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Posted by superadmin on 14/07/2014 10:35 in 2014

Story: TCDC

www.innosphere.org/SIB/images/eric-ries-lean-startup.jpg

A pioneer of Lean Startup movement, Eric Ries developed this concept from his own experience and failure with startups as a tool to handle any change that might occur to a business. Lean Startup is not new. It is an extension from the Lean Manufacturing concept of “preserving value with less work”, which was successfully implemented by Taiichi Ohno and Shigeo Shingo at Toyota. It enabled Toyota to connect the entire supply chain with production system for the optimal productiveness.

Based on the above concept, Lean Startup develops an endless learning loop of “Build-Measure-Learn” to keep creating innovations and strategies to handle constant changes.

The goal of this process is to find the “value” which will be made into product or service that customers are willing to pay for. If we produce something that nobody wants, it will still be fine at the beginning. Lean Startup encourages us to try new things with real customers, because they are the one who know best whether they want the product or not. Most of the time, the decision is made when they have a chance to see or touch the product first.

The first step of the process is creating an MVP (Minimum Viable Product). It is similar to creating a prototype, only it is a real product with features unnecessary to the learning process removed to minimize the cost. The next step is to get the feedback, both quantitative and qualitative, to measure the customer’s response during trial. The measurement data would help us learn more about the product and come up with new ideas for further development.

This process is an endless loop. That is why we always measure and learn, even though the product has long been launched in the market, so that we are aware of how customers feel about it, or whether their needs have changed. Periodical measurement and learning may help increase the number of customers. The data may shed light to how we should do with the product; to maintain it or to change it. However, one thing a business should be particularly careful about MVP is to make sure it is of acceptable quality because the reputation, once lost, can’t easily be recovered. If we are not sure who our real customer is, it may be hard to know what qualities they really want, and that will certainly be one of the questions in the next trial.

Now you might wonder whether you can start right away if you have a great idea at hand. First of all, one needs to understand that, no matter what the business is doing or how big it is, it should be able to answer the basic questions: Why do we do this? Who is the target group? What is the ultimate goal? The answer is our vision and the clearer it is the better. Then you can work out a strategy: What mean will take you to the goal? What is the plan? How well do you know the competitors and business partners? Finally, combine all data and convert them into a product or service. But do not forget that the very essence of Lean Startup is a product that meets the customer’s real need. Unnecessary features, therefore, should be removed. As such, the strategy and organization should be flexible enough for the potential changes. This approach can be compared with driving a car. You need to know where you are going and have a rough plan. When confronting unexpected incident, you will be able to adapt yourself right away.

If you understand the process of Lean Startup, try observing the Build-Measure-Learn loop and you will see that the reality is just the opposite. It is true that we start from building or creating, but the creation must be developed from the vision and reflection from what the customers really want. The assessment or measurement will be based on what we want to learn from the test. As a result, Lean Startup is now being the trend of modern design and manufacturing like design thinking, customer development, and agile development. All of these approaches have the same core principle: to enable a business to introduce an innovation that meets the needs of the customer precisely, continuously, and immediately.

Meet the visionaries who are inspired by the challenges in the world today and trying to figure out the way to better living tomorrow at CU 2014 (Creativities Unfold, Bangkok) in August at TCDC.

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