In his book, The Lean Startup, Eric Ries, has very succinctly shared and made a case that, "Entrepreneurship is akin to management". Before we dive into this statement, let's unearth a few other key takeaways in the book.

The book starts with Eric sharing his own story at a startup (IMVU). It's the fundamental for what follows in the book. At a startup, Eric was given the responsibility of designing an offer that would allow user to use the instant messaging (IM) and 3D avatars to communicate. As a software engineer, Eric and co, leveraged the lean principles to deploy code fast. The product came about quickly and was ready. Venture capitalists (VC) also backed the idea as novel and prime for making a successful business. At the onset the idea led to great product, albeit never aligned with the consumer appetite.

First Takeaway: You can have a great product, but if you have the right answer to the wrong problem, there is a lack of product/market fit.

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As eluded to earlier, Eric and his team were very influenced by the lean principles, which they successfully applied to the code development. This is where the second takeaway comes into view. 

The backdrop here that most founders believe that progression will be linear. The reality is that there will failures along the way. These are not business failures, rather outcomes of experiments done with customers, to validate the offering. When Eric's team ran such experiments, they found customers had no appetite to use their product. "Why do I need an add-on to my IM?", highlighting the fact customers simply did not understand the value. Therefore, customer saw no reason to invite others to use the product leading to zero network effects as result. 

Second Takeaway: The faster you can pivot, the faster you can incorporate the voice of the customer into the product. Expedite the build, measure, learn loop. 

Going back the opening statement, "Entrepreneurship is management", the book highlights an interesting point. Entrepreneurs are everywhere - implying that this trait is not limited to the generalized view of few guys working in garages, consuming pizza and soda, working on building the next revolution. Rather, it's a skillset that can found in any size organization. It's the responsibility of the leadership to create an environment, where experimentation is cherished and nurtured.

Another aspect to consider as part of management is what is to referred as "Innovative accounting". Eric points out that sometimes firms are so focused on creating the hypothesis and experiments, leading to minimum viable products (MVP's), that they overlook how to measure outcome. The book proposed the 3 A's method to measuring: Actionable, Accessible and Auditable. For e.g: Using total numbers of visiting users provide no value compared to number of percentage of new registered users.

Third Takeaway: Define metrics that are allow for creating a value drive baseline. Leverage this baseline to measure success and define experiments.

Without going into details, there is also a need to highlight some areas, which apply to different aspects of the takeaways.

MVP: First off MVP's may not be cheap and firms can utilize many different approaches. 

Video MVP: Create a video showing how the product is solving the problem. Used by Drew Houston for Dropbox.

The Concierge MVP: Work directly with a handful of customers. The technology might not be built yet, but the direct interaction is providing the feedback loop needed to build the product. Used by Food on the Table.

The Wizard of Oz MVP: Customers believe the technology is place; however manual work is being done behind the scenes. Used by, to validate if customers will by shoes online.

Landing Page MVP: The product is pitched via landing page. If the customers click to buy it, then it proves there is demand. Be mindful of this approach in the current instant gratification phase of consumerism. 

Crowdfunding MVP: Leverage sites that allows consumers to buy your product by providing an early payment. The payment is used to build the product and can have long lead times. Same as with landing page, be mindful of the approach.

To wrap-up, Lean startup provides strong arguments on how to approach Entrepreneurship through Lean approach. It also clarifies a few misconceptions about lean startup not being a cheap alternative, specific to technology startups and only data driven. The principles defined in the book are applicable to any startup, though Lean startup does showcase how to speed them up successfully.