How is Technology Managed as a Lean Startup?
In the age of high startup costs and tight purse-strings, startup and operating capital come at a premium; so today we’re going to talk about the concept of the “Lean Startup”.
The concept of a lean startup has been floating around the technology community for a while now, and the reason it’s so important is, in the age of both slimming profit margins and relatively high startup costs, all care possible should be taken in the startup and operation of any technology business, especially as it relates to long, ongoing projects that are destined to compete on the open market.
Lean startup, in general, is a concept that espouses, above all, flexibility and fluidity by emphasizing the notion of iterative development. What is iterative development? Glad you asked! Iterative development is a product development style that focuses on steady, iterative releases of projects that may otherwise have long development cycles.
The issues that projects with long development cycles often have are usually only found at the end of the development cycle, when it’s time to bring a product to market; at which point, a significant amount of time and money has likely already been invested in something that may be found to be inadequate. The process of iterative development seeks to address this shortfall in a few multifaceted ways:
With shorter intervals of time between product releases, iterative development seeks to close the gap between project expectations and realities by lessening the lead time for error detection and correction, an error detection paradigm not unlike that of network security.
- In lessening the sunk costs of errors, businesses are free to focus on other more pressing details, such as their next project, or the next phase of their current one; turning debugging into less of a money sink and more of an ongoing, logistically sound formality.
- Iterative development also allows for a more flexible development team, allowing for people to be swapped in and out of a project as needed; this could be especially advantageous in the case of projects that may require managed IT services. This added flexibility will also position a company to take advantage of cloud computing; a scalable, secure solution for large, cooperative development teams.
- Reducing the sunken costs of project errors reduces project costs overall, and over time is a significant cost-saving strategy.
Being a lean startup is not simply a cool thing to do, but is oftentimes logistically, financially and commercially sound. Not only is a significant amount of capital saved in the initial stages of product design and development, but problems are corrected before they become catastrophes. In addition, the swift market feedback resulting from the iterative development cycle lets you know when you’ve got a challenge, or a bad idea. It’s good to know when to move on, and when to keep going; the lean startup mindset can help with that.
Most importantly, being a lean startup and developing products iteratively is a continual learning process incorporate feedback and response from multiple stakeholders; from management, the development team, and the public/prospective consumers. It’s important to take the feedback of these groups into account when implementing lean startup practices in order to maximize your benefits and overcome any challenge in your path.