Thursday, April 24, 2014

Book Review - The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

A coworker of mine asked me for help on how to buy an audio book and how to listen to it as he is going on a road trip. I recommended the service Audible as it is easy to listen to audio books. The book that he was trying to listen to was Lean Start up by Eric Ries. I had the book on my to read list as I heard many great things about it. It was also a great timing as I just switched my career and joined a small start up with the goal of learning how to start a successful business.

The Lean Start-up focuses on building the features that existing customers want over building a product that no one wants. The process steps that he talks about share a lot with the Agile software process where the app is driven by constant feedback. Small failures are also considered to be a good thing and are encouraged . 

There are a lot of examples and stories told to support the points made on how the process can help companies. My favorite were the ones where the "lean thinking" was implemented in larger companies. Intuit creating process of the mobile Turbo Tax used all of the ideas that seems to be exclusive to a start-up in a big corporation. I have heard that the secret to Google's success was that it was made of start ups inside a corporation umbrella and it all make scene after reading this book.

While I love the concepts of the book, I felt like the audio version was not the best way to enjoy this book. The examples used kept going back to ones used earlier and it was hard to follow the book structure as all chapters felt to sound as they talked about the same thing (compared to Good to Great Audio book where each concept/chapter used it's own chapter). This is more of a study guide to follow than it is an easy to follow audio book. That being said, I found myself sitting in my car waiting for a good stopping point. The concepts discussed were so relevant and ear grabbing.

Book Summary that I enjoyed: