A startup is a temporary institution designed to search for product-market fit. The same challenges apply whether that is an internal project within a large company or a couple of founders working out of a cafe.
According to Deloitte Private, only 4% of Australian startups become successful companies.
The other 96% rarely fail because the product doesn’t work. Usually, it’s because they develop products that they THINK people will want and spend all their resources perfecting their product before showing it to customers who don’t want to buy it.
Startups that succeed are those that manage to iterate (make changes) based on validated customer learnings enough times before they run out of resources
Time between iterations is FUNDAMENTAL
“We must learn what customers really want, not what they say they want or what we think they should want.” ― Eric Ries, The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
According to Stanford professor, serial entrepreneur and father of the lean startup movement, Steve Blank, launching a new startup or initiative within a large corporation—has always been a hit-or-miss proposition. You write a business plan, pitch it to investors, assemble a team, introduce a product, and start selling as hard as you can. And somewhere in this sequence of events, you’ll probably suffer a fatal setback.
The odds are not with you: As new research by Harvard Business School’s Shikhar Ghosh shows, 75% of all start-ups fail.
However, The Lean Startup, 2011's book by Eric Ries, has popularised the lean startup methodology which advocates experimentation over elaborate planning, customer feedback over intuition, and iterative design over traditional 'big bang' design and development up front. Today, both start-ups and large companies are embracing concepts such as 'minimum viable products' and rapid prototyping to radically improve the likelihood of finding product market fit, without wasting millions of dollars or several years looking for it.
Lean start-up practices aren’t just for young tech ventures. Large companies, such as GE, Qualcomm and Intuit, have begun to implement them successfully.
Why traditional methods for product development are broken
Business plans rarely survive first contact with customers. As the boxer Mike Tyson once said about his opponents’ prefight strategies: “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
No one besides venture capitalists and the late Soviet Union requires five-year plans to forecast complete unknowns. These plans are generally fiction, and dreaming them up is almost always a waste of time.
Startups are not smaller versions of large companies. They do not unfold in accordance with master plans. The ones that ultimately succeed go quickly from failure to failure, all the while adapting, iterating on, and improving their initial ideas as they continually learn from customers.
You will not only will you receive an overview of the entire lean startup process and supporting tools, backed by real-world case studies and immersive activities but you will also be asked to come with an idea and you will leave with a working prototype and some validated learnings.
This will help you quickly and cheaply determine whether or not you're onto a winner, which elements of your business model need tweaking, what features you need to think about and you will start to gain an appreciation for which marketing and distribution channels work best.
You will also be able to tap into the collective knowledge and opinions of your peers as well as expert insights of the facilitator and guest speakers.
If you answer yes to any of the following questions then the lean startup short course is for you.