3 Tips from Eric Ries ‘The Lean Startup’

Posted by on October 12, 2011 in Education, Entrepreneurship, How-To, Tech

On Monday, October 10, Eric Ries spoke to a pack auditorium at the NYU Tisch Hall. The author of The Lean Startup spoke about his early failures and what steps he and his team took that made IMBU a success. Below are 3 important tips that you can apply to your start up.


What does Facebook, Apple and Twitter have in common besides the fact that they are high tech based companies? They all have changed the way we interact with people and how we feel about ourselves. Thats EXACTLY what social entrepreneurs are suppose to do, change the status quo by creating products and services that disrupt the ‘norm’. And for the record, NO you do not have to go and be the next Facebook, Apple or Twitter. We need innovation in the other fabrics of our lives besides communication. How are you going to change the way we treat the environment, get clean drinking water to those without, and feed the nearly billion people that go without food each day? Disrupt the status quo by making your product or service a tool of disruption.



Out in Silicon Valley they have a saying that goes like this: ‘Fail Fast’. We have all heard that expression, and for those that dont know it simple means if you are going to fail in venture try and do it as fast as possible. This will save you energy, finances and the stress of trying to make a sinking ship stay afloat. Find out if you are on the right track ASAP my friends. Its human nature to say ‘our idea is great’, try to fight against that urge to succumb to your narcissistic dose of tunnel vision. Listen to your customers, they might not know what they want but they will definitely tell you what they dont want. Its a blessing when you have the courage to show your product to people and they tell you how they feel about it. Make sure your vision is inline with whats important to your customer. If things aren’t going as plan (there can be a million reasons why) don’t feel bad, learn from your experience, know when to quit, and find another way to make an impact. To [pivot is to change in strategy without changing in vision.



Ahh yes, the false sense of success we all dream about. ‘If I can get 1 million people to sign up that means we are killing it!!!!”… right? Wrong.You can not gauge your impact by how many people ‘sign up’ alone. The questions you need to ask your self are:

  1. How much value are customers getting from my product/services; and
  2. How do I know it will grow?
Find out the right metric for your particular venture, not all follow the same metric grading. Apply the scientific approach to your startup, conduct the proper research to best determine what move you should make next.
There are so many more helpful tips Eric gives in his book The Lean Startup. I highly recommend for every entrepreneur.

Eric Ries is the BEST-SELLING author of The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful

Dwight Peters

Dwight Peters is a social entrepreneur and the founder of QuarterWaters. He interviews successful social entrepreneurs to learn how they did it. You can listen to his interviews at QuarterWaters.com.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

Leave a Comment