Monday
Feb182013

Long Live Lean...

Ongoing and frequent validation of ideas to ensure what you want to build is what people want just makes sense.

When Bob Dorf introduced me to Eric Ries at a conference in Boston a few years ago, the language of Lean resonated and brought into focus what I had been doing for years.  In reading early drafts of the Startup Owners manual, I quickly grasped the power of what they were teaching and I'd learned during my career.  I had in fact been practicing much of what is currently being advocated by Steve Blank, Bob Dorf, Eric Reis and many others. What was missing, is the common terminology to communicate the objectives.

When I was at Microsoft, the industry joke was Microsoft didn't get products right till the 3rd version.  In effect, what Microsoft was doing was Lean. V1 had enough functionality to be useful.  Planning for V1 products were bound by the understanding V2 would be better and V3 would improve on V2.  In the early days of shrink wrapped software, the iteration cycles were more expensive and substantially longer than the rapid pace of today's internet development.  Today, with very little cost and limited amounts of time, startups as well as large enterprises can produce a minimal viable product (MVP) to get early and frequent feedback from all audience segments. 

The Lean movement has been building for a long time. The language of Lean has now gained sufficient critial mass for a broad array of people, projects, organizations and businesses to benefit from a more efficient use of resources. The common terminology enhances comunication to produce innovation and important results more quickly than achieved previously.

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