Eric Ries – The Lean Startup

Eric Ries

Eric Ries – The Lean Startup – Contents

  • Eric Ries Biography
  • Eric Ries – Big Idea:
    • The Lean Startup
  • Interesting Facts and Insights about Eric Ries
  • Career Advice Quotes by Eric Ries
  • Business Advice Quotes by Eric Ries
  • Leadership and Management Advice Quotes by Eric Ries
  • Eric Ries Inspirational Quotes
  • Books by Eric Ries
  • Questions about Eric Ries
  • Eric Ries – Videos

Eric Ries Biography

Eric Ries is an entrepreneur, blogger, and author. He became prominent with his book “The Lean Startup,” which articulated the lean startup method. He is also the author of “The Startup Way,” a book focused on the modern entrepreneurial management.

Eric Ries’ “Big Idea” is explained in his blog and book “The Lean Startup.” Ries began to document the lean startup methodology in 2008 on his blog with a post titled “The Lean Startup.” Ries then became the most prominent face of the lean startup movement, and held conferences, gave talks, wrote blog entries, and served as an advisor.

Ries and others created an annual technology conference which today is called the “Lean Startup Conference.”


Eric Ries – Big Idea: The Lean Startup

Eric Ries’ “Big Idea” is explained in his blog and book “The Lean Startup,” where he articulates the core lean startup principles. The lean startup principles include:

  • Minimum Viable Product: A minimum viable product (MVP) is the “version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.” The goal of an MVP is to test fundamental business hypotheses and to help entrepreneurs begin the learning process as quickly as possible.
  • Continuous Deployment: Continuous Deployment is a process “whereby all code that is written for an application is immediately deployed into production,” which results in a reduction of cycle times.
  • Split Testing: A split test is an experiment in which “different versions of a product are offered to customers at the same time.” The goal is to observe differences in behavior and to measure the impact of each version looking for actionable metrics.
  • Actionable Metrics: Actionable metrics can lead to informed business decisions and subsequent action.
  • Pivot: A pivot is a “structured course correction designed to test a new fundamental hypothesis about the product, strategy, and engine of growth.”
  • Innovation Accounting: Innovation accounting focuses on how entrepreneurs can maintain accountability and maximize outcomes by measuring progress, planning milestones, and prioritizing.
  • Build-Measure-Learn: The Build–Measure–Learn loop emphasizes speed as a critical ingredient to product development. The diferent phases of the loop are: Ideas – > Build – > Product – > Measure – > Data – > Learn.

The lean startup methodology is focused on assessing the specific demands/needs of consumers and how to meet that demand using the least amount of resources possible.


Interesting Facts and Insights about Eric Ries

  • Born: Eric Ries was born in 1978.
  • Yale: While at Yale, Eric Ries co-founded of Catalyst Recruiting. It was an online forum for university students to network with potential employers.
  • Catalyst Recruiting: Eric Ries took a leave of absence from Yale to focus on Catalyst Recruiting, but the company soon folded.
  • Silicon Valley: After graduating, Ries moved to Silicon Valley in 2001 as a software engineer.
  • There, Inc.: Eric Ries worked with There, Inc. until the 2003 launch of its product. The company soon failed.
  • IMVU Inc. In 2004, Ries co-founded IMVU Inc., a social network startup. Many IMVU users are content creators, creating and selling products in the IMVU catalog. In 2008, Ries stepped down as CTO.
  • Venture Capital: Ries joined venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins as a venture advisor, and six months later started advising startups independently.
  • Blogging: In 2008, Ries began to document his insights into the lean startup methodology on his blog with a post titled “The Lean Startup.”
  • Harvard Business School: Eric Ries was offered a position as entrepreneur-in-residence at Harvard Business School.
  • Lean Startup Movement: Ries began to focus his energies on the lean startup movement, and held conferences, gave talks, wrote blog entries, and served as an advisor to companies.
  • The Lean Startup: Eric Ries published “The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses” book in 2011. The book describes his “Big Idea” on the lean startup strategy for startup companies.
  • The Leader’s Guide: In 2015, Eric Ries released “The Leader’s Guide,” a self-published version of the curriculum used in his consulting work, exclusively through Kickstarter, raising $588,903 for its publication.
  • The Startup Way: In 2017, Eric Ries released his book, “The Startup Way,” which explains the application of entrepreneurial principles in larger corporate environments.
  • LTSE: In 2015, Ries began organizing The Long-Term Stock Exchange (LTSE), to build a new U.S. stock exchange that aims to align the interests of companies and long-term investors and improve the public company experience.

“Ask most entrepreneurs who have decided to pivot and they will tell you that they wish they had made the decision sooner.”

– Eric Ries

Career Advice Quotes by Eric Ries

“If you cannot fail, you cannot learn.”

“A pivot is a change in strategy without a change in vision.”

“I believe for the first time in history, entrepreneurship is now a viable career.”

“This is one of the most important lessons of the scientific method: if you cannot fail, you cannot learn.”

“A solid process lays the foundation for a healthy culture, one where ideas are evaluated by merit and not by job title.”

“All innovation begins with a vision. It’s what happens next that is critical.”

“Entrepreneurship should be considered a viable career path for innovators inside large organizations.”

“It’s not enough to just give it a whirl; you’ve got to give it a whirl with purpose and direction.”

“Metcalfe’s law: the value of a network as a whole is proportional to the square of the number of participants. In other words, the more people in the network, the more valuable the network.”

“The grim reality is that most start-ups fail. Most new products are not successful. Yet the story of perseverance, creative genius, and hard work persists.”


Business Advice Quotes by Eric Ries

“The only way to win is to learn faster than anyone else.”

“The lean startup method is not about cost, it is about speed.”

“Build-Measure-Learn feedback loop is at the core of the Lean Startup model.”

“Success is not delivering a feature; success is learning how to solve the customer’s problem.”

“If we do not know who the customer is, we do not know what quality is.”

“The three A’s of metrics: actionable, accessible and auditable.”

“The lesson of the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is that any additional work beyond what was required to start learning is waste, no matter how important it might have seemed at the time.”

“Customers don’t care how much time something takes to build. They care only if it serves their needs.”

“The ability to learn faster from customers is the essential competitive advantage that startups must possess.”

“In the Lean Startup model, an experiment is more than just a theoretical inquiry; it is also the first product.”

“You can’t take learning to the bank; you can’t spend it or invest it.”

“Ask yourself: Do consumers recognize that they have the problem you are trying to solve?”

“If you don’t know what you’re testing, all the results in the world will tell you nothing.”

“A startup is an institution, not just a product, and so it requires a new kind of management specifically geared to its context of extreme uncertainty.”

“The point is not to find the average customer but to find early adopters: the customers who feel the need for the product most acutely. Those customers tend to be more forgiving of mistakes and are especially eager to give feedback.”

“As you consider building your own minimum viable product, let this simple rule suffice: remove any feature, process, or effort that does not contribute directly to the learning you seek.”


Leadership and Management Advice Quotes by Eric Ries

“Leaning is the essential unit of progress for startups.”

“The goal of every startup experiment is to discover how to build a sustainable business around the vision.”

“We must learn what customers really want, not what they say they want or what we think they should want.”

“A startup is a human institution designed to create a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty.”

“Innovation is a bottoms-up, decentralized, and unpredictable thing, but that doesn’t mean it cannot be managed.”

“There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all.”

“Test assumptions you’ve made about your business, its customers and how you’re serving them.”

“Just trying to make the customer happy does not produce a sustainable business model.”

“Vanity metrics allow you to form false conclusions and live in your own private reality.”

“Part of the special challenge of being a startup is the near impossibility of having your idea, company, or product be noticed by anyone, let alone a competitor.”

“When blame inevitably arises, the most senior people in the room should repeat this mantra: if a mistake happens, shame on us for making it so easy to make that mistake.”

“Leadership requires creating conditions that enable employees to do the kinds of experimentation that entrepreneurship requires.”

“The big question of our time is not Can it be built? but Should it be built? This places us in an unusual historical moment: our future prosperity depends on the quality of our collective imaginations.”

“You cannot be sure you really understand any part of any business problem unless you go and see for yourself firsthand. It is unacceptable to take anything for granted or to rely on the reports of others.”


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“I believe for the first time in history, entrepreneurship is now a viable career.”

– Eric Ries

Eric Ries Inspirational Quotes

“When in doubt, simplify.”

“Reading is good, action is better.”

“Don’t be in a rush to get big. Be in a rush to have a great product.”

“The goal of a lean startup is to learn what is valuable to the customer.”

“Our future prosperity depends on the quality of our collective imaginations.”

“Entrepreneurs are everywhere. You don’t have to work in a garage to be in a startup.”

“There is no bigger destroyer of creative potential than the misguided decision to persevere.”

“The goal of a lean startup is to move through the build-measure-learn feedback loop as quickly as possible.”

Sustainable growth is characterized by one simple rule: New customers come from the actions of past customers.

“True startup productivity is not just making more stuff, but systematically figuring out the right things to build.”

“Ask most entrepreneurs who have decided to pivot and they will tell you that they wish they had made the decision sooner.”

“Every startup has a chance to change the world, by bringing not just a new product, but an entirely new institution into existence.”


Books by Eric Ries

  • The Startup Way: How Modern Companies Use Entrepreneurial Management to Transform Culture and Drive Long-Term Growth, by Eric Ries, 2012
  • A Concise Summary of Eric Ries’ the Lean Startup– In 30 Minutes, by Eric Ries, 2012
  • The Lean Startup, by Eric Ries, 2011
  • Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It, Scott Kupor and Eric Ries, 2019
  • Black Art of Java Game Programming, by Calin Tenitchi, Eric Ries, and Joel Fan, 1996

Questions about Eric Ries


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Eric Ries – Videos

Eric Ries: “The Lean Startup” – Talks at Google

Campus Presents: Eric Ries, Author, and Entrepreneur


“Build-Measure-Learn feedback loop is at the core of the Lean Startup model.”

– Eric Ries

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