This book is a startup phenomenon and has almost become required reading for any startup founders. That being said, it is most useful for software startups and is significantly less useful for biotech and other life science startups. In our industry it is not possible to release a 'quick and dirty' product to test on a subset of customers because we have to abide by regulatory rules and laws.
So for me, the biggest takeaway from 'The Lean Startup' was Eric's explanation of the 'Five Whys' method to examine problems within any business. You can save a lot of time and money by gathering together everyone working on a particular project and drilling down into why a certain problem occurred. Instead of blaming individuals and stopping at the first level of the problem, such as a milestone not being met because of experimental failure, look at why the experiment failed. Are your scientists overworked? Was there a problem with reagent supply? Do you need to retrain staff or change suppliers or audit your supplies more regularly?
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