Happy 8th Birthday, LeanBlog! Reader Survey and Prizes…


It's been eight years since I launched my blog… January 2005. Then it was “Lean Manufacturing Blog” at the kanban.blogspot.com address… it's now “LeanBlog.org” as things have evolved in both the site's design and content. My primary interests have shifted from manufacturing to healthcare and also startups,but Lean is Lean. This post from 2009 has screenshots of version 1 and version 2 of the blog (this being version 3, from late 2009).

I'd like to invite you to share some feedback and information via this reader survey. By taking the survey by February 1, you can enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card AND you have the chance to win one of many prizes I am giving away as my thanks to you (or, at least, a randomly selected subset of you). See a list of prizes at the end of this post.

As a birthday treat / embarrassment, here is a picture of me blowing out candles on my 8th birthday, in 1981:



My parents (thanks for the photo scan) reminded me my birthday gift that year was a basketball hoop for over the garage. I was always a pretty lousy player, but had fun with that. I doubt I'll share birthday pictures in the future as I approach my awkward teenage years. Look at that hair. I was giving Ron Burgundy a run for his money, eh?

As a blogger, there are never any guarantees that anybody will give a darn or even read what you put out there. I'm extremely fortunate to have a great community of readers who contribute really interesting thoughts and discussions in the blog comments. Blog readership has grown steadily over the past eight years. I bet somebody could make a control chart about this, around a linear growth pattern. There's no guarantee anyone will continue caring in the future, so I'll strive to continue providing posts that are interesting, educational, fun, or thought provoking (or all of the above).


Screen Shot 2013-01-27 at 9.56.49 PM


Thank you, thank you, thank you. Your readership and participation partially fuels my drive to continue blogging – which means I continuing reading and scouring the web for interesting articles, it means I keep writing occasional essay type posts (or rants), and I keep finding interesting people to interview for my podcast series.I've met so many great people because of this blog. I'm very appreciative for that.

If you have any questions about my blog, blogging, etc., post a comment below the post and I'll answer. That might prompt some more reflection on my part about the past and future of this blog.

Reader Survey Prizes

OK, again, if you enter the survey, you have the chance of winning a cool prize, including:

Fine print: due to high shipping costs, physical prizes will only be shipped to a U.S. address. I know about 33% of my readers are international… if you win one of my two books, I will contact you to ask if you'd like a free Kindle version instead of the signed paperback.

Thanks again, everybody!

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  1. Doc says

    Congrats Mark…in ways bet it seems like just a few days…and perhaps in also seeing how far lean healthcare has to go…still great time to savor and enjoy the path taken….umm, errr, with the flu season…should we get into the healthcare of blowing out the candles? ;)

    1. Mark Graban says

      Yeah, I was probably spitting all over that cake! Way to ruin the party :-)

  2. Mark Graban says

    Reader question: “Are you brave enough to do reviews of lean books?”

    I used to review a lot of books, but I’ve pretty much stopped doing that since becoming a published author, myself.


    1) Amazon discourages published authors from posting reviews of other authors’ books (since there’s either perceived professional courtesy/favoritism or people take slaps at competing books). Amazon isn’t good about policing that, but I can see their point. If I write an honest negative review of a book, it might be seen as me just trashing competing books.

    I do occasionally violate this “rule” – such as my glowing reviews of Robert Maurer’s two books on Kaizen. Of course, I guess that could be perceived as me just wanting to promote an idea that I have a self interest in (our book “Healthcare Kaizen”). Maybe I’m overthinking this.

    I can try doing more reviews. I probably won’t do a review unless I completely love a book. I read a lot of books that are just OK. Also, I’m tending to read more books outside of Lean, so I can write reviews of those (like Daniel Pink’s books, which I love).

    2) I can highlight books I like in other ways – by having others write a review that I post, by having the author do a guest post, by interviewing them on my podcast, including them on my page of recommended books. So, there are other ways I can give a tacit endorsement of a book other than writing a review.

  3. Tony Manos says

    Wow! Congratulations Mark, eight great years is an inspiration to everyone in the Lean community. In the words of Ron Burgundy “Stay classy Lean Blog.”

  4. Mike Thelen says

    Congratulations on 8 years, Mark! I remember finding you in late 2006. Wonder what ‘gems’ you have in that archive before I found you? :)

  5. Marta Karlov says

    What a great accomplishment! You have built a great community of learners who are in turn transforming their organizations. As a user of the healthcare system in this country, thank you!

  6. […] My reader survey (with prizes) is still open through Friday.   […]

  7. Geoff says

    Hi Mark,

    Well done for sustaining the blog for 8 years! Keep up the good work.

    1. Mark Graban says

      Thanks, everyone. And, Geoff, my goal is not just sustainment, but also continuous improvement!

  8. Tim McMahon says

    Wow, Mark. Congratulations on this wonderful milestone. A true pioneer in the Lean Blogging World not to mention your other achievements. I don’t think people understand the effort to maintain a blog presence for that period of time never mind being a top blog site for that period of time.

    Thanks for the inspiration and continued learning.

    1. Mark Graban says

      Thanks, Tim! I’m glad there is such a strong blog community in the Lean world – yourself included!

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