Thursday, March 6, 2014

Lean Startups: Necessary and Sufficient

A friend of mine asked for some war stories of entrepreneurship over a couple of beers.

My best advice was to point him in the direction of Eric Ries super book, almost a manual, certainly a must-read ... The Lean Startup.

At its heart, though, my experience is one of focusing on a few simple principles:

  • Test everything, is it necessary? I'm constantly shifting and re-evaluating to make sure that what we do is actually the right thing to be doing: we don't want to waste effort on doing stuff we don't have to.
  • Test everything, is it sufficient? When I've got my list of necessary, and only necessary, things; I run a second test, to make sure that we're not missing anything. It's surprising how often that second check throws up something that really is necessary.
So these two tests, necessary and sufficient, are about focusing our energies; and concentrating on the things immediately at the top of the pile.

We use a fairly sophisticated project management system that enables us to keep track of all the things on the list; and to re-sort and re-prioritise to make sure that it's only the currently necessary and sufficient things that get worked on now. 

As we tick them off the list as completed, new items rise to the top. In this way, we get through a phenomenal workload in a quick time.

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