Lean startup

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"Lean startup" is a term coined and trademarked by Eric Ries. His method advocates creation of rapid prototypes that test market assumptions, and uses customer feedback in an effort to evolve the design faster than more traditional product development practices, such as the Waterfall model. It is not uncommon to see Lean Startups release new code to production multiple times a day, often using a practice called continuous deployment.

According to the New York Times, "The term 'lean start-up' was coined by Mr. Ries, 31, an engineer, entrepreneur and blogger. His inspiration, he says, was the lean manufacturing process, fine-tuned in Japanese factories decades ago and focused on eliminating any work or investment that doesn’t produce value for customers."

Lean startup is sometimes described as Lean Thinking applied to the entrepreneurial process. A central tenet of Lean Thinking is to reduce waste. Lean startup processes reduce waste by increasing the frequency of contact with real customers, therefore testing and avoiding incorrect market assumptions as early as possible.

In The Entrepreneur's Guide to Customer Development, Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits add a fourth element—powerful, low-cost, easy-to-use analytics. While some characteristics of lean startups have been practiced for years, the confluence of these trends is a recent[when?] phenomenon that increases the speed of iteration or "number of learning cycles per dollar", as a Starting a business homes in on a product-market fit.



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