Originally published on Goodreads

The Lean Startup

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries is a book about entrepreneurship. In it, Ries tries to apply some scientific rigor to the field of startups. Eric Ries knows about entrepreneurship himself. He is the co-founder of IMVU in which many of the examples in the book revolve around. Through founding and developing IMVU he learned a lot of lessons about entrepreneurship which in his later career prompted him to write the Lean Startup.

The book itself is actually not a huge compendium of what to do in which situation. It has a fairly simple focus on the Build-Measure-Learn cycle which is what all startups must do and try and go through the cycle as quickly as possible. He also describes how startups should essentially focus on two things, growth and value delivered to customers. Through these topics, Ries expands on the lifecycle of a startup including how to manage pivoting a startup if growth is flatlining.

What the book can lack is a more critical lens. Surely there must exist counterexamples as to how startups can grow and prosper? As a result it can seem overly onesided and holding up Lean methods as a catch-all.

The book is an impressive application of the Lean Manufacturing, pioneered at Toyota, to the field entrepreneurship. I imagine this book is absolutely a gem for entrepreneurs and it certainly holds a lot of value for every working professional. Ries’ book has the capacity to change society and the way we work and I highly recommend reading it.

5 out of 5 stars.