153. How Experimentation Empowers Vision & How Corporates Create an Innovation Culture (Eric Ries)

Eric Ries Lean Startup Way The Full Ratchet

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Eric Ries, author of the Lean Startup and The Startup Way, joins Nick to discuss his new book and his response to the naysayers. In this episode, we cover:

  • Eric’s backstory and path to working in tech
  • Steve Blank was on the program and mentioned Peter Thiel’s famous comments where he decried the MVP and lean startup approach. Steve thought he was entirely wrong. But I’d love to hear your response to Peter.
  • Peter said in his book, “forget minimum viable products. Ever since Apple started in 1976, Jobs saw that you could change the world through careful planning, not by listening to focus group feedback or copying other’s successes.”
  • For those that read the lean startup some time ago or maybe those that are newer to tech, can you provide a refresher of the key concepts?
  • Why’d you write The Startup Way?
  • Who is the audience for The Startup Way?
  • Is this for transforming existing, large organizations or for companies establishing their culture and their process?
  • In part one of the book, you talk about the modern company… What, in your estimation, is the biggest problem with the today’s corporation?
  • You’ve said that “the way to stay on top can be traced to two things: treating employees like customers, and treating business units like startups.” This runs counter to the common capitalist mentality where there is a focus on margins, incremental product development and creating value for shareholders, not necessarily employees. Are you suggesting significant cultural and strategic change and, if so, how is that possible to achieve?
  • Can large organizations really apply the concepts from the lean startup in the way that a startup can?
  • Do you have a tech and non-tech example of organizations that have successfully applied this methodology?
  • Tell us about the ‘Big Picture’ elements and your unified theory of entrepreneurship.
  • Mark Suster was on the program and stated that it’s nearly impossible to innovate behind the moat… meaning that large corporations should invest in venture and startups on the outside b/c it’s too hard for them to disrupt from the inside.  How would you respond to Mark’s comments?
  • What would you say to those that claim that the entrepreneurial-minded folks often leave large corporations and those that stay are not inclined to embrace these principles?

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