Lean Startup, how to get going quickly?

Lean Startup, how to get going quickly?

10 October 2018

Visual Management

In a time where technological innovation is plentiful, it goes to show that the world of entrepreneurs has too some surprises to bring. New concepts are invented at a wildly rapid pace, making competition a little more tough every day.

Today, two solutions for entrepreneurs are particularly popular: the creation of a business on a basic model, and startups.

For the rest of this article, put aside all that you thought you knew. A new way to get started is on the way: discover with us the Lean Startup!

OKAY, BUT WHAT’S A LEAN STARTUP?

Before diving into the heart of the subject, let’s review first what a startup really is.

A startup is defined as a “state of spirit”, it’s a young, dynamic business that wishes to innovate in the domain of new technology. This entrepreneurial system aims to generate big revenues in short timeframes with a hierarchy more flexible than an established business.

But then what does a Lean Startup change?

A startup starts by having an idea for a product that they think the public needs, then taking months or years developing the product without ever running it by a test client. Concerning the Lean Startup, client product testing will be the pillar of the whole project.

The Lean Startup attempts an approach where the client needs are misunderstood, the starting idea is based on hypotheses. Before the product has all of its functionalities and is 100% finished, it will be tested with numerous retakes by its potential clients. The objective is to create a product extremely basic at the beginning, to have a less costly and faster formation.

In a “basic” business cycle, the client’s needs are known and the product is directed in a single try. This is where the Lean Startup proves to be completely different. Once the product is created, the Lean Startup wants to be tested directly by the public.

In response to feedback, either the product is improved to move towards a final solution, or the designers have to “pivot” and reorient their offer according to the needs of the client.

WHAT IS THE FUNCTION OF THE LEAN STARTUP

If the Lean Startup had to be described in one single word, it would be “control”. It’s a work process that demands the controller of the evolution of the product to make improvements by taking into account user feedback.

The Lean Startup plays out in stages:
– Make the product
– Measure the data
– Learn from client feedback

The goal is to start with something called a “Minimum Viable Product”. Contrary to its name, the concept is very simple: create a product with only the essential functions. This means a service in the most functional and basic version as possible.

Once this minimally viable product is ready to be used, it is tested directly by its users. This is where the Lean Startup can be either very advantageous or disastrous.

Two scenarios are possible:

The first would be where the product immediately seduces its clients and answers a need. In this case, it will be improved and developed until the final version, being sure that there will be success with commercialization. This scenario is the force of the Lean Startup as it allows to start off a project with very little financial means and to conceive the product rapidly.

The second is a little less engaging. If from the first release the product is not well taken, it will be confronted with a pivot: as explained earlier, this means to reorient the offer based on client feedback.

In the case where the pivot makes the product enticing, the project will be financially viable. If instead, the project must face several pivots, it risks becoming much more expensive to manage than it would have been with the classic startup concept.

Being based on the Lean Startup, the product is made to be most adapted to the needs of the client.

BUT THEN WHAT ARE REALLY THE ADVANTAGES/DISADVANTAGES OF THE LEAN STARTUP?

The key advantage of the Lean Startup is that one can rapidly build their business with a short production cycle. With the emergence of competitors in the market, it’s a sacred asset when wanting to get started.

By creating a minimally viable product, one reduces development time, which allows also to reduce the initial investment. Being able to release a prototype in place of a final product facilitates the possibility to get started in the entrepreneurial world.

The Lean Startup is more for an average product that will have clients at its release than a final product that, in the end, interests nobody.

Having a clear idea of the project and of all its constituents, one gains a better work process without involving unnecessary targets. Once the objectives are completed, one can be sure that once the product is commercialized, it will already have its base of clients.

Where the Lean Startup becomes a risk is when the product does not find its clients. The pivot then comes in to play and a new hypothesis is created following a new cycle of tests. The more pivots the product undergoes, the more it will cost.

Contrary to what one would believe, having the client’s opinion is not always a good thing. In the case of multiple pivots, constantly taking in the complaints of the users risks completely disorienting the entrepreneurs and leading them closer and closer to failure.

This concept demands a lot of time, and several little steps that risk leading to failure, notably financially.

As you must already understand, as with every solution to create a business it is necessary to be conscious of the risks before starting the journey. To start off with the Lean Startup is to dive into the unknown.

START YOURSELF OFF WITH THE LEAN STARTUP WITH THE RIGHT TOOLS

To lead a project well is not an easy thing, especially when just beginning. So that your Lean Startup has the best chance to succeed, take the time to reflect on the tools that you will need.

Creating a business demands a lot of time, as well as a lot of meetings. Often people are not all in the same place, so envision a collaboration software to facilitate your exchanges.

Think also about the image of your business, if you wish to start off in innovation, prefer tools that will help you in that sense. For example, in innovation it is interesting to digitize everything. Put aside paper for the possibilities of online collaboration that will ease the growth of your work!

The Lean Startup aims for quickness and success, why slow down to write reports after each meeting? It’s a rebarbative task that nobody likes to do but is nonetheless necessary for spreading information to the entire team. It is here again, where certain tools can help you, there are ways to automatically generate a report of the meeting with all the documents used.

Source : 12

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