Bringing order to the unruly world of early stage entrepreneurship

This article originally appeared in the Venture Capital Journal, a Thomson Reuters publication.

Eric Ries, author of the “The Lean Startup”, offers a worthy attempt to bring the scientific method to the often intuitive exploration of young companies.

What leads most startups astray is the lack of a disciplined, empirical procedure for making decisions, says Ries, who also writes on the blog Startup Lessons Learned and is a 2010-11 entrepreneur-in-residence at Harvard Business School.

Ries is by equal measure upbeat and cautionary. He sees a worldwide renaissance of entrepreneurialism, but worries about wasted, misguided efforts.

Venture investors take heart. He has an answer, which he details in the October 2011 issue of Venture Capital Journal.

“Lean Startup” evangelist Eric Ries is just getting started

– Connie Loizos is a contributor for PE Hub, a Thomson Reuters publication. This article originally appeared here. –

“Except in very narrow cases, where there’s breakthrough science that needs patent production, worrying about competitors is a waste of time,” Eric Reis told me. “If you can’t out iterate someone who is trying to copy you, you’re toast anyway.”

Ries speaks with confidence, likely because people seem to listen. In fact, he’s become one of Silicon Valley’s best salesmen, largely by preaching what seems to be common sense: in order to maximize resources, companies need to find out what customers want as quickly as possible and capitalize on those findings.

Top 5 myths about the lean startup

- Eric Ries is a serial entrepreneur and author of the entrepreneurship blog Startup Lessons Learned. The original version of this blog was posted here. The opinions expressed are his own. -

Most phenomenal startup teams create businesses that ultimately fail.

Why? They built something that nobody wanted. That sounds like a beginner’s mistake, but in the conditions of extreme uncertainty under which entrepreneurs operate, it’s challenging to innovate and find a market, to take risks and mitigate risk.

Almost two years ago, I left my operating role as the co-founder of a startup, out of an interest to help the entrepreneurship industry develop a more effective, data-driven way of building companies. During that time, I’ve worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs around the world and created a methodology for innovation now known as The Lean Startup.