Lean Startup vs Traditional Business Methodolgy

Is there such thing as the best approach when starting a new venture?

Brandon T. Luong
Jan 23, 2014 · 3 min read

Lean Startup has swept the world with its new methodological approach of creating new businesses, and slowly pushing out traditional business methods. Many new startups and small businesses have seen incredible results when becoming more lean thanks to Ash Maurya and Eric Ries’ guidance. Since implementing the Lean principles, startups have dissed the traditional practices stating it is out of date, unnecessary or ‘it’s utter bullshit’. Yet can you still claim that traditional methods of starting or running a business is dated when many Fortune 500 companies utilized those theories in order to get on the 500 list? People go back and forth about the both approaches; however, there is a small number of people who say blend them… and I'm one of them. Here are four points that I use/keep in mind:

  1. Resources always matter. Everything depends on the amount at one’s disposal, including human capital, expertise pool, finance, and most of all TIME. Time is something a person can’t buy back no matter how much money they have in the bank. After understanding what resources are available, then you can validate your hypothetical market.
  2. Validate market before business plan. One thing I love about lean startup is they preach about validating one’s market in order to see if you have a profitable business. There are multiple approaches to validating one’s market potential, whether it is the bare minimum version, or using the more traditional marketing tools. Once again it ties back to Rule #1 about expertise and time.
  3. Make a roadmap, but don't lose sight of the product. When making a new business, people get hung up is about writing the business plan while some say it is a waste of time and hard drive space. Startups say don’t worry about writing a plan, and focus on getting the product out to your market. However, without knowing where you want to go, how can you confidently lead your team and product? Now, I'm not saying write a 62 page business plan nor do I suggest focusing all your time and energy on it, but a small plan to know where you want to be would be helpful.
  4. You da boss: you can pick and choose how to run your business. Just because someone lectures about how great Lean Startup is or how to make properly create financial projections, doesn't mean you have to do it. Those are suggestions and approaches on how to run a new business, but those are just suggestions. Your business is your baby; you simply do whatever you think is the best thing for it regardless of what others say. At the very least, go with the approaches that saves you the most time and easiest to perform. Stated earlier, time is something that money can’t buy back.

That is it for now. Please tweet me at @BrandonTLuong about your thoughts and experience. Would love to hear about it!

    Brandon T. Luong

    Just a dude who loves blogging with no purpose.

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