Running Lean Book Summary - Running Lean Book explained in key points
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Running Lean summary

Ash Maurya

Iterate from a Plan A to A Plan That Works

4.1 (72 ratings)
14 mins

Brief summary

Running Lean by Ash Maurya is a practical guide for building successful startups. It offers a step-by-step process for product-market fit, customer development and continuous improvement, based on real-world experience.

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    Running Lean
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    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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    Key ideas in Running Lean

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    What is Running Lean about?

    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.

    Running Lean Review

    Running Lean (2012) by Ash Maurya is a comprehensive guide to building successful startups by using lean methodologies. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Packed with practical techniques and real-world examples, it provides entrepreneurs with a step-by-step framework to validate their startup ideas and achieve customer traction.
    • With its focus on customer development and continuous improvement, the book offers a systematic approach to building products that customers actually want, reducing the risk of failure.
    • Unlike other business books, Running Lean combines theory with actionable tools, making it an engaging and interactive guide that keeps readers actively involved in the learning process.

    Who should read Running Lean?

    • Anyone considering founding a start-up
    • Entrepreneurs wanting to release a new product without wasting resources

    About the Author

    Ash Maurya is the founder of several start-ups, most notably WiredReach. He works closely with other entrepreneurs to promote his vision of “lean start-ups” and holds mentor roles with start-up accelerators.

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    Running Lean FAQs 

    What is the main message of Running Lean?

    The main message of Running Lean is to help entrepreneurs build successful businesses by continuously validating their ideas and making data-driven decisions.

    How long does it take to read Running Lean?

    The reading time for Running Lean varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Running Lean a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Running Lean is a valuable read for entrepreneurs looking to optimize their startup process. It offers practical insights and methodologies to improve efficiency and increase chances of success.

    Who is the author of Running Lean?

    The author of Running Lean is Ash Maurya.

    What to read after Running Lean?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Running Lean, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Traction by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares
    • The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
    • Scale for Success by Jan Cavelle
    • User Research by Stephanie Marsh
    • Lean Analytics by Alistair Croll and Benjamin Yoskovitz
    • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
    • The Startup Playbook by David S. Kidder
    • The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick
    • Million Dollar Habits by Brian Tracy
    • The Fund by Rob Copeland