The Lean Startup Methodology has been a favorite of growth hacking experts since it was first introduced by Eric Ries in 2008. Touted as the best way to develop a product or service on a budget while maximizing time and effort, the lean startup process can be a viable choice among the many startup growth strategies. Don’t believe us? Just ask Dropbox. Using lean startup principles, the founders of this innovative startup put their product development on the fast track in order to test what their customers wanted. In only 15 months, the company went from 100,000 registered users to over 4,000,000.
Want to experience growth like Dropbox and the thousands of other startups that have successfully used the lean startup methodology? Promeets’ startup experts are here to help, and below you’ll learn how to get started.
What is the Lean Startup Methodology?
In his groundbreaking book The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Business, Eric Ries explains that the lean startup methodology grew out of his own two failed businesses and the concepts used by Japan after World War II to create a more streamlined way of building cars. To discover a Minimal Viable Product (or MVP), Ries suggests building a minimalistic prototype based on initial test customer feedback, instead of making a fully formed product that is ready to hit the market. He argues that testing an initial product and making iterative development changes to it repeatedly, based on customer feedback, is the best way to stay flexible and end up with a product that customers really want.
Steps to Applying it to Your Startup
Think the Lean Startup Methodology is perfect for your startup development plans? Here are the steps you need to take to use it in your own company.
Step 1: Get Your Team on Board: The lean startup principles are different from what most of your team may be used to, and it’s important that they’re all on board with this new way of doing business. Make sure that they all read Ries’s book, and are familiar with what you’re doing and why. Just one team member who is lukewarm to the idea, or refuses to play along, could easily throw your team off track and drain your startup business resources.
Step 2: Gather Information from Your Target Audience: A key part to the lean startup plan is to gather information before you start developing. Do you plan to create an innovative new app that helps employees maximize their time management? Talk to stressed out workers and ask them what features they would most like to see and how current apps are missing the mark. This information will help you avoid creating something that no one wants or is already addressed by a competitor.
Step 3: Build an MVP: Once you gather enough input, it’s time to build a prototype or MVP. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just needs to be good enough to test. Don’t worry about perfection, just focus on getting something done quickly that incorporates the core concepts and features that are the basis of your product.
Step 4: Test: Now, it’s time to release your MVP to a select group of potential users. What do they like about the app? What do they hate? How would they improve it? Gather feedback, and then decide with your team which ideas you want to apply to the next version of your MVP.
Step 5: Improve and Repeat: Make the improvements that you and your team agree on, and then release the new version for more testing. Continue with these steps until you finally arrive at a product that is well-received by its potential buyers.
The Lean Startup Methodology may seem radical at first, but once you put it into action you can easily see how it will save your team time, money, and a lot of frustration. Fully understanding how to use the method for your business is key to making it work for you. Connect with a Promeets startup expert today to go over your lean startup plan, and get more tips on how to grow your startup.