The Lean Startup Book Summary - The Lean Startup Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

The Lean Startup summary

Eric Ries

How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses

4.6 (1126 ratings)
18 mins
Table of Contents

    The Lean Startup
    Summary of 11 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 11

    Start-ups need to be managed differently from established companies.

    In the first three blinks, you'll discover what the main goal is that a start-up should pursue.

    Traditional management consists of two components: developing plans and overseeing the people executing them.

    A manager creates a plan, sets milestones, and delegates tasks to her employees, guiding them to ensure they hit their milestones on time.

    This management strategy works in established companies that have been around long enough to know what worked in the past and therefore what could work in the future.

    Start-ups are different, though: they can’t predict their own future because they have no past, don’t know what their customers want, and don’t know which approaches are best for finding customers or creating a sustainable business. To find out what could work, they must stay flexible. To adopt fixed plans with set milestones or rely on long-term market forecasts would be to delude themselves.

    Nevertheless, many founders do use corporate-management tools such as milestone plans and long-term market forecasts. They act as if they are preparing a space rocket for liftoff, tinkering with it for years and only launching it when they think it’s perfect. In reality, managing a start-up is more like driving a jeep across unstable and shifting terrain, where the founders must constantly change direction and respond quickly to unexpected obstacles and dead-ends.

    However, start-ups shouldn’t abandon planning completely to adopt a chaotic “just do it” mindset either. Driving chaotically is not going to get you anywhere; someone has to be at the wheel to make intelligent decisions about which way to go.

    A start-up’s management team should try to maintain an overview of their situation and keep their company steered toward its overall goal. Hence, they need to find the right metrics to measure whether their journey is leading them in the right direction.

    Start-ups need to be managed differently from established companies.

    Want to see all full key ideas from The Lean Startup?

    Key ideas in The Lean Startup

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is The Lean Startup about?

    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.

    Who should read The Lean Startup?

    • Anyone interested in entrepreneurship and/or in starting their own company
    • Anyone interested in quick product development and testing
    • Founders, managers and employees in tech companies

    About the Author

    Eric Ries is a successful entrepreneur. He co-founded IMVU, a social network that uses 3D avatars. Today he is a sought-after consultant and public speaker.

    Categories with The Lean Startup

    Books like The Lean Startup

    People ❤️ Blinkist
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked

    Start growing with Blinkist now
    28 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    Of Blinkist members create a better reading habit*
    *Based on survey data from Blinkist customers
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial