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Summary of Eric Ries talk at Google by Mind Map: Summary of Eric Ries talk at
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Summary of Eric Ries talk at Google

Waterfall copied from factory assembly line

moving goods from 1 dept to another

A thoery of enterpreneurship to guide our behavior

so, which of these are success stories, in the sense of meeting the vision & plan of founders & employees

a human institution trying to create something new, under conditions of high uncertainty


bio stages

wrode code

managed ppl writing code

managed ppl managing ppl writing code

now, coaching ppl managing ppl managing ppl writing code


Help stop wasting the time of people doing startups

5 Principles

Everyone are enterpreneurs

Enterpreneurship is management

Validated learning

"Build - measure - learn" loop

Innovation accounting

Consider the way startup stories are told


Ghost busters

The social network

Stories of startups have 3 parts

The protogonist having a great idea

The photo-montage - bringing everything to work

Success & its implications

What do we do in that part that makes a difference

Figure out which customers to listen to, & which not

Prioritizing features

How do we make people accountable

How can we make the photo-montage part more effective

What is a startup

enterpreneurship is a career

doing it means you're no longer an engineer/designer/&c

Startup = Experiment

just like in science, hypothesis, thoery which suggest which experiments will test it, prediction, conducting an experiment

Lean Startup tries to make it a science, to stop wasting ppl's time

In real-life, all of the important work is in the photo-montage act, though its the most boring, from story-telling perspective

Wasting time

The solution is not technical

The problem is not building things efficiently

But rather building things that no one wants

Most startups fail

<map of web2.0 startups logos in 2006, predicted to change the world>

<same map in which the companies that were closed/acquired by 2009 are marked>

The dominant question


Can it be built?


Should it be built?

Can it result in a sustainable business

Enterpreneurship is management

Our goal is to create an institution, not just a product

When we'll look at the way we manage work today in a few decades, we'd laugh on the primitive ways & absurd stupidity


The 1st thing in the toolbox

What do successful startups have in common?

The successful startups don't have better ideas than the failed ones

Successful startups differ in how they handle difficulties:

they didn'g give up & went home

nor did they continued till they hit the ground

they pivoted, they held one firm leg in what they've learned so far, & moved the other leg a bit - changing just 1 aspect of their business at a time

The premise of Lean Startups

Reduce the time between pivots

Will increase our odds of success

before we run out of money

Speed wins

The runway:

how many pivot opportunity do I have left

figure out to pivot sooner


Good for circumstances when problem & solution are known

this is long time after it was abandoned in assembly line

factories switched to Lean manufacturing

Achieving failure

If we're building something no one wants

What does it matter if we'er

on time

on budget

with high quality

with beautiful design

We're according to milestones

no body using our products as expected

That's what startup failure looks like

Lean manufacturing


"The customer is the most important thing in the production line"

If the customer doesn't care about some stuff, don't do it

When applied to software, the solution was Agile methodology

Which assumes there's someone that can give us authorative defintive answer on design questions

Unit of progress:, A line of working code

The problem with Agile

In startups - there's no customer to guide the programmers, We don't know who the customer is

Lean startup

Blank developed a system for finding your customer

Customer development

Unit of progress:

Validated learning


Personal experience with IMVU, They had a great strategy, But when bringing customers to usability tests - saw that all assumptions failed, All of the code was thrown out, He could have spent his time on the beach, His excuse for feeling better:, He learnt from it, If he learnt the important thing on customer after 6 months, why did it take 6 months?, What if instead of writing so much code, they would have written a mock download page describing the product, It would have resulted in the same result, This was very upsetting for him, something taking 3 hours is just as good as writing 25K lines of code

If you don't know who the customer is, you don't know what quality is

In lean manufacturing, there's a clear separation between value & waste

What's good to the customer is value

In Lean startup, value is only in what helps us learn

the goal is to learn how to build a sustainable business

validated learning, backup learning quantitavily

everything else is a complete waste of time, eliminate it

Minimum Viable Product

Containing only what's necessary to learn whether our plan is correct or not

Feedback loop

Ideas ->

Buid ->

Code ->

Measure ->

Data ->

Learn ->

This is the pivot

The goal is to minimize time through the loop

Every advice that gets us faster in this feedback loop is good

Lean startup is about accelerating the feedback loop

Code faster

Measure faster

Learn faster

Innovation Accounting

How can you make people accountable for their work when they need to develop something new?

How can you assess their progress / achievements

Focus on 3 learning milestones

Tune th engine, Experiment on how to improve the metrics, Do split testing to verify that changes indeed change the metrics

Establish the baseline, build MVP, Measure how customers bahve right now, A model allowing to predict:, if customers behave currently in this way, we'll have zillions of them in the future, find out where you are now, e.g., 1% convergion, we must make it 10%

PIvot or persevere, When experiments diminish metrics, it's time to pivot, or when the growth derivative flattens, before hitting the target metrics, Schedule the meeting in advance for making the decision, It's not simple to determine whether a Product-Market fit was reached, but Lean Startup suggests a methodic "scientific" way to do that

Do specific per-customer predictions

Not speculative projections

Further questions answered in the coming book

How do we know when to pivot?

what's the relation between the Vision, Strategy, Product?

What should we measure?

How do products grow?

Are we creating value?

What's in the MVP?

Can we go faster?


Which products should Google pivot on?

Google have a management problem, when launching a product, they have their brand name, & if it's needs pivot it's embarassing for Google

They should have launched in small scale without the Google brand

Companies should provide a platform for experimentation to developers

Have clear analytics of whether they succeed or not

Even though everything that Google launched immediately gets maximal exposure & download?, Yes, Marketing is something you can always do, but you shouldn't market trongly bad products, Really great products have an inherent organic growth capability

Pivots should be celebrated, Celebrate the learning, not the failure, Succeeded to get away from failure

Further reading

4 steps to epiphany

Book by Steve Blank

Book coming out in sept, 2011