Leaning Towards Success

It is obvious there is no Sand Hill Road in the business world.

Thus, a start-up must pave their own way to success through dedication in order to implement a creative approach, such as the lean start-up method.

Steve Blank recommends a “lean startup approach” that entails getting out of the building and reaching out to potential clients.

Aside from teaching at Stanford, Berkeley and Stanford, Blank has past experience working in eight high-tech start-ups. He states “while existing companies execute a business model, startups look for one” which is at the “heart of the lean startup approach.”

Blank identifies three main steps to executing this approach:

  1. Create a business model canvas that exemplifies the value your company serves for customers. This hypothesis is drafted in the form of a diagram, thus avoiding the concept of creating complex business plan.

  2. Ask customers for feedback working with your company. Customer development is implemented through the “get out of the office” strategy. Gaining insight into factors such as obstacles and benefits your company faced while using the product or service must be done quickly and strategically.

  3. Break away from the drawn out process of product development, and instead focus on customer development.This revolves around the idea of agile development. In essence, this form of growth “eliminates wasted time during product development and produces quick, responsive, and accurate results.”

The result of intertwining customer development with nimble techniques paints a picture of where the company is excelling and where more effort is needed. A company is then able to take their initial hypothesis and adjust accordingly.

This method has been paralleled in other forms, such as Toyota’s lean manufacturing production method. Furthermore, organisations including Startup Weekend and a handful of universities have begun spreading the word about this savvy approach. Blank clarifies that although one cannot expect direct success from a single practice, it has been proven to minimize the chance of failure.

Overall, the lean startup method provides an innovative and credible avenue for start-up and larger organisations alike. Blank believes that if small businesses were to embrace this platform, growth and efficiency would follow. Furthermore, a potential long-term result is an eventual impact on GDP and employment.

It is clear that this savvy method serves as a key that opens the doors to acceleration and advancement for both small and large businesses alike.

Blank, Steven G. "Why the Lean Start-Up Changes Everything." Harvard Business Review. Harvard Business, 01 May 2013. Web. 07 July 2015.