Why "Lean Startup" is No Longer a Buzzword

There is no “Perfect Business Model”. While this may seem like common sense, there are still a great deal of startup companies trying to approach their business with a “cookie cutter” approach. Company founders go through the process of developing a plan by assessing the opportunity, applying the problem to the assumed solution, and developing a five-year business forecast with information that is unsubstantiated and quite frankly, unknown. Recent studies show how customer-first methods are able to revolutionize the process, dramatically reducing the failure rate of startup organizations. In an article published in the Harvard Business Review, professor and principal investigator Steve Blank explored the merits of the “Lean Start-up” approach.

The first contrast of the Lean Start-up approach regards the development of a framework. Using a template known as the Business Model Canvas developed by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur, entrepreneurs are able to understand the building blocks to their organization, including categories such as Value Proposition, Customer Segments, Key Resources, and Key Partners. The business model canvas allows you to develop relationships within your building blocks, understanding the most successful approach to presenting your start-up. These approaches can be resource-driven, customer-driven, offer-driven or finance-driven as explained by Osterwalder.

The Lean Startup approach involves a recursive approach of customer development and continued feedback. The process of customer development followed by customer validation then circling back to customer development involves constant feedback. The process involves creating a prototype, running it by customers, understanding complaints or confusions, building customer interest, and repeating the process until you are able to present a final product from several iterations of minimum viable products. The concept of a minimum viable products is best explained from the analogy of developing a mode of transportation. In understanding customer needs, the first minimum viable product would be a skateboard. After feedback, the next iteration would be a scooter, followed by a motorcycle, and finally a car. Only the most critical features are added during each stage of the minimum viable product. This process allows users to quickly develop and improve a product without spending considerable time and financial capital. The contrasting approach to this step would involve starting with 4 wheels, adding an engine, inputting a powertrain, and providing a frame to create a pickup truck only to find out that the customer wanted a sedan.

It’s important to note that these approaches are more than applicable for companies of all sizes. Looking to customers for input and building businesses around key metrics with quick implementation of change has been how large companies such as GE have made significant headway into new industries.

So whether you are a new organization or large corporation, there are always new ways to adapt your organization for an agile entrance into the market. If you are a Northeast Ohio organization looking to implement select aspects of the Lean Start-up approach, send me a message. With the work we are doing at MAGNET thanks to our recently developed Commercialization Center, we are able to offer a wide variety of consulting and business growth services. Ranging from value proposition creation to competitive analysis and market trends, we have the resources to help you grow your business.

Want to know more? Call us at 216.391.7766 to get started!

Print
Posted by MAGNET Ohio in Lean, Management Tip

Most Recent

Boosting Business through Responsible Growth

May 02, 2018 by MAGNET Ohio

Article submitted by Bank of America For mid-market companies, business success and responsible growth aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, prioritizing responsible growth is becoming increasingly important, and successful companies are making sustainability central to their growth strategies. Beyond good corporate citizenship, they are recognizing the intrinsic link between the strength of their business and that of the communities and economies in which they operate. Leading your growth with those goals in mind builds resilience and better solutions for the future. Consider the following: Responsible growth companies perform better. Companies that consider the impact of risks and opportunities on the environment, local communities and society may produce better financial results than those that don’t. Additionally, 90% of companies believe a sustainability plan is important for remaining competitive. Responsible growth companies attract investment. A 2016 study by MIT Sloan Management Review and Boston Consulting Group surveyed 3,000 executives and managers from more than 100 countries. Findings revealed that 75% of senior executives in investment firms agree that a company’s sustainability performance is materially important to their investment decisions, and nearly half would not invest in a company with a poor sustainability record. Ninety percent of executives see sustainability as important, but only

MAGNET’S 2018 NORTHEAST OHIO MANUFACTURING SURVEY: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

February 22, 2018 by Sam Wasylyshyn

HEADLINE The survey definitively shows that product innovation leads to more growth, while “grow your own workforce” strategies will be needed to fill the major labor shortages hampering small manufacturer growth. Emerging technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, and digital manufacturing are beginning to enhance innovation and productivity, but still have significant room for adoption amongst Ohio’s small manufacturing businesses. ABOUT THE SURVEY Under the direction of the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Ohio MEP), MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network conducted a thorough survey of Ohio’s manufacturing base. Contributing approximately 20% of Ohio’s jobs (and driving in some regions up to 50% of Ohio’s economy), and generating a disproportionate amount of export revenues and Gross Regional Product, manufacturing is critical to Ohio. Greater than 95% of Ohio’s manufacturers are small (under 500 employees), and these manufacturers need to remain competitive both nationally and internationally to ensure our economy’s health. Ohio’s Development Services Agency and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which runs the MEP, recognizes the importance of this sector and fuels MAGNET and the Ohio MEP program to directly serve and support innovation, efficiency, and growth in small and medium manufacturers. What manufacturers need

Manufacturing is Facing a New Reality

February 06, 2018 by Sam Wasylyshyn

How Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Can Help Keep Our Engineers Safe and Our Manufacturing Strong Recall how difficult it was to put together complex LEGO creations when you were a child or helping a child. Now, picture assembling a fighter plane from a room full of parts. Even highly trained engineers can benefit from technology to help improve consistency and quality. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are making near-perfect assembly a possibility in the manufacturing space. By wearing AR glasses that use cameras, depth sensors and motion sensors to overlay images onto the real working environment, engineers and factory workers can visualize the exact bolts, parts, part numbers and instructions on how to assemble a particular component correctly. Lockheed Martin began using AR goggles and improved F-35 assembly time by 30 percent, in addition to increasing accuracy to 96 percent[1]. In order to remain competitive, businesses should consider the ways VR and AR can improve efficiency and supply chain productivity. According to a recent BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research report[2], AR platforms can provide companies up to 25 percent in cost savings on installation of equipment. Here are four ways VR/AR is disrupting the mid-market manufacturing space: