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El blog de Mikel Niño
Industria 4.0, Big Data Analytics, emprendimiento digital y nuevos modelos de negocio

Methods like Lean Startup are just for "solopreneurs"?

Although most of the references that can be found mentioning methods like Lean Startup, Customer Development, etc. are linked to the idea of entrepreneurship as a solo initiative (or launched by a very reduced team) trying to build a new company from scratch, it is worth highlighting that its scope goes far beyond that, and that the launching of new products or business lines inside an existing company -regardless its size- may also benefit from these techniques.

To reflect on this idea it may be useful to revise what we understand as a "startup". For example, Steve Blank highlights the importance of understanding the idea of startup not as a kind of company itself, but as a startup phase when building a company. This initial phase aims at validating the business model to operate in subsequent phases (in this sense we could say that we commonly take a part -the startup phase- as the whole -the company created as a result of beginning with that phase-). Based on this proposal, we may generalize this definition beyond the creation of a new company from scratch and understand that it is also applicable to the search of a business model for a new product or service in companies of any size or activity.

Eric Ries, when defining Lean Startup methodology, makes a similar reflection and defines a startup as "a human institution designed to create new products and services under conditions of extreme uncertainty". As we can notice, this definition is also based on notions that are common to any kind of companies regardless their size or activity. The key in this definition are those "conditions of extreme uncertainty", which is the context that can be found in the startup phase of any kind of entrepreneurial activity, and for which these techniques and tools are specifically designed.

In fact, this reference to the extreme uncertainty is what leads us to the kind of innovation these methodologies are thought for. We are not talking about continuous improvement or replicating an already validated business formula for which we only have to deal with its execution. Instead, we are talking about contexts of disruptive innovation, where we have to define, estimate and validate all the parameters that constitute the new business model. Those contexts may be found in innovating initiatives from all kind of organizations, and they all contain this startup phase whose goal is to obtain the validated learning of which are the right values for all the parameters in the business model.

[Haz clic aquí para la versión en español de esta entrada]

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