15 Jan Lean startup
The lean startup methodology has been steadily gaining widespread popularity during the past few years. As part of this trend, startup accelerator programs have begun to adopt the methodology as their main organizing framework. The findings show that the lean startup methodology influences how entrepreneur–coach relationships evolve and how the formation and progression of these relationships facilitate learning among entrepreneurs. The lean startup methodology creates conflict between the information collected from customers and the (perceived) authority of coaches. However, the entrepreneurial method also enables the coaching to be evolutionary and assumption-changing (Mansoori et al, 2019).
The lean startup methodology by Ries (2011) was inspired by the principles of the lean manufacturing (avoiding waste and optimizing resource spending) and the work of Steve Blank (Blank, 2006). The ideas in the methodology are reminiscent of contributions such as “disciplined entrepreneurship” (Sull, 2004), “discovery-driven planning” (McGrath and MacMillan, 2000) and “probe and learn” (Lynn et al., 1996). The methodology benefits from a set of tools taken from other theories and methods, such as the customer development framework (Blank and Dorf, 2012), rapid prototyping of design thinking (Brown, 2008), and agile software development principles (Dybå and Dingsøyr, 2008). Core to the lean startup methodology is validated learning through purposeful experimentation, in which the effectuation principles of flexibility and affordable loss (Read and Sarasvathy, 2005) are applied (Fredriksen and Brem, 2017). The lean startup methodology has a unique language, structure and strict advice. Therefore, it can be viewed as a metaphorical boundary object, enabling the wielders of the method to display their expertise (Koskinen, 2005).
The lean startup methodology as a cyclical process is grounded in three main sets of activities. First, entrepreneurs dissect their business ideas into testable assumption and map them onto the business model canvas (Osterwalder et al., 2005) as testable assumptions. This graphical representation contains all the key aspects that entrepreneurs should be relatively certain about. Second, entrepreneurs engage in a process designed to test the assumptions in relation to their business ideas (Ries, 2011). Finally, entrepreneurs decide on the remaining assumptions based on their interactions with potential customers. A key concept in the lean startup methodology is the “product-market fit.” The fit implies that the product idea has a market and, therefore, there are customers willing to pay for the value offered by the product (Blank and Dorf, 2012). The ultimate goal of the process is to guide entrepreneurs in finding this fit.
- Blank, S. (2006). “The Four Steps to the Epiphany”. Cafepress, San Francisco, CA.
- Blank, S; Dorf, B. (2012). “The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-by-Step Guide for Building a Great Company”. K&S Ranch, Incorporated, San Francisco, CA.
- Brown, T. (2008). “Design thinking”. Harvard Business Review 86, 84–92.
- Dybå, T, Dingsøyr, T. (2008). “Empirical studies of agile software development: a systematic review”. Inform. Softw. Technol., 50, pp. 833-859.
- Fredriksen, D.L; Brem, A. (2017). “How do entrepreneurs think they create value? A scientific reflection of Eric Ries’ lean Startup approach”. Int. Entrep. Manag. J., 13, pp. 169-189.
- Koskinen, K.U. (2005). “Metaphoric boundary objects as coordinating mechanisms in the knowledge sharing of innovation processes”. Eur. J. Innov. Manag, 8, pp. 323-335.
- Lynn, G; Morone, G; Paulson, A. (1996). “Marketing and Discontinuous Innovation: the probe and learn process”. Calif. Manag. Rev., 38, pp. 8-38.
- Mansoori, Y; Karlsson, T; Lundqvist, M. (2019). “The influence of the lean startup methodology on entrepreneur-coach relationships in the context of a startup accelerator”. Technovation.
- McGrath, R. MacMillan, I. (2000). “The Entrepreneurial Mindset: strategies for Continuously Creating Opportunity in an Age of Uncertainty”. Harvard Business Press, Cambridge, MA.
- Osterwalder, A; Pigneur, Y; Tucci, C. (2005). “Clarifying business models: origins, present, and future of the concept”. Commun. Assoc. Inform. Syst., 15, pp. 1-38
- Read, S. Sarasvathy, S.D. (2005). “Knowing what to do and doing what you know: effectuation as a form of entrepreneurial expertise”. J. Priv. Equity, 9, pp.
- Ries, E. (2011). “The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses”. Random House Digital, Inc., New York, NY.
- Sull, D. (2004). “Disciplined entrepreneurship”. MIT Sloan Manag. Rev., 46, pp. 71-77.