Lean Startup: Smaller Version of a Large Company?

Sweat equity is the best startup capital. — Mark Cuban

Lean is not a substitute for passion and speed and energy, but it allows us to be incredibly frugal with time, resources, dollars, and people, according to Steve Blank, Columbia University Senior Fellow for Entrepreneurship.

He says we’re told, in so many words, startups are nothing more than smaller versions of large companies. And we’re surprised when so many startups fail.

Steve says in hindsight, he realized startups are not smaller versions of large companies. Large companies actually execute known business models. He discovered startups are actually searching for business models.

Steve says if you think the goal is to be frugal rather than scale as rapidly as you can, you’ve missed the point of Lean. When you’re heading towards your goal, you use a kind of ‘lean process’ to elicit feedback and modify your goal or figure out how to effectively get there in a way you normally wouldn’t have when you first started out.

He says startups are, in fact, art. And you do it because you’re driven by the passion and the vision. You can view his full comments here.


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