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The Startup Way
Cover of The Startup Way
The Startup Way
How Modern Companies Use Entrepreneurial Management to Transform Culture and Drive Long-Term Growth
by Eric Ries
Entrepreneur and bestselling author of The Lean Startup, Eric Ries reveals how entrepreneurial principles can be used by businesses of all kinds, ranging from established companies to early-stage startups, to grow revenues, drive innovation, and transform themselves into truly modern organizations, poised to take advantage of the enormous opportunities of the twenty-first century.

In The Lean Startup, Eric Ries laid out the practices of successful startups – building a minimal viable product, customer-focused and scientific testing based on a build-measure-learn method of continuous innovation, and deciding whether to persevere or pivot. In The Startup Way, he turns his attention to an entirely new group of organizations: established enterprises like iconic multinationals GE and Toyota, tech titans like Amazon and Facebook, and the next generation of Silicon Valley upstarts like Airbnb and Twilio.
Drawing on his experiences over the past five years working with these organizations, as well as nonprofits, NGOs, and governments, Ries lays out a system of entrepreneurial management that leads organizations of all sizes and from every industry to sustainable growth and long-term impact. Filled with in-the-field stories, insights, and tools, The Startup Way is an essential road map for any organization navigating the uncertain waters of the century ahead.
Entrepreneur and bestselling author of The Lean Startup, Eric Ries reveals how entrepreneurial principles can be used by businesses of all kinds, ranging from established companies to early-stage startups, to grow revenues, drive innovation, and transform themselves into truly modern organizations, poised to take advantage of the enormous opportunities of the twenty-first century.

In The Lean Startup, Eric Ries laid out the practices of successful startups – building a minimal viable product, customer-focused and scientific testing based on a build-measure-learn method of continuous innovation, and deciding whether to persevere or pivot. In The Startup Way, he turns his attention to an entirely new group of organizations: established enterprises like iconic multinationals GE and Toyota, tech titans like Amazon and Facebook, and the next generation of Silicon Valley upstarts like Airbnb and Twilio.
Drawing on his experiences over the past five years working with these organizations, as well as nonprofits, NGOs, and governments, Ries lays out a system of entrepreneurial management that leads organizations of all sizes and from every industry to sustainable growth and long-term impact. Filled with in-the-field stories, insights, and tools, The Startup Way is an essential road map for any organization navigating the uncertain waters of the century ahead.
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  • From the book Chapter 1

    Respect the Past, Invent the Future: Creating the Modern Company

    When I first began working with GE six years ago, I sat down for a conversation with CEO Jeff Immelt. Something he said to me that day has stayed with me ever since: "Nobody wants to work at an old-fashioned company. Nobody wants to buy products from an old-fashioned company. And nobody wants to invest in an old-fashioned company."

    What followed was an in-depth discussion of what makes a company truly modern. How do you know it when you see it?

    I asked him to imagine the following: if I selected an employee of the company at random, from any level or function or region, and they had an absolutely brilliant idea that would unlock a dramatic new source of growth for the company, how would they get it implemented? Does the company have an automatic process for testing a new idea, to see if it is actually any good? And does the company have the management tools necessary to scale this idea up to maximum impact, even if it doesn't align with any of the company's current lines of business? That's what a modern company does: harnesses the creativity and talent of every single one of its employees.

    Jeff answered me directly: "That's what your next book should be about."

    The Marketplace of Uncertainty

    I think most business leaders recognize that the everyday challenges of executing their core business leave little time and energy for harnessing and testing new ideas. This stands to reason, as today's companies are operating in an environment quite different from their predecessors. I've had the privilege of meeting thousands of managers around the world in the past few years. Over and over again, I see their incredible anxiety about the unpredictability of the world they live in. The most common concerns I hear:

    1. Globalization and the rise of new global competitors.

    2. "Software eating the world" and the way automation and IT seem to destroy the competitive "moats" companies have been able to set up around their products and services in the past.

    3. The increasing speed of technological change and consumer preference.

    4. The ridiculous number of new potential high-growth startups that are entering every industry—even if most of them flame out.

    And those are just examples of the external sources of uncertainty that face today's managers. Increasingly, today's managers are also under pressure to create more uncertainty themselves: by launching new innovative products, seeking new sources of growth, or entering new markets.

    It's important to see this as the change it is. For most of the twentieth century, growth in most industries was constrained by capacity. It was considered completely obvious what a company would do if it had extra capacity: make more stuff and then sell it. "New products" meant mostly variations of what they already made. "New growth" usually meant putting out more advertising to reach new audiences with existing products. The bases for competition were primarily price, quality, variety, and distribution. Barriers to entry were high, and if competitors did come on the scene, they entered and grew relatively slowly—by today's standards.

    Today, global communications means that new products can be conceived and built anywhere, and customers can discover them at an unprecedented pace.

    This setup flips Karl Marx's old dictum on its head; what he called the means of production can now be rented. Entire global supply chains can be borrowed at little more than the marginal cost of the underlying products they produce. This dramatically lowers the initial capital costs required to try...
About the Author-
  • Eric Ries is an entrepreneur and the author of the New York Times bestseller The Lean Startup, which has sold over one million copies and has been translated into more than thirty languages. He is the creator of the Lean Startup methodology, which has become a global movement in business, practiced by individuals and companies around the world.

    He has founded a number of startups including IMVU, where he served as CTO, and he has advised on business and product strategy for startups, venture capital firms, and large companies, including GE, where he partnered to create the FastWorks program. Ries has served as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Harvard Business School, IDEO, and Pivotal, and he is the founder and CEO of the Long-Term Stock Exchange.
Reviews-
  • Kathy Fish, CTO, Procter & Gamble "The Startup Way creates a vision and blueprint for a new form of management which combines entrepreneurial and general management skills and practices. The inspirational examples across multiple, diverse organizations show that integrating the highly iterative, experimental mindset and skills of start-ups into established organizations is key to unlocking continuous innovation and sustainable growth... Provides clear and useful guidance for tackling the toughest challenges."
  • Gavin Newsom, Lieutenant Governor of California "As someone who is deeply committed to the public sector, I was heartened to see that the entrepreneurial principles and practices that Eric Ries describes in his new book, The Startup Way, apply equally effectively to governments and nonprofits, as well as for established for-profit businesses. If you want to visit the future of the modern organization, read this compelling book."
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    The Crown Publishing Group
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The Startup Way
The Startup Way
How Modern Companies Use Entrepreneurial Management to Transform Culture and Drive Long-Term Growth
Eric Ries
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