or if it needs some improvement.
With the Lean Startup method, the entrepreneur will know the direction to take with the business, when to persevere with a determinate product and how to grow fast.
The Lean Startup Methodology
The Lean Startup Methodology involves three stages to develop a product and launch it to the market to get revenue.
The entrepreneur first detects a problem, figures out how to solve it, and then he has to think if a product can be the exact answer.
This allows developing the Minimum Viable Product (MVP), which is going to be the start of the whole methodology.
The three steps are: build, measure, and learn, but they all have to be done as quickly as possible to take advantage of the feedback and launch the product.
Once the MVP is established, the next step is to build a sample to test the reaction of potential customers, which can be a group selected previously, and they will give their impressions on what needs to be refined and what improvements need to be done.
This process is known as validated learning, and it’s very important to track and estimate the possible demand for the MVP, as well as getting exact information of people who may be interested.
This is done for two main reasons:
- Evaluate if anyone tries to buy the MVP
- Learn, understand, and figure out the right direction for the MVP
Once the entrepreneur knows the response of the customers, the next step is to adapt the product to what customers want, by eliminating unnecessary processes to turn the MVP into a successful business.
It’s common that once you evaluate your MVP you’ll get responses that you weren’t expecting, and this might cause you to pivot from one idea or niche to create a product that will be exactly what your customers are looking for.
This will help you reduce expenses related to production since if the product turns out to be successful you can get started right away. But, if you need to refine something, you’ll also save some money in the process.
The goal of this process is to apply the scientific method and maximize learning by applying product engineering. You should know that you have to try, test, and iterate to have a good product.
The advantages of using the Lean Startup
The entrepreneurs that decide to implement the Lean Startup methodology have more chances of success than the ones who use the traditional method for starting a business.
Many business owners decide to create a product and wait for the demand, but this doesn’t always succeed.
With the Lean Startup method, you’ll know how to develop a product that is ready to be purchased, so when you decide to launch it, you’ll know with certainty that the customers are waiting for it.
With this method, your startup is an experiment that is trying and idea with the aims of being a solution for your customers. Once your product is successful, you can start to hire employees and start the manufacturing process.
You won’t lose valuable time and you won’t need to work harder to get a product that people want since you already know the response from your test group.
The purpose of your startup is not only to get money or to sell a product but to create a sustainable business. With the Lean Startup method, you’ll be able to have a successful business ready to serve customers with what they want.
Once you’ve tried the methodology of build-measure-learn you’ll get the experience that you need to know your potential audience, and you can start developing products that are tested and validated, so your business will have success.
The goal is to turn your idea into a product, and by evaluating the response you’ll know if you have to stick with it, or if you need to pivot.
Every entrepreneur needs to innovate to improve the outcomes of the business. If you continue doing things in the old-fashioned way you probably won’t get any good results.
You start with a product that is going to solve a problem for your customers, and if you measure their response you’ll end up with a very innovative result that will have a high demand.