Welcome to the first article of our new series Entrepreneurial Wednesdays. In this series, I will be sharing my thoughts on lean entrepreneurship as I take my first steps in my journey. I will be sharing my lessons learned with you.
In this first article of the series, I want to start with how I stumbled upon lean entrepreneurship and why it makes perfect sense to me.
People don’t know what they want
Recently, I have started reading The Lean Startup from Eric Ries. His book is a great starting point if you are looking to enter the lean world. Of course, I was hung up by it as soon as I started it. Please note that I’ve just started venturing into the entrepreneurial world, so my opinion are just that, opinions, and by no means to be considered the final word on the matter.
The very first thing that struck me about Lean Entrepreneurship is the relationship between the company and the customer. It is the base of a successful company. What I found really interesting and crucial to the relationship is how companies actually listen to their customers. Beginners in the field of business are always told: ”People don’t know what they want until you show them.” This was the first time I heard this I thought and, wow, it makes sense!
Be a Listener
But as I dug deeper I understood something. As an innovative company, trying to modernize and come up with new ideas is crucial. In reality, however, you can’t just think of something and then throw it out into your customer base. You would probably be skipping a very important step called validation. Even now, companies tend to do experiments on their customers with products which did not go through a proper validation process, instead of listening what their customers have to say about the new product or feature.
The most successful companies realized that their customers are a well of information. Which is free but most importantly highly valuable and can be used in the development of the new product. The takeaway from this is: be a listener because it is worth it.
Fun and Action!
When I attended my first Startup Weekend I went there just to have fun. Back then, I was told that building a startup was fun and action. BUT, it was only partly true. According to Eric Ries, a startup is not only about having fun (obviously) but as the project grows into business you also come across a huge number of actions which people find boring. As unpopular as paperwork is; it still has a huge impact on the rate of success of your project.
What should not be forgotten is scientific research on the numbers and processes of the company. Most importantly scientific research focused on decision making. Why? Simply because the outcome of the work is very important. It shows you accurate facts which can be trusted. It IS about having fun, of course. But the way I see it, as the project grows and needs scaling, the above-mentioned research is necessary and definitely helpful.
Why Lean Makes Sense
As I mentioned before, that first startup weekend was to me all about fun and ACTION. Which most people saw as building a project in 50 or so hours. After leaving the event and deciding to continue on the project, the word ACTION got a completely new dimension. Working in a startup is about working in a risky environment. So you have to act quickly and not lose the momentum. There is a large amount of companies forget about this. Mainly because the risky environment is not there when we talk about business. But a startup is a completely different story. What most of the startup projects do on their way is being too perfect! They want their product to be in the best shape possible when launched. Well, too bad, because that’s not how it works. That is not what Lean Startup is.
A company does not have time to waste if it wants to beat the competition. Launching the project after validation is something different. The perfections will come thanks to listening to your niche. To the people who are likely to agree with you on solving their problems. Efficiency is the key element, combined with the momentum it creates the right mix.
What are your thoughts on Lean Entrepreneurship? Let me know in the comments below.
And keep your eyes peeled for the second installment of the series next Wednesday!