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The 'lean startup' philosophy is not just for startups. GE, a company with a market cap of over US$260B and more than 200,000 employees, used the lean startup philosophy to decrease time to market validation for new ideas by 80%. Today, both startups and large companies are embracing concepts such as 'minimum viable product' and ‘rapid prototyping’ to radically improve the likelihood of finding product market fit for new ideas, without wasting precious money and time looking for it by over-investing in the wrong idea.
- More than 70% of IT projects fail
- More than 80% of new ideas at large companies fail
- More than 95% of startups fail
Because they all race ahead and develop products and features that nobody wants or wants bad enough to pay what’s required to generate sustainable growth.
A startup is just a temporary organisation searching for product market fit.
As such, when a corporate innovation team is searching for product market fit for a new concept they are effectively a startup and the same rules apply. Therefore, they need to embrace the mindset, methods and tools that a startup uses to find product market fit, at least in the early stages of an innovation project, to maximise their likelihood of success.
The lean startup provides a framework to quickly, cheaply and effectively test assumptions underpinning an idea - the problem, the solution, the features, target customer segments, distribution channels, marketing channels, revenue models and more - which allows managers to make better investment decisions supported not by what market research reports prepared by research houses tell us (usually an indicator of the past) but what customer behaviour tells us. This goes far beyond focus groups which fail because test cases are usually (a) paid to be there, (b) influenced by the vocal majority in the room and (c) not actually asked to pay for something.
Being 1.5X or 2X better is no longer enough. There are so many factors influencing buyer behaviour including customer experience, switching costs, social proof, price, quality, support, brand, noise and more importantly whether your product is 10X better than what they’re currently using or how they’re currently solving a problem. In a world full of noise and an endless stream of marketing messages, the only way you will stand out and get people’s attention to the point where they are compelled to act is by being 10X better.
To do this you need to engage customers from day one, run lots of short experiments, move quickly and iterate towards a product that is so much better that you not only turn people into customers, but also into advocates - spreading the word about your awesome product, ultimately reflecting on your company’s brand as well as talent acquisition and retention. The benefits compound.
Today, companies such as GE, DBS, Unilever, Intuit, Samsung and countless others are training their employees in the lean startup and applying it to perform customer discovery and develop an understanding of what customers want before spending millions of dollars developing the wrong thing and effectively increasing their return on innovation investment.
We’ve worked with some of Australia's and Singapore’s largest brands to deliver lean startup training and empower organisations to build, measure and learn much faster than they ever have before - fundamentally putting them in a position to search for and find product market fit for new ideas without overinvesting in time and money.
With offices in Singapore and Melbourne, we can provide lean startup training across all of Asia-Pac.