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September 8, 2011

Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects - The Lean Startup

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 9:37 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture


The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries, Crown Business, 336 pages, $26.00, Hardcover, September 2011, ISBN 9780307887894

Each startup is begun with a leap of faith; no entrepreneurs know for certain who their customers are, or how they will act. Planning and developing a company based on uncertainty is a difficult skill to be sure, but one that can be learned. In his new book, The Lean Startup, Eric Ries asserts:

Startup success is not a consequence of good genes or being in the right place at the right time. Startup success can be engineered by following the right process, which means it can be learned, which means it can be taught.

The book digs deep into the process and shows how entrepreneurs need to have more than a big idea, a business plan, some research and funding. They need to have a sort of purposeful flexibility, where reactions can be addressed in small increments, minute by minute. These pivots and shifts continuously test the vision of the idea, and when prepared, entrepreneurs can shape the business into the right model rather than continuing to, as Ries describes it, “achieve failure.”

Ries lays out a type of process management that many might not have considered. After all, any idea can seem really good until the world tells you it’s not as good as you thought. Ries elaborates:
Entrepreneurship is a kind of management. No, you didn’t read that wrong. We have wildly divergent associations with these two words, entrepreneurship and management. Lately, it seems that one is cool, innovative, and exciting and the other is dull, serious, and bland. It is time to look past these preconceptions.
This is a critical book for those itching to quit their jobs and start their dream business, and just as important for those who have been an entrepreneur for years. With Lean Startup as your guide, not only will your failure rate decrease, you’ll discover things about your ideas and about business that you never did before, because you’ll be open to that discovery and prepared to act instead of wondering why the results aren’t what you planned.

About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.