Book Notes: Scaling Lean - Ash Maurya

Book Notes: Scaling Lean - Ash Maurya
Scaling Lean offers an invaluable blueprint for modeling startup success. Do you really have to go through the whole cycle of development, failure, iteration, tweak, repeat?


Title: Scaling Lean: Mastering the Key Metrics for Startup Growth
Author: Ash Maurya
Themes: Leadership, Management, Business, Agile, Software, Lean
Year: 2016
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0241978386, 9780241978382
Pages: 304

Scaling Lean offers an invaluable blueprint for modeling startup success. You'll learn the essential metrics that measure the output of a working business model, give you the pulse of your company, communicate its health to investors, and enable you to make precise interventions when things go wrong.

Is your 'big idea' worth pursuing? 

What if you could test your business model earlier in the process - before you've expended valuable time and resources?

Book Notes: Scaling Lean - Ash Maurya

You've talked to customers. You've identified problems that need solving, and maybe even built a minimum viable product. But now there's a second bridge to cross. 

How do you tell whether your idea represents a viable business? Do you really have to go through the whole cycle of development, failure, iteration, tweak, repeat?

"... When all else fails, one can always fall back on revenue as a measure of progress, right? Not really. The problem with relying on revenue as a measure of progress is that revenue is generally a longer customer life-cycle event, which can mean having to fly blind for a really long time. Mary’s team was making huge bets on several big features. Even though her team called them experiments, these were three- to six-month-long initiatives with long build cycles. Her investors had no other option than to accept these product strategies on faith and wait to see what happened. You need to shorten the feedback loop. Even when revenue is realized, unless you can accurately tie it back to specific actions or events from the past, it is easy to confuse correlation for causality. Mary’s teams didn’t know what was causing what to happen..."

Building a scalable and successful business starts with knowing what to measure and how. The first and most important stakeholder in the business is you, and your scarcest resource is time. Every minute spent on a business that is doomed to fail is a waste, and so it’s critical for you to be able to identify—quickly, early, and accurately—whether a business idea is worth pursuing.

Chapters of the Book:

PART 1: Defining Progress

  CHAPTER 1: Traction Is the Goal

  CHAPTER 2: The Back-of-the-Envelope Business Model Test

  CHAPTER 3: Build a Traction Model

PART 2: Prioritizing Waste

  CHAPTER 4: The Customer Factory Blueprint

  CHAPTER 5: Benchmark Your Customer Factory

  CHAPTER 6: Finding Constraints

PART 3: Achieving Breakthrough

  CHAPTER 7: The Art of the Scientist

  CHAPTER 8: Seven Habits for Highly Effective Experiments

  CHAPTER 9: Dealing with Failure

  CHAPTER 10: Avoid the Curse of Specialization

  CHAPTER 11: Hold Yourself Accountable

Ash Maurya is the author of Running Lean and the creator of the one-page business modeling tool Lean Canvas. His posts and advice have been featured in Inc., Forbes, and Fortune. He regularly hosts sold-out workshops around the world and serves as a mentor to several accelerators including TechStars, MaRS, and Capital Factory. He serves on the advisory board of a number of startups and has consulted with new and established companies.

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