Lean Startup Methodology, what is it?

In their beginnings, all great business ideas always had to go through a turning point after which their creators determined if they were viable and, therefore, profitable. The problem comes when these ideas do not work as expected, with the subsequent economic losses that entails. Lean startup is a philosophy of doing business that changes the paradigm of entrepreneurship and enables the proliferation of great ideas by investing minimal resources.

Lean startup method, what is it?


In marketing, lean startup consists of the scalable development of a business idea, so that few resources are invested at the beginning and it is subjected to proper testing to predict whether it will be viable in the future.

The meaning of lean startup revolves around creating a project and delivering it on a small scale , so that, with minimal risk and investment rates, its viability to mass produce and deliver it (on a larger scale) is detected. 

What this does is make sure the idea works before producing it on a large scale . This way of proceeding is typical of startups (emerging companies), and the term “lean” refers to a philosophy consisting of stripping a business of everything that does not add value. 

One of the most illustrative success stories of the lean startup method was Netflix. The idea arose in 1997 in the city of Scott Valley (California): they started as an online video store with just under 1,000 films in a city of barely 10,000 inhabitants. As the cycles continued, the idea improved until it became the streaming giant it is today.

Steps to apply the lean startup methodology


1. Approach

The process begins with the need to identify what problem you want to solve, and ask whether a client will be willing to pay for said resolution. In this preliminary stage it is essential to collect all possible information , for example, through surveys launched by email. 

2. Validation

The next phase consists of developing the solution to the problem on a small scale, and subjecting it to simulations or tests that are as real as possible. It is about finding out the degree of acceptance of the solution by the target audience.  

3. Measurement

In the third phase we will choose the metrics (KPI) that best define the success or failure of the project during its first steps. These measurements will help us debug and refine the deliverable.  

4. Learning

This stage consists of collecting as much feedback as possible to learn as you go . Feedback that will come from the first customers who have tried the product before you begin to distribute it on a large scale. 

5. Repetition

The four previous phases must be repeated cyclically several times , so that each iteration produces an improved version of the deliverable, knowing that it already has successive debugging and improvement filters. There will come a time when it can be produced and distributed on a larger scale, and that will be when the bulk of the investment will be made. 

This new vision contrasts with the typical methodology of large companies, in which the profitability of the organization itself comes before the development of the project. In the lean startup method, the client is at the center, and the entire business idea is developed based on their needs.