Everything that has a beginning also has an ending, sadly we concluded our review of the Lean Startup book by Eric Ries last week, but I must say it was an interesting read and review altogether.
However there’s more to adopting the lean thought methodology in growing your startup as an entrepreneur than what the short review gave away. As an entrepreneur you do not want your business to be known only for its smart ideas, you also want to start taking the right decisions that’d in real time validate those ideas. So I’d be leaving you with 5 pointers from the book to help with this.
Look outside of entrepreneurship
The virtues that promote ideal entrepreneurship are not all embedded in a single entity. Most times we tend to make the mistake that good entrepreneurship is a function of a large office, the comfort that comes with being tagged an entrepreneur or going to a school of entrepreneurship. The lean startup model has shown that practical ideas outside of your managerial line of thinking can also be valuable in achieving entrepreneurial objective. To validate his Lean Startup principle, Eric Ries had to study other industries, especially car manufacturing from which most modern theories of management derive. So until you make things happen outside; with valuable bearing on the growth of your business, you don’t have the right to sit down comfortably in that office feeling like an acomplished entrepreneur.
Surround yourself with entrepreneur who are willing to experiment with new approaches
No man is an island of knowledge and hence the need for co-founders. However the ideas of having co-founders goes beyond just adding up numbers to compliment your area of weakness. Co-founders are like a single individual comprising of different bodies, and as such they all want the same thing regardless of the direction it is located. Eric Ries laments about how his bright looking ideas at the beginning all of a sudden followed the sharp diminishing return slope and eventually hit rock bottom. The case would have been disastrous if he and his co-founders were too scared to try new things. He later went on to describe how fortunate he was having co-founders (with Steve Blank as investor and adviser) who were willing to experiment with new approaches turned things around.
There’s more to the future of your startup than what your today plan offers
The greatest threat to the growth of your startup is the allure of a good plan, and surprisingly, a lot of startups have been caught in this web. It is becoming harder predicting the future as each day passes, therefore planning and forecasting are necessary and more importantly; accurate when based on a long, stable operating history and a relative environment.
The fundamental activity for entrepreneur when turning ideas to product is to measure how customers respond, and then learn whether to pivot or persevere.
To improve entrepreneurial outcome and hold innovators accountable, there’s a need to focus on the boring stuff: how to measure progress,how to set up milestones and how to prioritize work. This requires a new kind of accounting designed for startups especially and the people who hold them accountable.
Jan. 18: Bonus Built in Africa episode: Town Hall meeting with Peter Salovey, President of Yale University
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