I was tipped off a while back to the work Eric Ries is doing around Lean concepts in startups (here is his blog).
Eric says that it’s not the original idea of a company matters, but how they adapt and evolve. This reminds of Steve Spear’s theme in Chasing the Rabbit that they key is how quickly an organization goes through rapid PDCA cycles, since nobody ever designs a perfect system. I guess nobody ever initially designs the perfect startup? It’s all about how quickly you evolve. It seems Eric and Steve agree on this.
He calls this moment of adaptation “the pivot.” He says, “Within every bad idea is a kernal of truth.” Isn’t this true even with employee ideas inside a non-startup company? It’s often thrown around that Toyota implements 90%+ of employee ideas… but not necessarily implemented in the initially suggested form. The “bad idea” is not thrown away, rather it is the starting point for discussion and inquiry… this leads to “something” being implemented.
Here is his video (no longer available online):
He sums it up in an interesting way: Lean Startups = More experiments per dollar. Eric says Lean is not about cheap, it’s about faster and it’s about learning. It’s about getting more out of our dollars and more out of “our precious human capital.” Sounds Lean to me.
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