Running Lean Book Review

This [Lean Startup Movement] is probably the first methodology that’s been crowdsourced. Big idea. Unlike previous methodologies where there was an author, textbook and take-it-or-leave-it, this is an iterative process and I think we’re all collectively getting smarter at a very scary rate.

–Steve Blank


Written in the same actionable style as 37 Signals Getting Real, Ash Maurya has supplanted the former as THE guide for bootstrapping and launching a web-based startup. If you’re building a new product and haven’t read Running Lean, take a break from your startup and go get it.

His advice could change your life.

The Book

Running Lean presents a process of discovering a market demand based on Customer Development, Lean Startup, Bootstrapping and his own, in-the-trenches experiences. He addresses the unsexy, tough, practical, day-to-day challenges faced by TODAY’S entrepreneurs.

Forget the generic, one-size-fits-all advice (e.g. “focus on your market!”, “follow your passion!”) typically shoveled at us by people whose good intentions exceed their experience.

Just as the tagline of his blog promises – practice trumps theory – Ash delivers actionable advice and opinions on question such as:

How do you know if have a problem worth solving? Who do you ask and how do you structure the conversation? Should you record it? Take notes? What do you do afterward?

Should I “just build it”?

Should you quit your job? Raise money?

Finally – I get it

I’ve been closely following the Lean Startup Movement since 2008: read 4-Steps multiple times, follow Lean Startup Google Group, started a Lean Startup Meetup Group in DC, read Ash’s blog, attended Eric’s conference in San Francisco…you get my point:

I live this stuff.

Nonetheless, I’ve found myself struggling to unify the theoretical basis of the Lean Startup movement with the grab-bag of tactics advocated by companies at various stages of maturity.

I kept running into “what should I do now” questions.

Running Lean Works

I decided to restart my work on ClaimAway (even though I was getting traction) in 2011 by following Running Lean from page 1. I’ve made more progress in the past 7 weeks than I did in the previous 5 months.

In retrospect, I was doing many RIGHT things at the WRONG time.

Running Lean has brought clarity to the issues I need to address today.

Like me, you probably won’t follow his approach exactly and will develop your own hacks and competing ideas along the way.

I read EVERY comment and want to hear from you

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