Lean Startups limitations – agnostic experimentation and failing too fast 

“While early customer development and feedback are essential for refining your product offering, they don’t replace the need for unique insights and developing a compelling strategy for how you will win the market.”

Lean Startup methodology, generally pushes that you keep evolving based on customer feedback rather than focusing on business model and overall strategy – the result is product market fit, is assumed to come as a result of a high volume of quickly executed experiments.

This is inefficient, since there’s no strategy and you’re simply following the major patterns in consumer usage, there’s no guarantee that the patterns you follow are the right patterns, its assumed that significant patterns are also areas of revenue generation. 

Related to this, Lean Startup methodology actively discards poorer performing patterns in consumer usage, since lower usage is assumed to reflect a lack of interest, this encourages a pivot, since its assumed this is a failure, and the Lean Startup methodology encourages the notion of failing fast and abandoning a product idea early based on customer feedback. Instead of wasting time, effort, and money trying to make an unviable product idea work. 

“You’ve only built a small portion of your product vision, how can you trust whether the early feedback is representative of your ultimate product? Or is the feedback really just pointing out the lack of viability of the MVP itself?”

The next criticism is that The Lean Startup leads to incremental products. 

But that may actually be a good thing and a more appropriate application of Lean Startup methodology – at the growth stage when there’s sufficient data, users and a good enough product that customer feedback is key to further development. Since Lean Startup methodology is so overly reliant on customer feedback to manage decisions, its more suitable as a growth optimising tool rather than a product development tool.

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