"Move fast and break things. Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough."
-- Mark Zuckerberg
Bernhard Schroeder has written an excellent book for startups called, "Fail Fast Or Win Big." To help you move fast without breaking your company, Bernhard gives us the LeanModel Framework.
The book is organized around the four circles in the diagram. After the author covers the four components of the framework, he writes about how to spot opportunities, funding, and entrepreneurs who win big. The author is an elegant writer who likes to tell stories so you'll spend most of your time absorbing material.
I'm going to tell you a secret about prototypes, but first I want to look at the four integrated components of the LeanModel Framework.
Embrace the attitude that less is more. For example, instead of maintaining your own file server, use Dropbox. Instead of building an e-commerce platform, rent Shopify.
Take time to understand the elements of your business model. Key elements include revenue sources, products, and customer segments. When Bernhard says Business Model, he really means model and not static business document. See Business Model Canvas.
I've found that selecting a target customer segment helps teams define their minimum viable product or prototype.
I've practiced rapid development for years. Even more amazing is rapid prototyping. In a world where 3D printers exist and thrive, you can prototype anything. For web products you could use a tool like Axure or write your own HTML. The author tells a story about an entrepreneur who creates a prototype with HTML and gives the app to college students. The students provide feedback that improves the business model and product.
Customer truth is the heart of the LeanModel Framework. The customer is your biggest ally and immutable.
"Right or wrong, the customer is always right." -- Marshall Field
Listening to your customer is critical because they give you feedback to land your product on the runway of success.
Now, about that prototyping secret I mentioned earlier, here it is.
Prototypes are a shared space where developers and customers interact, listen to each other, and design products.
Bernhard's LeanModel Framework vibrates with energy and power. I encourage everyone to create elegant prototypes, show them to your customers, and move at the speed of life.
Read the book. Absorb the material. Build great products!
Mary Poppendieck applies these lean rules to software teams. Practice these concepts and great things will happen.
1. Eliminate waste: Spend time only on what adds real customer value.
2. Amplify learning: When you have tough problems, increase feedback.
3. Decide as late as possible: Keep your options open as long as practical, but no longer.
4. Deliver as fast as possible: Deliver value to customers as soon as they ask for it.
5. Empower the team: Let the people who add value use their full potential.
6. Build integrity in: Don't try to tack on integrity after the fact – build it in. (Think test first)
7. See the whole: Beware of the temptation to optimize parts at the expense of the whole.