I’ve finished reading “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries that I discussed on my last post.

Part 3 of the book talks about:

  • Batch – Continuing to work in small batches. Avoid the large batch “death spiral” and other lessons applied from Lean manufacturing.
  • Grow – The three primary engines of growth and the importance to pick one and focus on it until success (and eventual market saturation) or you prove it won’t work (pivot). Essentially the reason is that the expertise is vastly different for each and it is hard enough to measure and grow one at a time.
  • Adapt – Build an adaptive and learning organization. One tool is the “5 Whys?”. It takes a lot of skill and practice to avoid making it more like the 5 Blames (I’ve seen that in action too many times). Start on small issues and practice there.
  • Innovate – Nurture disruptive innovation. Realize that the people who are good at innovation are not necessarily the same as the ones who should be incrementally improving/supporting the product longer term; these are two different skill sets. Knowing when to switch is the key. Entrepreneur is a job title (so to is innovator, etc.).

Part 3 does not have as many specific details (would have been a large book) as the prior 2 sections but it does plant some good seeds for keeping the lean startup energy thriving and your organization adaptable.

This book is going to remain on my “A list” for some time. The material fits a lot of what I have been writing and thinking about for years and fleshes out some of the details. I think I will get additional copies to share instead of lending my own.

The key with all good books and ideas is to translate those ideas into action and results in your own life and organization. This one is going to affect Sunwapta Solutions and our product development for some time.