In the five years since I published The Lean Startup, I've worked with organizations of varieties and sizes I never imagined would be interested in the ideas I wrote about in that book. And what I've learned is that lean isn't just for five-person startups: it's for everyone--especially everyone who wants to thrive in the quickly changing world we now live in, where the only guarantee is that we don't know what's coming next. As you know, I believe uncertainty is a challenge rather than a problem: It's all about how you manage it. That's the message I've been bringing to companies as big and established as GE, and as a new and rapidly expanding as Dropbox. I've talked about it with non-profits, local governments, and even the Federal Government (where they're now applying lean to everything from immigration benefits to the system that generates the nuclear codes!). The Startup Way is full of the stories of hard work we did together as these organizations changed not just their ways of working (in areas ranging from product development to internal processes like HR and legal) but their core cultures, to become more nimble and innovative. It's also full of stories of many other organizations that have begun to adopt these methods whether or not I was involved.
Across the board, all of them are engaged in one thing: entrepreneurship.
It may sound crazy to you to call the Federal Government entrepreneurial. Or that a company like GE, which was founded in 1892, is comparable to one like Airbnb, which was founded in 2008. But both of these things are not only true--they're the key to The Startup Way.
Regardless of size, mission, or sector, no organization can survive without the ability to adapt continuously. I believe that ability has to be a structural part of every organization--that companies need a standardized way to test ideas, run experiments, and follow through on the ones that will bring sustainable growth and long-term impact. If you've read The Lean Startup, those ideas will sound familiar. In that sense, The Startup Way is a book about how to use Lean Startup tools at scale. But it's also a book about leadership. No tool can bring change if it doesn't have the support of the people in charge, who, after all, inspire and direct others to new heights.
The book is a combination of real-life examples of how these leaders have done just that, and deep explanations of the methods and practices that together make up The Startup Way of working. It's been truly inspirational for me to see so many smart, passionate people make real change in these last years. My hope for the book is that it will give many, many more the tools they need to keep that change growing and spreading. I can't wait to see what happens.
You can pre-order the hardcover edition here. Your order will grant you access to The Leader's Guide community, an exclusive network of new and experienced Lean Startup practitioners, where I'll be sharing excerpts from the book and the results of the design and content testing I'm doing to shape the final product.