As we learned through the Design Thinking module, the customer is the main character in any business.
The Lean Start-up principles are:
Use validated learning
Engage in rapid experimentation
Reduce product development cycles
Measure actual progress (without resorting to vanity metrics)
Learn what customers really want
If we think about it, all of these steps involve the customer. The first is to learn what the problem is, what do customers want and need a solution for.
The second one, is to experiment, to try out the product or service. Launch an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) to test it in the market, it could be a reduce market, but it’s important to test it as soon as possible.
Now it’s time to reduce the product development cycles. This means to make the MVP better as fast as possible. This will avoid wasting time and resources while making the product better incrementally (Blank, 2013).
Then it’s time to measure the progress. Taking into consideration the customer, getting feedback to see if it actually works and if the target group is the right one. It could be that the product is a solution but for another target group or market. This is linked to the fifth principle: learn what the customer really want.
This last one is the basis for the lean start-up methodology, it’s always about the customer. The customer is the one that needs to be in the focus. Sometimes we have an idea that we think is amazing and that will change everything but by testing it you may learn that this idea is great but that you may have no customers that need this. Then it’s time to pivot, change, evolve or even “kill your baby” and start all over again.
Hey, at least you learned fast and didn’t waste as much time or resources.
Here is a quick video explaining the lean start-up methodology easier:
Blank, S. (2013) ‘Why the Lean Start-Up Changes Everything’, Harvard Business Review. Available at: https://hbr.org/2013/05/why-the-lean-start-up-changes-everything (Accessed 10 Jan. 2018).
Comi, A. (2017) ‘Starting Lean: MVP and Value Proposition’ [PowerPoint presentation]. BS7708: Design Thinking for Start-Ups. Available at: https://canvas.kingston.ac.uk/ (Accessed: 10 January 2018).
What is the Lean Startup? Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_a3s0IXSuxY