The Lean Startup Series Concept: What to do and how two companies understood the concept

Points to Ponder:

We have guesses about what’s good for the user, but we’re mostly wrong. No matter how good you are, you’re mostly wrong. – Adam Pisoni, CTO of Yammer

In a startup no facts exist inside the building, only opinions. – Steve Blank

It depends on what the meaning of the word “is” is. – William Jefferson Clinton

‘Management guru and author Peter Drucker famously observed, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”[4] Nowhere is this truer than in the Lean model, where successful entrepreneurs build the product, the go-to-market strategy, and the systems by which to learn what customers want—simultaneously.’ – Lean AnalyticsBy: Alistair Croll; Benjamin Yoskovitz, Pub. Date: March 11, 2013, Print ISBN-13: 978-1-4493-3567-0

The Lean Customer Development Book by Cindy AlvarezPrint ISBN-13: 978-1-4493-5635-4Pub. Date: June 4, 2014 states If you are a startup founder in the San Francisco Bay Area, this book is not for you.Why? Because you’ve probably not only read Eric Ries’s The Lean Startup and Steve Blank’s The Four Steps to the Epiphany (or at least tried to get through it), but also many of the other books in the O’Reilly Lean Series.

More importantly, the Bay Area is full of speakers, bloggers, and peers who embrace change and experimentation. Even your prospective customers have an above-average tolerance for the new.This book is for the entrepreneurial product person who isn’t in such a supportive environment.’

My Thoughts:

Have you ever wondered why California Bay area is the hub of Entrepreneurship? If you take the above-mentioned words, then one main contributor is the Supportive environment. We often complain about not getting enough support, however we also need to think about what support can we give to others. What goes around comes around.

We often also want quick solutions a Silver Bullet which can solve all problems. We often consider Failure as a Taboo. Should it be a Taboo? I cannot think of one example in today’s age of a successful person or a successful Entrepreneur who has never faced Failure. They work they fail, fail again and again and we often only see their success. What we also need to realize is that Failure is part and parcel of life and we need to embrace failure. Back during my Surrey MBA one of the most difficult assignments was a Self-Reflective Report. At that time, I was not conditioned to understand the true meaning of Self Reflection. With time, I understood and yes, it is not that easy to Self-Reflect.

Brief Intro & how two Pakistani companies improved using The Lean Startup Series concepts:

I am not an Entrepreneur and would not claim to be one. I am a Coach, a trainer and a Mentor to those who genuinely try to lean. Outside my Job where my Bread and Butter comes from I have been open to give ideas to those who would like to Lean. I have been talking to many about the Concept of The Lean Startup even delivered two sessions in Lahore one in UET and the other in LUMS. But today I would like to write about two examples who I know for sure have heeded to what I tried to tell them.

I would not name the companies but both were and are Friends of mine. Both Tech companies doing business in their own field. I did not tell them what to do however I talked to them about the Lean Startup concept which they liked. What they got out of it was not the detail as obviously, it was not doing it as a business rather just to give them direction. I further guided them to the Books Luckily, I had some of my own and gave it to them to which they read and understood it in more detail. After that we further had discussions and it helped their business.

I gave them Lean UX book (By: Jeff Gothelf; Josh Seiden, Print ISBN-13: 978-1-4919-5360-0)& Lean Analytics (Lean Analytics By: Alistair Croll; Benjamin Yoskovitz, Pub. Date: March 11, 2013, Print ISBN-13: 978-1-4493-3567-0) book (I no longer have the copy of The Lean Analytics). Both companies had separate requirements and were in different type of business one revamped his product using the Lean UX concept as he finally realized that ‘How Technical the Product Architecture is does not necessarily give the consumer a good experience rather the User Experience is based on the Look and Feel as well as the Solution of the problem being delivered. So, he revamped his product and it has a great look and feel the before and after experience is different.

The other understood ‘With huge amounts of Data it is important to filter out what is going to mean something’ so he added some features which allowed the product to deliver what was needed from the Data in a more effective manner. Both companies are based in Pakistan and do business internationally and both Entrepreneurs are still my friends.


This is a guest post by Mohammad Ali Toosy. You can follow him on Facebook