Mijbel F. AlQattan is a founding partner at Cubical Services, where he provides advisory and incubation services for startups (both technology and traditional). His areas of expertise include business model development, business plan analysis and financial analysis for startups. He is speaking about the Lean Startup methodology at today’s StartupQ8 meetup, and is introducing the concept in a guest post here:
Lean Startup methodology is a new way to approach building scalable startups. As has been discussed in this blog, the difference between a startup and a small business is that startups have significant business model risk, whereas small businesses have implementation risk. Silicon Valley entrepreneur Eric Ries defines a startup as “a human institution designed to create a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty.” So he set out to devise a methodology to develop successful products in those uncertain conditions, and the Lean Startup movement was born.
Lean Startup methodology is a set of practices designed to minimize the negative effects of business model risk. At its core, it preaches that you should form a set of hypothesis around your main idea, construct a minimum viable product to test those assumptions, test and analyze the results, then iterate. Central to the lean startup theory is the “Build-Measure-Learn” feedback loop. That is the essence of what the startup should be about: Ideas become products, customer response is measured, results are analyzed and the entrepreneurs decide whether to pivot or persevere.
The methodology is being widely embraced by technology entrepreneurs worldwide. Success stories like Instagram and Groupon used methods derived from the Lean Startup tenets to build their successful products. Clearly, there are also examples of successful companies which don’t particularly embrace these methods, so success stories alone shouldn’t convince you of the validity of lean practices. However, the methodology is sound and it teaches you to focus on solving customers’ needs, which is paramount to the success of any business.
If you’d like to learn more, please let us know in the comments, or attend tonight’s StartupQ8 meetup in Kuwait City at 7 pm (details here).