Video about Lean Startups


Gov 2.0 Summit 09: Eric Ries, “Lean Startups: Doing More with Less”

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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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


  1. Great post and I am intrigued by Eric's content. As an outsider, the start-up vision is an interesting example for Lean as the continual comparison's to small companies ahem such as Toyota and GM create distance between the methodology and its versatility.

  2. Very interesting thoughts and both of these guys got a new reader as a result. I have to say that makes total sense, rapid PDCA cycles. Resembles short cycled Kaizen Events that someone told me about in a turnaround.

    Great thoughts! Heck, their not even re-inventing the wheel!


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