Launching a startup is risky business, and the odds stacked against you with 75 percent of new ventures failing. Following a traditional startup method is proving to be outdated since there’s little cost to consider in terms of hardware. Enter the concept of a lean startup, the latest marketing buzzword to turn entrepreneurship on its head that gets your product or service released in a quicker and more affordable way.
“I count my lucky stars that we allowed ourselves to experiment with our business model in the first year. We knew consulting and designing presentations would be huge but we had NO idea that corporate group trainings would be as huge as it turned out to be!” DECK Presentations President Mike Teixeira says of the lean startup method. Here are the top takeaways to get you started.
Experiment, not implement
Gone are the days of elaborately laying out a five-year plan. Instead of trying to predict the problem before even executing an idea, this model suggests diving in head-first and then gathering customer feedback—in what is essentially a real-time focus group—rather than developing features only to find out no one wants or needs them.
Learn from mistakes
Crowdsourcing feedback during development rather than after enables you to work smarter, not harder. In the end, by the time the product or service is ready to be distributed, you’ll already have the support of early adopters and a built-in customer base, as well as the staff to support production. Developing measurable and actionable metrics during each iteration will keep the feedback loop moving in the right direction.
Ask the right questions
Instead of asking if a product can be built, the lean startup method asks if a product should be built. What’s more, asking if a sustainable business can be built around this product or service will help to establish what and who needs to be involved in order to get the business and its product or service off the ground. From there, define metrics for success by asking whether quantifiable or qualifiable data should be used. Ask why with every decision that needs to be made. Repeat.