The Lean Startup (2011) helps start-ups and tech companies develop sustainable business models. It advocates continuous rapid prototyping and focusing on customer-feedback data.
The method is based on the concepts of lean manufacturing and agile development, and its efficacy is backed up by case studies from the last few decades.
The main goal of any start-up is to find a business model that is profitable and sustainable.
The most intricate and detailed milestone plans, the most efficient execution of those plans or even the undivided and devoted attention of the press won’t help the slightest without a sustainable business model.
If you want your company to be more than just a temporary pet project that will sooner or later dwindle and die, you must find a way to acquire customers and earn money by serving them. Say you want to build your business around online kilt-knitting instructions. Ask yourself, does anyone want these instructions? Is there any way to make money out of them? If the answer in both cases is no, find something else that people do want and will be willing to pay for.
Thus, the one and only goal for your start-up is to find a sustainable business model, one that works today and can work in the future as well. In practice, this means finding out which products your potential customers want and how to turn their desires into constant revenues.
The main responsibility of any start-up’s management should be to focus the whole company, including everything being done on a day-to-day basis, on reaching this one main goal. The faster a start-up finds its way to a sustainable business model, the likelier it is to succeed.
The purpose of a start-up is to find a sustainable business model.