Blanche’s Book Club: ‘The Lean Startup’.

Happy Humpday! It has been a beautiful week in Austin and I don’t want to jinx anything, but I’m hoping this weather sticks around for a bit. I am still getting my life back in order after vacation and I’m hoping that after this weekend, things will be totally back to “normal” — I mean what is normal, anyway?

I mentioned last week that I wanted to start including business-related books into Blanche’s Book Club, partly because it will motivate me to read them, and also because I’m currently reading SO many books for a client. Work smarter, right?

So, this book is “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries. Here is the book’s description:

Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable. The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched. 

Eric Ries defines a startup as an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. This is just as true for one person in a garage or a group of seasoned professionals in a Fortune 500 boardroom. What they have in common is a mission to penetrate that fog of uncertainty to discover a successful path to a sustainable business.

The Lean Startup approach fosters companies that are both more capital efficient and that leverage human creativity more effectively. Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies on “validated learning,” rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counter-intuitive practices that shorten product development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute.

Rather than wasting time creating elaborate business plans, The Lean Startup offers entrepreneurs – in companies of all sizes – a way to test their vision continuously, to adapt and adjust before it’s too late. Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups in a age when companies need to innovate more than ever.

As I mentioned, this book was basically “assigned” to me, and although I wouldn’t have picked this up off a shelf, I really enjoyed reading it and got through it pretty quickly.

Having worked at a startup, this book really defines the differences between a startup and a more traditional company. Even though most people have a certain idea in their mind about what a startup is, it really does affect so many aspects of the company — from who gets hired, the management style, and even the accounting.

The entire book’s walks through The Lean Startup Method, which details how to survive and thrive as a startup, including all of the aspects of offering a product or service, testing it, and re-releasing it.

From what I can tell, Ries is pretty popular in the business world (or at least, his book is) so this may be a good one to pick up if you’re interested in startup companies and how they work, or if you’re an entrepreneur!

The next book Blanche’s Book Club will be Reading is “Becoming” by Michelle Obama.

Hope everyone is having a great week!

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