The Lean Startup: a Disciplined Approach to Imagining, Designing, and Building New Products

Strategy & Business Models
Location: 2009 Level:
Average rating: ****.
(4.71, 24 ratings)

High-tech product development projects are notoriously difficult to manage. They come in over budget and behind schedule, draining cash reserves and squandering revenue opportunities. Many fail outright. Often times, when customers hands finally touch the product, it is unusable, buggy, or defective. Worst of all, the software may work as specified, but there are simply no customers willing to purchase it. All of these problems share a common cause: the tremendous waste inherent in an undisciplined approach to imagining, designing, and building new products.

The current macroeconomic climate presents unparalleled opportunities for those that can thrive with constrained resources. The Lean Startup is a practical approach for creating and managing a new breed of company that excels in low-cost experimentation, rapid iteration, and true customer insight. It uses principles of agile software development, open source and web 2.0, and lean manufacturing to guide the creation of technology businesses that create disruptive innovation.

This presentation will empower entrepreneurs and managers to:

1. Identify a profitable business model faster and cheaper than your competitors.

2. Continuously discover what customers want to buy before building or making follow-on investments in new features.

3. Ship new software at a dizzying pace: multiple times a day while improving quality and lowering costs.

4. Build a company-wide culture of decision-making based on real facts, not opinions.

In this presentation, serial entrepreneur Eric Ries will share practical solutions based in his work building IMVU to more than 25 million members worldwide and his experiences consulting to more than a dozen technology startups.

This is a designated Web2Open Hybrid session, with a follow up discussion scheduled in Web2Open at 2:40 pm.

Photo of Eric  Ries

Eric Ries

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

Eric Ries became a Venture Advisor at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, after co-founding and serving as Chief Technology Officer of IMVU. He is the co-author of several books including The Black Art of Java Game Programming (Waite Group Press, 1996). While an undergraduate at Yale Unviersity, he co-founded Catalyst Recruiting. Although Catalyst folded with the dot-com crash, Ries continued his entrepreneurial career as a Senior Software Engineer at, leading efforts in agile software development and user-generated content. In 2007, BusinessWeek named Ries one of the Best Young Entrepreneurs of Tech. He serves on the advisory board of a number of technology startups including pbWiki, Bunchball, FooMojo, Causes and KaChing.

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Picture of Jon Gelberg
Jon Gelberg
04/05/2009 7:06am PDT

Eric- As the CEO of a site just launched in January (, I found your talk inspiring, intimidating and, ultimately, very helpful…. thanks!

Tina Tran
04/03/2009 11:57pm PDT

Everyone around me in the session LOVED your presentation. Thanks for sharing your hard-learned lessons with us! And making it fun!

Picture of Eric Ries
Eric Ries
04/03/2009 12:39pm PDT

Presentation is available at

Thanks to everyone who came – it was a real thrill to meet you all.

Laurent Gil
04/02/2009 9:33am PDT


could you post your presentation?


Guy Rittger
04/02/2009 1:15am PDT

This was a superb and inspiring presentation that cut right to the chase and addressed issues of high importance to those of us pursuing our start-up fantasies/dreams. Eric pulled no punches in exposing the key reasons most start-ups fail (which I can confirm from two previous personal experiences) but then provided concrete recommendations on how to overcome these kinds of mistakes and increase the odds of success. There was plenty to take away from his presentation and chew on, which is what I’ll be doing for the next several months. Thanks very much, Eric!

Picture of Pooja  Naresh
Pooja Naresh
03/30/2009 8:43am PDT

Hi Eric, I am down to learn more about the Lean Startup Approach in my professional pursuits. I also feel the potential of applying the fundamental discipline principles in one’s life, at least in mine!

However, I have a doctor’s appointment at 1pm, so are there any other days/times you would be giving a similar talk?

Thank you,


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