Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lean Thinking and Startups

When I was reading the pieces on the Toyota Production System and the comparisons of the various theories, I wondered if the lean thinking or lean manufacturing concept applied start ups or entrepreneurs. As a startup, you're not necessarily trying to refine existing products or processes like an established firm. You're trying to create the products or processes from scratch. One of our readings simply defined "lean" as "the removal of waste, which is defined as anything not necessary to produce the product or service". In a start up you're focusing on prototyping (produces wasted time and/or materiel), gaining market traction, finding product fit, etc. Are startups inherently incompatible with these lean concepts? What do you guys think?

***Unbeknownst to me, Professor Zak pointed me to an author Eric Ries who has written a book on this very topic. His website is here. A couple of other interesting links are here and here.

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