This week, I read the article: “Why the Lean Startup Changes Everything” by Steve Blank, from the Harvard Business Review. As part of out media entrepreneurial class we learned that there are two ways of developing a start-up idea: 1) Following the agile approach or 2) Following the traditional waterfall approach.
The agile approach or the lean start-up model is what is discussed in the article. The lean model is something that emerged recently and focuses on concepts such as experimentation, customer feedback and iterative design.
The lean start-up model turns the idea of proceeding with an already existing business model on its head and focuses on looking for a business model. It emphasizes on sketching out a “business model canvas.” After doing this, the business model is tested by asking for feedback from potential users through the process of customer development, and finally lean start-up companies use the process of agile development to create the minimum viable products that they seek to test.
I really liked how the article mentioned that even though lean start-ups are not necessarily the most successful, they are less likely to fail, which could greatly impact economic trends, and help in the rise of an economy thrives on innovation.
Another point that resonated with me is that the lean model is a versatile concept. The agile model is not just used by new start-ups, but as the article mentions, they are now begun to be used by big companies as well, such as Inuit and GE.
Ultimately, in today’s rapidly evolving economy, entrepreneurs and companies need to decide for themselves whether they want to use a traditional waterfall model or a lean agile model. Both seem to have their pros and cons, but in my opinion, going for a lean start-up model seems like an attractive option because of the large room for experimentation, and the crucial use of customer feedback in its process.