Will Launching a Lean Startup Set Founders Up For Failure?

by Inc.

For all its benefits, some argue there may also be flaws and risks to following a system originally designed to produce a million Toyotas.

It sounds like a simple plan for startup success: Launch a minimum viable product, test it, learn from it, and rework it accordingly. But “as trendy and popular as ‘lean’ is these days,” argues Jon Burgstone, co-founder of SupplierMarket and author of Breakthrough Entrepreneurship, “launching lean can be a really, really bad idea.” In a guest post for Inc., Burgstone takes on two tenets of the lean startup concept: releasing minimum viable products and adopting “innovation accounting.”

“Lean start-up principles encourage entrepreneurs to introduce products quickly to the market and learn from customer feedback,” Burgstone writes, “but going to market with a lackluster product can be insane.” He points to the examples of how the iPod, Google’s search engine, and Facebook were all products that were released after their developers had a chance to improve upon the initial work of others. “Perhaps smart entrepreneurs should watch the efforts of lean entrepreneurs and then pull an Apple, Google, or Facebook on them,” writes Burgstone.

For more on why the lean startup concept may be flawed, read the full post here.

Related Content from OpenView:

For a counter-argument in favor of the lean startup methodology, why not hear it from the creator, himself? Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup sat down with OpenView to discuss the key benefits to the lean startup approach, and to dispel a few myths. Read the full interview here.