What’s the best way to navigate competitive forces?

Eric Ries (Author, The Lean Startup)
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

Sooner or later, a successful startup will face competition from fast followers. If a competitor can out execute a startup once the idea is known, the startup is doomed anyway. The reason to build a new team to pursue an idea is that you believe you can accelerate through the Build-Measure-Learn feedback loop faster than anyone else can. A head start is rarely large enough to matter, and time spent in stealth mode—away from customers—is unlikely… (read more)

What’s the best way to measure your company?

Eric Ries (Author, The Lean Startup)
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

…three A’s of metrics: actionable, accessible, and auditable. Actionable metrics …When cause and effect is clearly understood, people are better able to learn from their actions. [Accessible]…make the reports as simple as possible so that everyone understands them.

What’s the best way to measure your company?

Eric Ries (Author, The Lean Startup)
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

If you are building the wrong thing, optimizing the product or its marketing will not yield significant results. A startup has to measure progress against a high bar: evidence that a sustainable business can be built around its products or services. That’s a standard that can be assessed only if a startup has made clear, tangible predictions ahead of time. In the absence of those predictions, product and strategy decisions are far more difficult … (read more)

What’s the best way to manage your burn-rate?

Eric Ries (Author, The Lean Startup)
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

Measuring runway through the lens of pivots rather than that of time suggests another way to extend that runway: get to each pivot faster. In other words, the startup has to find ways to achieve the same amount of validated learning at lower cost or in a shorter time. (p.160)

What’s the best way to manage customer feedback?

Eric Ries (Author, The Lean Startup)
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

…the facts that we need to gather about customers, markets, suppliers, and channels exist only “outside the building.” Startups need extensive contact with potential customers to understand them, so get out of your chair and get to know them. The first step in this process is to confirm that your leap-of-faith questions are based in reality, that the customer has a significant problem worth solving. (p.88)

What’s the best way to know if you have product market fit?

Eric Ries (Author, The Lean Startup)
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

Startups occasionally ask me to help them evaluate whether they have achieved product/market fit. It’s easy to answer: if you are asking, you’re not there yet. (p.219)

What’s the best way to interview customers?

Eric Ries (Author, The Lean Startup)
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to … – Eric Ries – Google Books

We must learn what customers really want, not what they say they want or what we think they should want. We must discover whether we are on a path that will lead to growing a sustainable business.

What’s the best way to get your first customers?

Eric Ries (Author, The Lean Startup)
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

Start with a small geographic area, perhaps as small as a few city blocks, and instead of paying for expensive television or radio advertising to let people know about the service, use highly targeted advertising. Flyers on billboards, newspaper advertisements to those blocks, or specially targeted online ads would be a good start. Since the target area is so small, they could afford to pay a premium to create a high level of awareness in the tar… (read more)