Saturday, January 14, 2012

Lean Startup : Experiment on Building Failure

Reading The Lean Startup opened my eyes on how to manage a startup.

The definition of startup, in this book, is any human institution designed to create a new product or service under conditions of extrem uncertainty.

One particular quote of this book just opened my eyes : if you cannot fail, you cannot learn.

So I asked, what is failure ? For my previous startup failure was going bankrupt. I failed, I learned, but the problem is : it took us 9 months to see that we were going the wrong path.

I wasted lots of time and money, and minimizing waste is the mantra of Lean thinking.

In scientific methodologies, you prove an assumption (a conjecture) by doing an experiment.
If no experiment can be made to prove that the assumption is wrong then it's religion, belief and politic but it is not science.

If you cannot fail, you cannot learn, what is your assumption ? what experiment can you make to prove you are wrong ? how do you build failure ?

Building the product is not the most important part, building the experiment that will proove without ambiguity if you are in the right path might be way more important.

"Just do it" enterpreneurship, ie creating the product and just see if it works, might be such experiment... BUT, believe me, it's costly with lots of waste, I hope I will find cheaper next time.

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