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Running Lean

Iterate from a Plan A to A Plan That Works

By Ash Maurya
  • Read in 12 minutes
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  • Contains 7 key ideas
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Running Lean by Ash Maurya

Running Lean presents you with a fail-safe strategy to bringing your new product successfully into the market. By promoting a methodology of clever testing and planning ahead, the book gives you a step-by-step guide in building a business model that works while saving time, money and effort.

Key idea 1 of 7

Create a “lean canvas,” or one-page diagram, to get down your business idea simply and clearly.

Do you consider yourself an ideas person? If you do, you know what it’s like. A good idea can pop into your head at any moment, while riding your bike or eating dinner with friends.

And once in a while, you’ll come up with something great, perhaps the kernel of a successful business. But before your ideas become reality, they need to be written down first.

Good entrepreneurship starts with documentation, which allows you to clarify your initial plans and refine them. And since you’ll refine them many, many times, you need a fast and flexible mode of documentation.

So what’s the best way to do this?

It’s all about keeping it short and simple. You might think that a business plan should take months to create. But there’s a better option.

Creating a lean canvas, or a one-page diagram, takes very little time. A lean canvas can also be adjusted easily, which is vital.

Because really, no one knows whether an initial idea will actually fly. Your first light-bulb moment is built on assumptions and hypotheses, that are tweaked as you learn more and more.

For example, you might start your tech business with a focus on a beautifully designed website. But after some research, you might find that all your clients want is something functional, so you decide to shift your focus accordingly.

Altering a long, detailed business plan would be a painstaking process. But with a lean canvas, changing your vision is easy. So at first, make use of the lean canvas approach to experiment with different business models for your idea.

After a while, you’ll have several one-page plans, and will be ready to start bringing your business to life. Review those plans, and choose the strongest models, the ones you think really address a need in the market.

You might even choose a favorite, but wait: not so fast. There are a few more steps to complete before you’re ready to jump in. Read on to find out exactly what they are.

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