Is the Lean Startup Business Model a passing fad, or the “new normal”?
Here are 10 reasons why I think the Lean Startup model is here to stay:
1. Technology – Everything’s social, mobile and cloud-based, meaning reduced establishment costs, enhanced flexibility, and easier scalability for startups.
2. Millennials – The younger generation have different work drivers, informed by their lifestyle ambitions, career aspirations and personal expectations. Startups may often meet their needs more easily than established businesses, and can therefore attract talent better-suited to their requirements.
3. Everyone is their own CEO – “The Start-Up Of You” reinforced the idea that individuals are responsible for managing their own career, that they need to take control of their career decisions, and that a career does not always follow a continuously upward trajectory. Startups can allow people to make non-linear career moves.
4. Crowdsourcing – There’s no need to be an expert in everything – startups can outsource, collaborate, and rent rather than buy.
5. Crowdfunding – It’s no longer a pre-requisite to launch an IPO or negotiate an investment bank deal. The lean startup model has been key to the development of alternative funding models.
6. The waning fortunes of “big” corporates – With a few notable exceptions, large corporations can be slow to react to new market dynamics, and can miss out on new opportunities. The lean startup model is the antithesis to many traditional corporate ecosystems.
7. The post-industrial age – Before the industrial revolution and the arrival of factories, production lines and mass manufacturing, we had cottage industries – people working independently from home, in small-scale operations, often doing outsourced, piece-rate work, or bartering their skills. Startups are fostering a new era of cottage industries, where goods and services are traded through networks and peer-referrals.
8. Lessons from the dot.com boom & bust – We are wiser (after the event). Don’t assume the technology in itself is the solution or the product; don’t burn the cash and have nothing to show for it; start small but position to grow quickly through agile processes and nimble methodologies.
9. Flexibility is the key – Adapt and survive! This is the DNA of the Lean Startup Model.
10. Experience is sometimes better than a formal qualification – People are keen to learn and acquire new skills through direct exposure to interesting projects. Startups can offer this in abundance.
Acknowledgement: I am grateful to Brad Dunn of Nazori for triggering this blog.