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The Lean Startup Summary + Review: feedback

I think the current review very well captures the main ideas of the book without getting dragged down into the less valuable details.

Two more big ideas that I think deserve to make the summary/review are:

  1. The ten types of pivots
  2. The three engines of growth

The first can go under the "Change Based on Feedback" section (here's a quote from Patrick O'Malley that I think summarizes it well):

  1. Zoom-in pivot. This pivot can be useful when you see that one feature in your product gets far more traction and interest than the other features in your product. You can then "pivot" by offering a new product that offers only that one feature. Obviously, by doing so you can dedicate more resources to perfecting this one feature (and really making sure the customer's job-to-be-done is well-catered to). You can also get to market more quickly and build an MVP more efficiently. For example, imagine you have a project management tool that offers a group chat functionality, bug tracking, agile board management, and time management. Pivoting your product to only offer the specialized time management solution could be more successful.
  2. Zoom-out pivot. This is the above pivot in reverse. You broaden your product to include more features. Now what was considered the whole product becomes one (or several) features of a larger product.
  3. Customer segment pivot. Your product may prove popular but not with the user segment that you had initially targeted. Therefore your product positioning may need to change and the value proposition, pricing, and channels would all need to be reviewed.
  4. Customer need pivot. Life is too short to build products that nobody wants. Imagine you use the Lean Startup framework to identify early on that the problem you are trying to solve with your product is not very important to customers. Then you must understand more deeply the job that they are trying to do and find a problem they are willing to pay you to solve. You may need to point your existing product at a different customer "job" or you may need a completely new product.
  5. Platform pivot. This talks about a change from an application to a platform or vice versa. Examples of platforms are eBay, AirBnb, Uber, Android store etc.
  6. Business architecture pivot. Geoffrey Moore, author of Crossing the Chasm, tells us there are two types of business: high-margin, low-volume businesses and low-margin, high-volume businesses. You cannot be both but sometimes you can pivot from one to the other.
  7. Value capture pivot. This pivot refers to changes to how you monetize or earn revenue. This is how the business captures value, typically by charging customers money. When you change how you make money, this impacts the product, business, sales, marketing and operational sides of the business model.
  8. Engine of growth pivot. Most startups these days use one of three primary growth engines: the viral, sticky, and paid growth models. Viral growth is when current users recommend other users. Paid growth is when you spend marketing money on acquiring new customers. Sticky growth is when you manage to retain most of your users and churn rate is low. You can pivot from one of these growth engines to another. Note: The churn rate of a product or service the percentage of subscribers that stop subscribing in a given period.
  9. Channel pivot. Here you change how and where you sell your products and services (in stores, online, through partners, in-app). Channel pivots therefore often require adjustments to many elements of the business model.
  10. Technology pivot. This pivot is when a new technology can be used to achieve the same outcome. This can be beneficial if the new solution has lower cost and/or better performance.

*Click the blockquote above to expand it.

And, as for the three engines of growth, I'd make that section #4 and move the "Use Lean Methodology" section to #5.

For example:

# 4. Accelerate Business Growth

Thanks to Gennaro Cuofano from FourWeekMBA

There are three main ways to drive sustainable growth:

  • The sticky engine: growth by focusing on making sure your customers come back to use your product or service again.
  • The viral engine: word of mouth and virality.
  • The paid engine: spending money to acquire paying customers.

# 5. Use Lean Methodology

The last part of the book was mostly focused on the lean methodology, a product development system born in Japan with Toyota.


*Click the blockquote above to expand it.

Thank you for this, Ali!

It seems to make a lot of sense.

I made you the author of that review.

If you think it makes sense, feel free to amend it (maybe you can simply copy-paste this post).

Ali Scarlett has reacted to this post.
Ali Scarlett
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Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Awesome, thank you so much for this Ali, it's super helpful to keep the reviews top-notch.

Unless you object, I'd be happy to keep the post under your name -both as a thank you, and because your input was so valuable-.

Ali Scarlett has reacted to this post.
Ali Scarlett
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Thank you, Lucio, but your "thank you" here is enough :).

You did 99% of the writing for that review (and I wouldn't have even prioritized reading that book had you not recommended it). So, I feel it's totally fair to keep it under your name.

Plus, I have some more reviews I'll be working on that may update that "best of" list yet :).

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano
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