Lean Startup Book Review

Rated 3/5

The book is written in lucid manner with lots of anecdotes thrown in to illustrate the point being made. That said I'd have liked it to be concise (the essence could easily be extracted to a couple of blog posts)

I did a small experiment. Extracted out things that I felt were important take-aways and tried to see if it is something that I didn't know before (highlighted Blue).

  • What over How. Deciding what to build is the crucial and more difficult problem (tip of the hat to Mr.Brooks)
  • Validate your value hypothesis and your growth hypothesis. (Fail fast, regular demos, real customer, et. all. The growth angle was new for me)
  • Cohort Analysis, Split testing
  • Build Minimum Viable Product ASAP, Establish baseline, Tune, Validate.
  • Metrics must be Actionable (demonstrate clear cause and effect), Accessible (simple, unambiguous, unrestricted), Auditable (verifiable - ability to test data on demand against reality)
  • Reduce batch size , Reduce WIP, Pull model (Lean)
  • Growth engines (the best part of the book IMHO)
    • Sustainable growth = new customers result from the actions of past customers.
    • Sticky: engaging customers for long-term. KeyMetric: Churn rate = Rate of acquiring new customers - attrition rate
    • Viral: Not word of mouth. Referral a natural outcome of using the product. Revenue is usually indirect. KeyMetric: Viral co-efficient. How many referrals does a single new customer beget? > 1 indicates growth.
    • Paid : Revenue invested to acquire new customers. Keymetric: Revenue over lifetime of customer - Cost per customer Aquisition
  • It's usually a human problem. Ask 5 whys - answers usually go from technical to human issues. (Gerald Weinberg)
  • Retrospectives: 
    • Be tolerant of all mistakes
    • Never allow the same mistake to be made again
    • Shame on us for making it so easy to make a mistake.