A methodology that treats ideas for launching businesses and products as hypotheses that must be validated by rapid experimentation in the marketplace. According to leanstartup.com, the term was coined in a September 2008 blog post by entrepreneur Eric Ries, who wrote The Lean Startup in 2011.
The approach relies on a learning process of rapid iterative product releases generating customer feedback. The intent is to improve chances of success without lots of outside funding or expensive product launches. The learning process begins by developing a “minimum viable product” (MVP), which has only the features needed for the product to be used by early customers. Early customer feedback is understood as clearly validated learning which is used to make decisions to either persevere on the current path (for the product or service) or pivot to alternative more valuable use of the basic idea or technology. This avoids wasting time and resources developing products that customers don’t want, while collecting information about what they really do want quickly and with the minimum amount of resources.
The lean startup and lean management philosophies share an emphasis on eliminating activities that do not create value for customers.