Lean Startup has swept the world with its methodical approach of creating new businesses, and has started pushing out traditional business methods. Many new startups and small businesses have seen incredible results by becoming leaner thanks to Ash Maurya and Eric Ries’ guidance. Since implementing the lean principles, startups have dismissed the traditional practices, calling it outdated and unnecessary.
Yet, can you still claim that traditional methods of starting or running a business is useless when many Fortune 500 companies utilized those theories to achieve their status? People go back and forth on both approaches; however, there are a small number of people who say blending them is the best technique… and I'm one of them. Here are four points to keep in mind:
Resources always matter
Everything depends on the amount of resources at your disposal, including human capital, expertise pool, finance, and most of all time. Time is something someone can’t buy back, no matter how much money they have in the bank. After understanding what resources are available, then you can validate your hypothetical market.
Validate your market before the business plan
One thing I love about the lean startup is that they preach about validating one’s market in order to see if you have a profitable business. There are multiple approaches to validating one’s market potential, whether it is the bare minimum version, or using the more traditional marketing tools. Once again, it ties back to Rule #1 about expertise and time.
Make a roadmap, but don't lose sight of the product
When creating a new business, people get hung up on writing out the business plan while others say it is a waste of time and hard drive space. The leanest startups say writing a plan is unnecessary and detracts from getting the product out to your market. However, without knowing where you want to go, how can you confidently lead your team? Now, I'm not saying write a 62 page business plan, nor do I suggest focusing all your time and energy on it, but a small plan to know where you want to be is helpful.
You da boss: you can pick and choose how to run your business
Just because someone lectures about how great Lean Startup is or how to properly estimate financial projections doesn't mean you have to do it. Those are suggestions and approaches on how to run a new business, but that's not a surefire method. Your business is your baby; you simply do whatever you think is the best, regardless of what others say. At the very least, go with the approaches that saves you the most time.
That is it for now. Please tweet me at @BrandonTLuong about your thoughts and experience. Would love to hear about it!