The Science of Entrepreneurship – 5 Principles of The Lean Startup Methodology

“Startup success can be engineered by following the process, which means it can be learned, which means it can be taught.” – Eric Ries

A startup is an experiment

The Lean Startup provides a scientific approach to creating and managing startups and get a desired product to customers’ hands faster. The Lean Startup method teaches you how to drive a startup–how to steer, when to turn, and when to persevere–and grow a business with maximum acceleration. It is a principled approach to new product development.

Too many startups begin with an idea for a product that they think people want. They then spend months, sometimes years, perfecting that product without ever showing the product, even in a very rudimentary form, to the prospective customer. When they fail to reach broad uptake from customers, it is often because they never spoke to prospective customers and determined whether or not the product was interesting. When customers ultimately communicate, through their indifference, that they don’t care about the idea, the startup fails.

The 5 Principles of The Lean Startup Methodology are:

1. Entrepreneurs are everywhere Entrepreneurs are at GE, in the IRS, in Hollywood. They are in Intuit, in healthcare and revolutionizing the government.

2. Entrepreneurship is management
A startup is an institution, not just a product, so it requires management, a new kind of management specifically geared to its context.

3. Validated Learning
Startups exist not to make stuff, make money, or serve customers. They exist to learn how to build a sustainable business. This learning can be validated scientifically, by running experiments that allow us to test each element of our vision.

4. Innovation Accounting
To improve entrepreneurial outcomes, and to hold entrepreneurs accountable, we need to focus on the boring stuff: how to measure progress, how to setup milestones, how to prioritize work.

The fundamental activity of a startup is to turn ideas into products, measure how customers respond, and then learn whether to pivot or persevere. All successful startup processes should be geared to accelerate that feedback loop.