The concept was very interesting, but since I am not a part of the start up or entrepreneurial world, it didn’t apply to me directly.
Ries, explains a “newer” way of doing startups by releasing the minimal viable product or not polished product filled with potential errors and bugs rather than smoothing everything out in the beginning. He explains numerous examples of ways that companies have wasted money putting together the “polished” product just so that it would tank because the entrepreneurs didn’t know what their market really wanted. All they had to go off of was what they thought the market wanted.
By releasing minimal viable products, you’re doing the least amount of work and getting more feedback about what your target market wants or what just works. The rise of Toyota can be attributed to the Lean Manufacturing method that is spoken of in this book. Ries uses many Toyota examples in his book. Most people like their cars, and they had to compete with companies like ford around the end of the WWII era. However, the example that was toward the end of the book that really hit me was his envelope stuffing example.
A family earned money stuffing envelopes… folded the paper, put it in the envelope, sealed, and put a stamp on it. The dad did this one envelope at a time. His daughters said that he wasn’t being efficient enough. They thought that it would be quicker to fold all the papers, then move to stuffing them in the envelopes, then sealing them all etc etc. So they divided the work and raced to see who did it quickest. Lo and behold- it was the dad who won. Now I am not going to go into the reasoning why he won, (you’ll just have to read the book to figure it out) but his point was valid.
Anyway, if you’re into business, or doing things efficiently check out Ries’s book!