The Lean Startup

Note: Your MVP for the battle can simply be the idea you’re thinking of. What you need to show is that you validated your hypotheses and ideas using evidence.


Why lean Startup?  To Work Smarter Not Harder.

The Lean Startup is a methodology that favors experimentation over elaborate planning, customer feedback over intuition, and iterative design over traditional “big design up front” development. Although the methodology is just a few years old, its concepts—such as “minimum viable product” and “pivoting”—have quickly taken root in the startup world, and business schools have already begun adapting their curricula to teach them.

The goal is to turn uncertainties, assumptions, and risks into knowledge or “sure things” that will eventually guide organizations and business towards progress.

What to do?

  1. Summarize your hypotheses in a framework called a business model canvas.
  2. Use a “get out of the building” approach called customer development to test the hypotheses. Go out and ask potential users, purchasers, and partners for feedback on all elements of the business model, including product features, pricing, distribution channels, and affordable customer acquisition strategies.
  3. Agile development: Develop according to your customer’s need.


The Build-Measure-Learn Cycle

The Build-Measure-Learn cycle is a feedback loop that is said to be one of the core components of the Lean Startup methodology.   Through this process, the key unknowns can actually be transformed into knowledge that the startup can use in its product development – and business operations, as a whole. This whole process can also be called an experiment.

The Lean Startup.jpg

Phase #1. BUILD

In this phase, the startup’s goal is to build or develop its MVP – “minimum viable product”, or the bare minimum product that can be built for the purpose of testing a number of assumptions, or the hypothesis formulated – as quickly as possible. Before it can do that, however, the startup must first figure out what the problem that needs solving is.

  • Design the experiment. First, you have to build out the details of the experiment and figure out how everything will fit and mesh together. For this, you must have a solid and reliable method of collecting data, meaning the data gathered must be reliable and actionable.
  • Run the experiment. This is where you will collect the data. The most common methods include conducting interviews or distributing questionnaires. In some instances, others may come out with prototypes for testing.

Phase #2: MEASURE

In this second phase, the startup must then determine whether real progress is being made or not, and this involves measuring the results obtained from the experiment performed during the BUILD phase.

  • Data analysis. What happened?What are the implications of the data to your hypothesis? Make a comparison on what you hypothesized to what actually happened
  • Data organization. Organize your data in a way that will make it easily understood, and for the whole scenario to be easily comprehended by whoever listens to it.
  • Data Presentation. Make your presentation of the data as compelling as possible.You want the members of the organization or the company to be engaged, so make sure you present it in a way that will truly grab their attention and hook them.

Phase #3: LEARN

Should you persevere or pivot?

Persevere: carrying on with the same goals

Pivot: Changing or shifting some, or all, of the aspects of the product strategy.


Ask yourself the following questions:

How should that knowledge be preserved?

What are the next steps that should be taken by the startup?


Build-Measure-Learn summary:

  • Ask whether the new idea of the startup actually solves a problem for the users.
  • Quickly come up with an action or a program that will test the idea with the users.Perform reassessment or revaluation if needed.
  • Obtain feedback from your us Focus on getting information that is relevant and will be useful in helping you create the product / service that is wanted or needed by the users.
  • Consider the sustainability of the product or service. Will you be able to maintain the current level of engagement or service?


In the battle, your cycle will most likely be as follows:

  1. You come up with an idea.
  2. You create your business model canvas. (BUILD)
  3. Start talking with potential customers and ask them what features they are looking for in the startup (MEASURE)
  4. Obtain the feedback of customers. (LEARN)
  5. Using the feedback obtained, you will repeat Steps 2-4 and make revisions on the BMC  until you get it right. (End of cycle #1, End of the battle)
  1. Once you get the business plan right, you proceed to the implementation of the MVP for testing. (BUILD)
  2. The MVP is then shown to the customers. (MEASURE)
  3. Feedback from customers is obtained and learned. (LEARN)

Steps 6-8 is repeated, making improvements on the prototype until you get product right.