Lean Startup Quotes from Eric Ries

As practitioners of the Lean Startup methodology we hold Eric Ries and his approach to startup a business in high regard. So we’ve taken the time to set out a number of top inspirational quotes from his book ‘The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses’. Check out these inspirational quotes and we’ll work on our next motivational poster.
“The only way to win is to learn faster than anyone else.”

“We must learn what customers really want, not what they say they want or what we think they should want.”
“When blame inevitably arises, the most senior people in the room should repeat this mantra: if a mistake happens, shame on us for making it so easy to make that mistake.”

“Innovation is a bottoms-up, decentralized, and unpredictable thing, but that doesn’t mean it cannot be managed.”
“Build-Measure-Learn feedback loop is at the core of the Lean Startup model.”
“Leadership requires creating conditions that enable employees to do the kinds of experimentation that entrepreneurship requires.”

“Zero invites imagination, but small numbers invite questions about whether large numbers will ever materialize.”

“You cannot be sure you really understand any part of any business problem unless you go and see for yourself firsthand. It is unacceptable to take anything for granted or to rely on the reports of others.”

“As you consider building your own minimum viable product, let this simple rule suffice: remove any feature, process, or effort that does not contribute directly to the learning you seek.”

“The lesson of the MVP is that any additional work beyond what was required to start learning is waste, no matter how important it might have seemed at the time.”
“Metcalfe’s law: the value of a network as a whole is proportional to the square of the number of participants. In other words, the more people in the network, the more valuable the network.”
“After more than ten years as an entrepreneur, I came to reject that line of thinking. I have learned from both my own successes and failures and those of many others that it’s the boring stuff that matters the most. Startup success is not a consequence of good genes or being in the right place at the right time. Startup success can be engineered by following the right process, which means it can be learned, which means it can be taught.”

“the Lean Startup is a new way of looking at the development of innovative new products that emphasizes fast iteration and customer insight, a huge vision, and great ambition, all at the same time.”

“Entrepreneurs are everywhere. You don’t have to work in a garage to be in a startup. The concept of entrepreneurship includes anyone who works within my definition of a startup: a human institution designed to create new products and services under conditions of extreme uncertainty. That means entrepreneurs are everywhere and the Lean Startup approach can work in any size company, even a very large enterprise, in any sector or industry. 2. Entrepreneurship is management. A startup is an institution, not just a product, and so it requires a new kind of management specifically geared to its context of extreme uncertainty. In fact, as I will argue later, I believe “entrepreneur” should be considered a job title in all modern companies that depend on innovation for their future growth. 3. Validated learning. Startups exist not just to make stuff, make money, or even serve customers. They exist to learn how to build a sustainable business. This learning can be validated scientifically by running frequent experiments that allow entrepreneurs to test each element of their vision. 4. Build-Measure-Learn. The fundamental activity of a startup is to turn ideas into products, measure how customers respond, and then learn whether to pivot or persevere. All successful startup processes should be geared to accelerate that feedback loop. 5. Innovation accounting. To improve entrepreneurial outcomes and hold innovators accountable, we need to focus on the boring stuff: how to measure progress, how to set up milestones, and how to prioritize work. This requires a new kind of accounting designed for startups—and the people who hold them accountable.”

“A solid process lays the foundation for a healthy culture, one where ideas are evaluated by merit and not by job title.”

“Waiting too long to release can lead to the ultimate waste: making something that nobody wants.”

“Do consumers recognize that they have the problem you are trying to solve? 2. If there was a solution, would they buy it? 3. Would they buy it from us? 4. Can we build a solution for that problem?”

“One remarkable part of the SnapTax story is what the team leaders said when I asked them to account for their unlikely success. Did they hire superstar entrepreneurs from outside the company? No, they assembled a team from within Intuit. Did they face constant meddling from senior management, which is the bane of innovation teams in many companies? No, their executive sponsors created an “island of freedom” where they could experiment as necessary. Did they have a huge team, a large budget, and lots of marketing dollars? Nope, they started with a team of five. What allowed the SnapTax team to innovate was not their genes, destiny, or astrological signs but a process deliberately facilitated by Intuit’s senior management.”

“entrepreneurship should be considered a viable career path for innovators inside large organizations.”

“The goal of every startup experiment is to discover how to build a sustainable business around that vision.”

“The rate of growth depends primarily on three things: the profitability of each customer, the cost of acquiring new customers, and the repeat purchase rate of existing customers. The higher these values are, the faster the company will grow and the more profitable it will be. These are the drivers of the company’s growth model.”
“The Lean Startup is a set of practices for helping entrepreneurs increase their odds of building a successful startup.”

“In the Lean Startup model, an experiment is more than just a theoretical inquiry; it is also a first product.”

“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.”

“...a long-term reputation is only at risk when companies engage in vocal launch activities such as PR and building hype. When a product fails to live up to those pronouncements, real long-term damage can happen to a corporate brand. But startups have the advantage of being obscure, having a pathetically small number of customers and not having much exposure. Rather than lamenting them, use these advantages to experiment under the radar and then do a public marketing launch once the product has proved itself with real customers.”

“Dropbox needed to test its leap-of-faith question: if we can provide a superior customer experience, will people give our product a try? They believed—rightly, as it turned out—that file synchronization was a problem that most people didn’t know they had. Once you experience the solution, you can’t imagine how you ever lived without it.”

“In School of One, students have daily "playlists" of their learning tasks that are attuned to each student's learning needs, based on that student's readiness and learning style. For example, Julia is way ahead of grade level in math and learns best in small groups, so her playlist might include three or four videos matched to her aptitude level, a thirty-minute one-on-one tutoring session with her teacher, and a small group activity in which she works on a math puzzle with three peers at similar aptitude levels. There are assessments built into each activity so that data can be fed back to the teacher to choose appropriate tasks for the next playlist.”

“In my Toyota interviews, when I asked what distinguishes the Toyota Way from other management approaches, the most common first response was genchi gembutsu—whether I was in manufacturing, product development, sales, distribution, or public affairs. You cannot be sure you really understand any part of any business problem unless you go and see for yourself firsthand. It is unacceptable to take anything for granted or to rely on the reports of others.”
We hope you enjoyed these, if you like inspiration check out our gallery of motivational posters and smartphone wallpapers.