Lean Startup method: to reduce risks and maximize success

The traditional method for starting a business often boils down to the following four steps:

  1. Think about a business idea that meets a market need;

  2. Create a business plan;

  3. Present a proposal to investors to obtain funds;

  4. Launch the business and start selling

Although this method is common, it is not optimal. Writing a business plan alone to obtain financing and launch your business can take months or even more than a year. The risk? Discovering, after investing a lot of time and money, that your product or service does not meet a real need or that a competitor has beaten you to the market.

The Lean Startup method helps avoid this situation. Where is she from? What does it consist of? what are the advantages?

Good discovery!

Where does Lean Startup come from?

Lean Startup is a method that makes it possible to iteratively validate a business idea or new products and services. It was created by Eric Ries, an American entrepreneur, in 2011.

Mr. Ries used his real-life experiences to create this method. As an entrepreneur, he saw many of his businesses fail and realized that spending hours trying to create a final product or service was an outdated way of thinking. He may have created well-written business plans, but they were based on assumptions he never tested in the market.

This is why Lean Startup is based on the principle of confirming or denying a project before investing too much time and money in it. According to this method, one should not devote all one's resources on a single idea, but rather try to test several with fewer resources to see which one will work best.

Viewing business development as an experiment, she focuses on testing and actively collaborating with potential customers to help you create a business, product or service they need. An agile method to minimize risks and maximize success!

The 5 principles of Lean Startup

Eric Ries built his method on 4 fundamental principles:

  1. Entrepreneurs are everywhere.
    Contrary to popular belief, to work in a startup, you do not have to found a new company. Indeed, Mr. Ries defines a startup as follows: “A human institution designed to create new products and services under conditions of uncertainty. » Thus, each intraactive, agile and innovative team can be considered as a startup within a company.

  2. Entrepreneurship is directly linked to management.
    Start-ups need management, just like any business. However, those who use the Lean startup method have a unique style. Indeed, a flexible and learning-oriented management team is essential to success.

  3. The learning is validated.
    Customers are at the center of the products and services of companies using Lean startup. They adapt to market demands by first making assumptions about customer needs, then testing to find out what works and what doesn't.

  4. Innovation is closely monitored and controlled.
    Companies that use this method keep meticulous records of their testing and analysis. They measure progress based on the quality of knowledge acquired on the project rather than the quantity. Although performance indicators and milestones remain important, they should not hinder innovation.

  5. The method includes three steps, build, measure and learn, which we will see in the next section.

What is Lean Startup?

The Lean Startup method is made up of three steps:

  1. Build a beta version;

  2. Measure the viability of the project;

  3. Learn from the information collected.

But it doesn't stop here, since it is an iterative loop. You will therefore return to the first step as often as necessary in order to refine your project.


Do you want to start a business, create a new product or launch a new service? You must first ensure that your “genius idea” is indeed one and that it meets a real need.

In his book Lean Startup – embrace continuous innovation, Eric Ries encourages creativity while adapting to customer needs, according to the principle of continuous innovation and the minimum viable product technique.

Minimum viable product

The minimum viable product is the version of a product that includes only basic functionality when it is launched into the market. This allows you to reduce the resources involved in designing the offer and obtain a lot of information about the needs of potential customers.

He suggests focusing on questions such as:

Think of this first step as a research project for your business. Your minimum viable product will not be a ready-to-ship product or even a prototype. Remember that it is meant to be minimal and should not take a long time to build.


After creating your minimum viable product, you will present it to different customer segments who will test it and give you feedback.

Before you even created your minimum viable product, you probably had an idea of the needs your business, product or service will fill. You can now take the data from your minimum viable product and compare it to your initial idea. Feedback and experiences from your customers will help you make changes. This is a process called agile development.

If you find that there is little interest in your minimum viable product, this may indicate that it is not viable and that you will struggle to build a successful business.


It is during this third stage that you will choose to bring your business idea to life or turn to a new approach. Indeed, once you have your minimum viable product, data and customer feedback, it's time to decide how to move forward. Is there enough interest in your idea that it makes sense to launch your business, product or service? Or do you need to change your idea and repeat the iterative loop?


By continuing the steps in the build-measure-learn loop, you can measure your progress. You can use customer feedback to assess how well your updates and changes meet their needs. This is called validated learning.

What are the advantages of Lean Startup?

Whether you run a small or large business, regardless of the field of activity, you have every advantage in using the Lean Startup method. Its benefits are numerous:

In conclusion, Lean Startup allows you to quickly validate the feasibility of a project thanks to an iterative process that focuses on measurement, analysis, agility and flexibility. Do you need support to implement this innovative method when creating your next product or service? You can count on the expertise of professionals Bernard Gagnon Group.

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