Running Lean, 2nd Edition
Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: February 2012
Pages: 240

We live in an age of unparalleled opportunity for innovation. We’re building more products than ever before, but most of them fail—not because we can’t complete what we set out to build, but because we waste time, money, and effort building the wrong product.

What we need is a systematic process for quickly vetting product ideas and raising our odds of success. That’s the promise of Running Lean.

In this inspiring book, Ash Maurya takes you through an exacting strategy for achieving a "product/market fit" for your fledgling venture, based on his own experience in building a wide array of products from high-tech to no-tech. Throughout, he builds on the ideas and concepts of several innovative methodologies, including the Lean Startup, Customer Development, and bootstrapping.

Running Lean is an ideal tool for business managers, CEOs, small business owners, developers and programmers, and anyone who’s interested in starting a business project.

  • Find a problem worth solving, then define a solution
  • Engage your customers throughout the development cycle
  • Continually test your product with smaller, faster iterations
  • Build a feature, measure customer response, and verify/refute the idea
  • Know when to "pivot" by changing your plan’s course
  • Maximize your efforts for speed, learning, and focus
  • Learn the ideal time to raise your "big round" of funding
Get on track with The Lean Series
Presented by Eric Ries—bestselling author of The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses—The Lean Series gives you solid footing in a proven methodology that will help your business succeed.
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oreillyRunning Lean, 2nd Edition
 
4.4

(based on 8 reviews)

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86%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Concise (7)
  • Easy to understand (6)
  • Helpful examples (5)
  • Well-written (5)
  • Accurate (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Novice (6)
    • Intermediate (5)
    • Expert (3)
    • Student (3)
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      • Developer (4)

    Reviewed by 8 customers

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Perfect book - dense with grea content!

    By Marcelo

    from Miami, FL

    About Me Designer, Developer, Product Owner

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Concise
    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate
      • Novice
      • Student

      Comments about oreilly Running Lean, 2nd Edition:

      I thought that this book was a compliment to Eric Ries' The Lean Startup, but that was a mistake. The book is actually a combination of three methodologies: customer development, lean startup, and bootstrapping.

      I am a developer and worked on a couple of startups. I was painfully introduced to Lean Startup after a failure on one of my startups. This book is pretty packed with very pragmatic information. The main one is its take on "the business model canvas", which is described as "lean canvas". It documents how to start the iterative process of product development while describing each step.

      The best thing that I like is that an entrepreneur wrote the book. You can tell, because of some of the comments, such as "price is part of the product". The other thing that I like about the book is the reference to other books.

       
      5.0

      simple, practical recipe for lean

      By mike

      from London, UK

      About Me Maker

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Concise
      • Easy to understand
      • Well-written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate
        • Novice

        Comments about oreilly Running Lean, 2nd Edition:

        .

         
        5.0

        Best way to put Lean Startup to practice

        By @ramonsuarez

        from Brussels, Belgium

        About Me Maker

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Concise
        • Easy to understand
        • Helpful examples
        • Practical
        • Well-written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Expert
          • Intermediate
          • Novice
          • Student

          Comments about oreilly Running Lean, 2nd Edition:

          This is the most important book about Lean Startup that there is. Instead of a lot of theory it gives you just enough and walks you through the steps to build your startup idea from the ground. The pdf is awesome to print the section you are working on and carry it with you to interviews and meetings.

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Amazing Book. Simply Amazing

          By Mike

          from Provo UT

          Comments about oreilly Running Lean, 2nd Edition:

          This book is so eye opening and full of gold. Having read a number of books including 4 Steps, this book put everything into focus with practical methods and steps to execute. I have highlighted half the book. Thank you Ash!

           
          4.0

          Running Lean, 2nd Edition Review

          By m2web

          from Erlanger, KY

          About Me Developer

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Accurate
          • Concise
          • Easy to understand
          • Helpful examples

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Expert
            • Intermediate
            • Novice

            Comments about oreilly Running Lean, 2nd Edition:

            This book is a practical work that enables you to take immediate steps to a lean start-up . In a nutshell the subtitle states the content of the book: "Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works."

            One of the more helpful aspects of the book is its emphasis on learning the market fit of your proposed product by working face-to-face with potential and actual customers. Moreover, you are given examples of how to test your hypotheses, determine product pricing, define your Minimum Viable Product (MVP), and learn and improve from each step in the start-up process.

            Finally, the book provides links to several helps such as an the Lean Canvas which is "the faster, more effective way to communicate your business model with internal and external stakeholders" at leancanvas.com.

             
            5.0

            A tremendous resource

            By gkevans

            from Columbia SC

            About Me Designer, Developer, Educator

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Accurate
            • Concise
            • Easy to understand
            • Helpful examples
            • Well-written

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Expert
              • Intermediate
              • Novice
              • Student

              Comments about oreilly Running Lean, 2nd Edition:

              I obtained a review copy of Running Lean from OReilly, and this is one of the most interesting and useful books I have read in a while. I had a software consulting business for 17 years and stumbled upon a few of Maurya's ideas in the literature on Lean. Now I am writing two books, one commercial software product, and recording a library of eLearning videos. I have already enlisted all of Maurya's recommendations. Starting with fielding your concept and sharing your Minimum Marketable Features is central to Agile software development where you a) deliver value and b) obtain feedback. His Lean Canvas appeals to me in its economy: one sheet of paper with just the essential ideas. Again, in Agile we strive to "do the simplest thing possible". As a techie like Maurya my first impulse has been toward the technology, but as a business person I know the technology is not the goal: value for my customers is the goal. Running Lean is one of the most succinct statements I have found of how to find the right value that I should be creating for my customers. Thank you, Ash for an advanced book that makes being an entrepreneur and techie a whole lot simpler.

               
              3.0

              Interesting, but too shallow

              By mko

              from Poland

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Concise

              Cons

              • Not comprehensive enough
              • Too basic

              Best Uses

                Comments about oreilly Running Lean, 2nd Edition:

                Every startup has it's good and bad days. Question is, what to do, when you find that your initial idea is not quite as good as you expected it to be.

                Ash tries to answer this question by providing clean path to the success. By describing various aspects of running project he will show you issues that are particularly worth addressing. I have to admit that Ash provides you with lots of valuable information regarding issues you will probably encounter during project.

                Generally, problem with this kind of books is that evaluating provided solutions is very hard. You can't definitely tell that solution will work for you as well. In "Running Lean" you go through various aspects of running business with CloudFire project in a background - serving as example. Question is whether solutions good for CloudFire will be good for you?

                One thing I definitely found interesting in the book was Lean canvas - variation on a Business Model Canvas. Comparing to Business Model Canvas it better fits small projects. In fact, Lean canvas can be applied not only to a whole project but to a single task as well. This is quite convenient if you want to describe the tasks before proceeding with solving it.

                In general, I think this book addresses some general issues but covers topic too much narrow. It is hard to tell how it fits into general concepts of running projects if you don't have any other sources related to the topic at your bookshelf.

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Nice introduction to Lean Startups

                By Ivo Flipse

                from Netherlands

                About Me Developer

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Concise
                • Easy to understand
                • Helpful examples
                • Well-written

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Novice

                  Comments about oreilly Running Lean, 2nd Edition:

                  The book offers very actionable advice on creating a product with a unique value proposition for the right kind of customer segment that solves their problems and that ideally from the start will generate revenue. To this end, throughout the book, the Lean Canvas is used, which is a great replacement for the standard business plan or card deck and describes all the important aspects about your business.

                  While it may not apply directly to your business or product, I suggest you follow the advice quoted in the book:

                  The Advisor Paradox: Hire advisors for good advice but don't follow it, apply it. - Venture Hacks

                  Don't expect the book to help you magically change your business from a slumbering failure into the next Twitter or Facebook. Instead, use the advice to have a critical look at your business, see what you can improve or should different and move on from there. I know that I certainly need to spend more time away from my desk and more time talking to my (potential) users to figure out what their real problems are.

                  The best take away message for me was to make sure that features must be pulled, not pushed. I can think up dozens of awesome features that I really think should some day be developed, but at the end of the day, I also need a product that solves real and urgent problems now. So next time when I have to prioritize what feature to develop, I'll be taking a close look at the workflow of my users before starting to code anything.

                  So do I recommend this book? Well given its length, I think that every developer, even when you're not at a startup should take the time to read this book if only to give them some ammo during the next meeting about which features to implement. While this probably isn't the book about Lean Startups, its definitely a good introduction.

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