March 16, 2015
Since writing The Lean Startup, Eric Ries has traveled the world to help startups and large companies alike adopt a Lean Startup approach. The lean methodology has grown significantly in the five years since then. But even understanding “lean” in one application does not mean that founders have found it easy to translate the practice when moving to a new company or trying to apply the principles in a large organization.
To share what he’s learned in his work to help companies set up systems that support continuous innovation, Ries has written a 250-page guide called The Leader’s Guide which will be offered only on Kickstarter to backers of the campaign. The campaign itself offers both The Leaders Guide and the next book, which is tentatively titled The Startup Way.
In essence, the campaign is an experiment designed to create collaboration with readers in order to write the next book. We sat down with Eric Ries during SXSW 2015 to ask him to tell us all about it:
“I wanted to do something that is more experimental, more immediate,” Ries told us. “Everybody who backs the Kickstarter campaign will be part of a private community where they’re going to be able to get early access to chapters and materials from the leader’s guide. We hope that they will use that in our own work and report back what happens.”
This will allow the author to find case studies that he might not otherwise have been able to find.
In a Medium post written today by Ries, he adds: “To me, this book is not just a product but also an important step in my experimentation process. In Lean Startup terminology, The Leader’s Guide is an “MVP” — minimum viable product, or an offering we can use to start the process of learning from customers. Think of it as an early experiment or in-market test of ideas. An MVP can be as simple as marketing materials or a brochure, or, like The Leader’s Guide, it can be an actual product.
He goes on to point out that even though this might sound like market research, he is offering it as an MVP and proves why this campaign qualifies as an MVP:
- It provides utility to the customer,
- It is a deliberate experimentation approach based on customer behavior, and
- It is designed for the customer to take some action.
The Kickstarter campaign just launched today, so be among the first to get in on this collaborative experiment.
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