Don’t be in a rush to get big. Be in a rush to have a great product.— Eric Ries
The most sublime Eric Ries quotes that will inspire your inner self
In the old economy, it was all about having the answers.
But in today’s dynamic, lean economy, it’s more about asking the right questions. A More Beautiful Question is about figuring out how to ask, and answer, the questions that can lead to new opportunities and growth.
The only way to win is to learn faster than anyone else.
The minimum viable product is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.
What differentiates the success stories from the failures is that the successful entrepreneurs had the foresight, the ability, and the tools to discover which parts of their plans were working brilliantly and which were misguided, and adapt their strategies accordingly.
Every startup has a chance to change the world, by bringing not just a new product, but an entirely new institution into existence.
A startup is a human institution designed to deliver a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty.
Lean thinking defines value as providing benefit to the customer; anything else is waste.
Start-up success is not a consequence of good genes or being in the right place at the right time. Success can be engineered by following the right process, which means it can be learned, which means it can be taught.
Innovation is a bottoms-up, decentralized, and unpredictable thing, but that doesn’t mean it cannot be managed.
Zero invites imagination, but small numbers invite questions about whether large numbers will ever materialize.
Reading is good, action is better.
Leadership requires creating conditions that enable employees to do the kinds of experimentation that entrepreneurship requires.
In a startup, both the problem and solution are unknown.
Progress in manufacturing is measured by the production of high quality goods.
The unit of progress for Lean Startups is validated learning-a rigorous method for demonstrating progress when one is embedded in the soil of extreme uncertainty.
There is no greater country on Earth for entrepreneurship than America.
In every category, from the high-tech world of Silicon Valley, where I live, to University R&D labs, to countless Main Street small business owners, Americans are taking risks, embracing new ideas and - most importantly - creating jobs.
Nowadays people talk about PayPal's founders as prescient geniuses who would inevitably change the world. It was, however, not so obvious that PayPal would taste its first major success by helping people sell Beanie Babies on eBay. But they had a vision, a hope, and the perseverance to try multiple iterations until they got it right.
The biggest start-up successes - from Henry Ford to Bill Gates to Mark Zuckerberg - were pioneered by people from solidly middle-class backgrounds. These founders were not wealthy when they began. They were hungry for success, but knew they had a solid support system to fall back on if they failed.
I would say, as an entrepreneur everything you do - every action you take in product development, in marketing, every conversation you have, everything you do - is an experiment. If you can conceptualize your work not as building features, not as launching campaigns, but as running experiments, you can get radically more done with less effort.
There is much that public policy can do to support American entrepreneurs.
Health insurance reform will make it easier for entrepreneurs to take a chance on a new business without putting their family's health at risk. Tort reform will make it easier to take prudent risks on new products in a number of sectors.
The attributes for entrepreneurs cut both ways.
You need the ability to ignore inconvenient facts and see the world as it should be and not as it is. This inspires people to take huge leaps of faith. But this blindness to facts can be a liability, too. The characteristics that help entrepreneurs succeed can also lead to their failure.
There was a study done in the early 20th century of all the entrepreneurs who entered the automobile industry around the same time as Henry Ford; there were something like 500 automotive companies that got funded, had the internal combustion engine, had the technology, and had the vision. Sixty percent of them folded within a couple of years.
Start-ups make so many mistakes that the challenge to identify the root cause of a failure is tough. But believing in your own plan is probably the worst.
Learning to see waste and systematically eliminate it has allowed lean companies such as Toyota to dominate entire industries. Lean thinking defines value as 'providing benefit to the customer'; anything else is waste.
The big question of our time is not Can it be built? but Should it be built? This places us in an unusual historical moment: our future prosperity depends on the quality of our collective imaginations.
The grim reality is that most start-ups fail.
Most new products are not successful. Yet the story of perseverance, creative genius, and hard work persists.
The way forward is to learn to see every startup in any industry as a grand experiment.
Entrepreneurship is not really building a product, it's not having an idea, it's not being in the right place at the right time. It's fundamentally company building.
If your goal is to make money, becoming an entrepreneur is a sucker's bet.
Sure, some entrepreneurs make a lot of money, but if you calculate the amount of stress-inducing work and time it takes and multiply that by the low likelihood of success and eventual payoff, it is not a great way to get rich.
Better to have bad news that's true than good news we made up
This is one of the most important lessons of the scientific method: if you cannot fail, you cannot learn.
At IMVU, the cost of customer acquisition through our five-dollar-a-day AdWords campaign was less than twenty-five cents. Our revenue from those same customers was more than a dollar.
The mistake isn't releasing something bad.
The mistake is to launch it and get PR people involved. You don't want people to start amping up expectations for an early version of your product. The best entrepreneurship happens in low-stakes environments where no one is paying attention, like Mark Zuckerberg's dorm room at Harvard.
Most start-up companies fail and it is smart public policy to help entrepreneurs increase their odds of succeeding. But, the biggest loss to our economy is not all the start-ups that didn't make it: It's the ones that might have been created but weren't.
If you cannot fail, you cannot learn.
If you don't know who your customer is, you don't know what quality is.
Entrepreneurs always pitch their idea as 'the X of Y,' so this is going to be 'the Microsoft of food.' And yet disruptive innovations usually don't have that character. Most of the time, if something seems like a good idea, it probably isn't.
A solid process lays the foundation for a healthy culture, one where ideas are evaluated by merit and not by job title.
Entrepreneurs can't forecast accurately, because they are trying something fundamentally new. So they will often be laughably behind plan - and on the brink of success.
Customers don't care how much time something takes to build.
They care only if it serves their needs.
I asked all of our recruiters to give me all resumes of prospective employees with their name, gender, place of origin, and age blacked out. This simple change shocked me, because I found myself interviewing different-looking candidates - even though I was 100% convinced that I was not being biased in my resume selection process.
Most phenomenal startup teams create businesses that ultimately fail.
Why? They built something that nobody wanted.
The goal of every startup experiment is to discover how to build a sustainable business around that vision.
The only person who can put you out of business, in the early days, is yourself.
A Start Up is an institution designed to thrive in the soil of extreme uncertainty
Customers don't know what they want. There's plenty of good psychology research that shows that people are not able to accurately predict how they would behave in the future. So asking them, 'Would you buy my product if it had these three features?' or 'How would you react if we changed our product this way?' is a waste of time. They don't know.
The United States is locked in a new arms race for that most precious resource - the future entrepreneurs upon whom economic growth depends. Substantial research shows that immigrants play a key role in American job creation.
You know how people always talk about how vision is the key to entrepreneurship and perseverance and really seeing what other people don't see? We can actually redeem a fair amount of that folk wisdom.
If the plan is to see what happens, a team is guaranteed to succeed - at seeing what happens - but won't necessarily gain validated learning - If you cannot fail, you cannot learn.