The Real Startup Book

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“When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” ​– Unknown

My first encounter with the term lean startup introduced me to the concept of a smoke test. The idea was elegant, place a value proposition onto a landing page with the intent to gauge customer demand. So of course I applied it immediately.

When I heard about Sean Ellis’ “How disappointed would you be” survey, I used that.

When I heard about concierge testing, Wizard of Oz testing, paper prototyping, I used them.

I used them without thought.

I used them because that’s all I knew.

I used them because someone whose name I recognized used them and wrote it down on a blog, in a book, on a slide.

I used them with the same flawed logic that says, “Air Jordans makes great basketball players.”

After 6 years of living lean, I’m starting to recognize that to build something great, to build something that will last, to be a great carpenter, we don’t need a great pair of sneakers, we need a great toolbox. And we need to know how to use it.

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