The Lean Startup

By Eric Ries.

A brief summary of the book The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. The Lean Startup offers a semi-scientific approach to build a profitable business by using validation, and creating a growth engine.

Lean Startup MindMap
Lean Startup MindMap

You can find the full size Mindmap here.

  • Introduction
  • Part 1: Vision
    • Chapter 1: Start
    • Chapter 2: Define
    • Chapter 3: Learn
    • Chapter 4: Experiment
  • Part Two: Steer
    • Chapter 5: Leap
    • Chapter 6: Test
    • Chapter 7: Measure
    • Chapter 8: Pivot (or Persevere)
  • Part 3: Accelerate
    • Chapter 9: Batch
    • Chapter 10: Grow
    • Chapter 11: Adapt
    • Chapter 12: Innovate
    • Chapter 13: Epilogue: Waste Not
  • Final Advice On Executing Lean Startup

What is Lean Startup ?

Lean Startup is an approach to business development based on the application of Lean Production to innovation.

Lean manufacturing/production involves:

  • Know your customer
  • Eliminate waste
  • Shrink batch size
  • Just-in-time production
  • Acceleration of cycle times

Principles of Lean Startup

  • Entrepreneurs are everywhere
  • Entrepreneurship is management
  • Validate learning
  • Build – Mesure – Learn
  • Innovative accounting

The Lean Pyramid

  • Vision: Where you thrive to reach
  • Strategy: Business model, road map,…
  • Product: End result of the strategy

The Vision

The startup Vision, or product Vision is the destination in mind, your ideal product, the path to your ideal destination.

Always measure progress, evaluate performance locally, if the tests are negative drive new projects and avoid complex plans.

You should break down the larger vision in little experiments and gather customer responses.

To experiment define a clear hypothesis by making initial assumptions, you can use the Genchi Genbutsu approach. Build MVP, identify and eliminate immediately waste.

Genchi Genbutsu (Go and see for yourself)

Genchi Genbutsu is the key principle in the Toyota production system. It facilitates early contact with potential customers. It ensures that actual issues and unplanned events will be observed first hand.

Quality Principle

If we do not know who the customer is, we do not know what quality is. Do not give for granted what the customer will find useful and what he will not. Always cycle test and adjust using customer feedbacks. Remove any feature that isn’t useful for the customer.

Split tests & Metrics

Split tests are experiments where different versions of the product are offered to the client at the same time.

You need to choose the right metrics to measure the progress and avoid using VANITY METRICS (facebook likes, followers on twitter,…).

Good metrics should be actionable, accessible and auditable.


Pivot is a structured change aiming to test a new fundamental hypothesis. But what are the signals that we should pivot? Do PIVOT or PERSEVERE meetings will all the team and use your metrics to decide.

Pivot require courage.

A startup runaway is the number of pivots it can still do.


When the metrics are positive, the Startup need to accelerate. It is important to keep the batches small, aiming for sustainable growth. Use the 5 WHYs (ask why 5 times) and keep innovating!

A batch is a work that moves from one stage to the next at a time. Using large batches will decrease productivity in the team and quality in your product.

Adopt the ONE PIECE FLOW strategy!

acilitate early feedbacks, deploy as soon as the code is ready and ask feedbacks.

GROWTH (traction)

New customers will come from the feedback of past customers. Treat them well.

  • Sticky
  • Viral
  • Paid


In order to improve innovation, team must be structured correctly. Development authority must be independent.

The team must be the first customer of the product.

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