Chapters 7 through 14
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
Entrepreneurs are committed to effectively increasing their businesses and are committed to providing customers with excellent service, useful products and information. Entrepreneurs measure their success using a variety of metrics that contribute to how their businesses operate day to day. Measuring accomplishment in business isn't just about calculating income and positive customer feedback; success is also measured by employee’s level of satisfaction. An employee, who is not happy with the work environment, feels unappreciated and who hasn't received the training and education necessary to thrive can cause problems for a business. This is why companies make an effort to take account of employee morale in the equation when they sit down to review the business' overall performance because owning a business is no small accomplishment. It requires long hours, devotion and commitment. A business is as successful as the person running it, so entrepreneurs have to take care in monitoring their success by ensuring that they still remain passionate about the business endeavors and avoid being exhausted. Customers, whether satisfied or annoyed, provide businesses with feedback on the products and services in different ways. Through surveys, online, over the phone and in print, customers are afforded the opportunity to express their opinions by answering a series of questions. Customers also provide feedback by sharing their opinions on consumer review panels, forums, blogs, and social networks like Twitter and Facebook. Businesses use customer feedback as a way to measure how successful their products or services are in adding value to customers' lives. Since customers are the base for businesses, their feedback and satisfaction play a huge role in how businesses measure their success.
Pivot or Persevere
All entrepreneurs sooner or later come across an overriding challenge in increasing an unbeaten product and deciding when to pivot and when to persevere. A pivot is a planned course improvement designed to test a new fundamental hypothesis about the product, business model and engine of growth. Entrepreneurs every so often must ask themselves an outwardly simple question of their products. On if they think they are making enough advancement to consider that their original strategic hypothesis is correct, or do they need to make a major change. There is no bigger destructive force of creative potential than the misguided decision to persevere. Companies that cannot bring themselves to pivot in new directions on the basis of feedback from the marketplace can get trapped in the ground of the living dead, neither growing enough no dying, consuming resources and commitment from employees and other stakeholders but not moving ahead. Startup productivity would not be about cranking out more widgets or features. It is about lining up the efforts with a business and product that are working to create value and drive growth. In other words, successful pivots put entrepreneurs on a path toward growing a sustainable business.
Failure is a precondition to learning. The problem with the notion of shipping a product and then seeing what happens is that businesses are guaranteed to succeed. As soon as the business have a handful of customers, they are more likely to have more opinions about what to do next. A pivot requires that we keep one foot embedded in what we've learned so far, while making a fundamental change in the strategy in order to seek even greater validated learning. Vanity metrics can permit entrepreneurs to make wrong outcomes and live in their own private reality. When an entrepreneur has an unclear hypothesis, it's almost impossible to experience complete failure, and without failure there is usually no impulsion to go on board on the essential change a pivot requires.
For entrepreneurs a lot of time is better