Learn Early, Learn Often, Learn Cheap

I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work … Edison Picture1

Many in the startup community embrace the oft quoted “‘fail early and fail often” but I really struggle with embracing failure as a badge of honour. For me, it’s not about failure but about all about learning; rethinking, regrouping, re-factoring and having another go at it.

To find the right product, service, business model before you run out of time, resources or personal energy you need should be learn early, learn often, learn cheap. “Get out of the office” as soon as you can. “Build, measure and learn” over and over. And be cheap on personal energy as you only have some much spread around, time as it only goes in one direction and money as while you might get more, you might not either.

It’s not about failure. It’s about learning. Learn early, learn often, Learn cheap.


Lean Startup On Centre Stage

Founding father and one of the Lean Startup’s  triumvirate of Blank, Ries and Osterwarder, Steve Blank, has written the cover story article of the May 2013 issue of the Harvard Business Review “Why the Lean Startup Changes Everything“. It is a breakthrough moment for the Lean Startup movement as it steps on to the centre stage and into the limelight it so deserves. If there are leaders of industry and academia who have not been paying attention to or took no notice of the movement, they must now.

Organizations are confronted with the continuous buffeting from forces of globalization, disruptive innovations and “Black Swans”. They face the imperative of innovate or perish with the average life expectancy of a Fortune 500 company having declined from around 75 years in 1955 to less than 15 years today. As Steve poses, “business-as-usual management techniques focused on efficiency and execution are no longer a credible response”.  Lean Startup is not just for startups, its approach in the search for a repeatable and scalable business model can be and should be fully embraced by intrapreneurs within all organizations and institutions, big and small, old and new in response to these challenges.

For the next month, the Harvard Business Review is providing free access to the article. Read it. Share it. Talk about it. Apply it.