In one of our last blog posts, I talked about the lean startup approach. In brief, the lean principles focus on reducing waste and improving all the time. In the lean startup theory this is subsumed in the approach of going to market with a minimal viable product (MVP) and apply this in further iterations to test hypotheses and reduce uncertainty on the way. Going down this path of continuous improvement, the product market fit can be brought to perfection with the help of early customers.

Lean Startup and Agile Development

It will not come to your surprise that agile software development is the perfect twin of the lean startup approach. This of course roots in the fact that lean principles are at the core of agile methods. With agile development e.g. using the Scrum methodology, a potentially shipable product is produced after every sprint and this matches perfectly with the MVP concept as promoted for a lean startup. Short iterations in software development then allow for testing hypotheses and continuous improvement based on the findings that are made on the way. Overall, this paves the way for short cycles and a good momentum in product development that provides sustained value to the customer.
Interestingly, principles from agile software development are also successfully adapted to other industries (e.g. manufacturing) today. One good example is project Wikispeed which pursues the dream of building a volunteer based green automotive prototype.

Digital Entrepreneurship and Agile Development

As Digital Entrepreneurs, we have experienced that agile software development can make a big difference in startups as well as in corporate projects. Entrepreneurs are ready to take risks but they want to mitigate them as soon as possible, and they want facts to help them invest wisely. This philosophy can be transferred to corporate environments by providing appropriate project settings and encouraging an entrepreneurial mindset.
Reducing uncertainty is an important aspect of such an approach. This can be done e.g. with A/B testing in the MVP for analysis of customer behavior and preferences very early on. Thanks to agile development, such A/B tests can be deployed and changed quickly which at the end helps to collect the amounts of data needed for good analysis and decision making.
In order to be able to pull this whole thing off, additional things/tools like continuous integration, continuous deployment, analytics, and lots of automation (e.g. in integration and testing) are needed.
Last but not least, having or onboarding an entrepreneurial mindset is an important success factor.

Let’s initiate a Dialogue

Do you want to switch to entrepreneurial software development in your company or do you want to start a new business and learn from these principles?
Connect with us and let’s initiate a dialogue about possible ways of boosting your entry into this great way of pushing innovation.