Three years of rigorous testing, thousands of iterations, and hundreds of real-world case-studies later… My new book, Scaling Lean, is finally here.
While not the same thing, Bootstrapping and Lean Startups are quite complementary. Both cover techniques for building low-burn startups by eliminating waste through the maximization of existing resources first before expending effort on the acquisition of new or external resources.
While bootstrapping provides a strategic roadmap for achieving sustainability through customer funding (i.e. charging customers), lean startups provide a more tactical approach to achieving those goals through validated learning from customers.
In its early days, Southwest Airlines had to sell one of their planes or face bankruptcy. When most people get hit with a constraint of limited resources like this one, they either fall victim to the constraint and revise their ambition downwards, or they confront the constraint head-on and look for ways to brute-force it.
Southwest Airlines could have similarly fallen victim by accepting downsizing or they could have confronted the constraint head-on by knocking on many more investor doors. Instead, they chose to do something very different.
They found a way for achieving their goal of keeping their existing routes with three planes instead of four planes. They did this, not by brute-forcing, but embracing their constraint.
Read on to learn how.
A basic tenet of running lean is validating a product or feature ideally without having to building it first. The first battle isn’t fought on the ground but in the mind of the customer. It isn’t fought with your built out solution but instead with an offer.