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The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

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Book about using lean principles related to start up businesses. Lean defines anything as valuable if it adds value to the customer, this can be challenging for start ups as the customer base is not yet known. A pitfall is that often people heavily involved in a project assume something is useful but it is in fact not.  Most of this book is about encouraging small experiments to ascertain what adds value to the customer.

Data that you analyse should have what is referred to as the three As:
Actionable (demonstrates cause and effect)
Accessible (data makes sense and is focused on user activity or a desired metric rather than hits on a website)
Auditable (avoid vanity metrics)

Consider using split testing to establish if a newer method is something to pursue.  To do this use a control group with old development or method and compared outcomes against the proposed new development or method.

The biggest benefit of working in small batches batches is that issues can be identified swiftly and dealt with. Don’t start to produce hundreds or thousands of items to find they don’t work due to a previously unknown problem at the end of the production line.

If anything goes wrong ask the five whys, ideally as a team:

1. why did it go wrong

2. why did that (number 1) go wrong

3. why did number 2 go wrong

4. why did number 3 go wrong

5. why did number 4 go wrong.

This allows the route cause to be identified.  When using this ‘five why’ approach as a team firstly get used to doing this with less important things so you become familiar with this.

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