The founders of lean startups don’t begin with a business plan; they begin with the search for a business model. Only after quick rounds of experimentation and feedback reveal a model that works do lean founders focus on execution. On the left are features of a lean startup. On the right are features of a traditional startup.
Business plan Implementation
Get out of the office and test hypotheses
New Product Process
Product management Prepare offering for market following a linear, step-by-step plan
Build the product iteratively and incrementally
Fully specify the product before building it
Customer + agile development teams
Hire for learning,
nimbleness, and speed
Departments by function Hire for experience and ability to execute
Metrics that matter Customer acquisition cost, lifetime customer value, churn, viralness
Income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement
Fix by iterating on ideas and pivoting away from ones that don’t work
Fix by firing executives
Source: Blank, Steve. Why the lean startup changes everything. Harvard Business Review.