drawkcaB | Backward Compatible logo

rants and tips about software

Lean Startup vs Rework

Some time ago I finished reading the Lean Startup book by Eric Ries. Although I have been using some techniques from it before I have learned a lot. Yesterday, I found a mention of Rework on some website. Rework is a book by founders of 37 Signals, which I also read before. I started to compare the content of Lean Startup and Rework and I got some interesting conclusions.

Rework and 37 signals business model is really only a sub-set of Lean Startup philosophy. Basically, Rework stops somewhere during lean startup process and says "we're content with this". You build MVP, test it with customers, tweak a little bit and whoa, if you get good product market fit, what's next? Depends who you ask: 37signals guys would tell you: "Well done, now enjoy your success". They refuse to grow business, add features and go for a larger market. I'm not saying this is bad, sometimes you need to know what is your field of competence and stay there.

Which one would you follow? It depends on your personality. If you're going to become a serial entrepreneur, rework is not enough. If you have an urge to move forward, discover new horizons, you might need to use Lean Startup in each new project again. After all, one can hardly call 37signals a startup anymore. They behave like established business, not a startup. As DHH said on Twist, "if you're not doing your best idea now, you're doing it wrong". But, how do you know what is your best idea going to be if you do not explore? Maybe something looks like my best idea now, and I should be working on it. But, by the time that project becomes mature and stable, I might get a dozen of better ideas. And once I can turn the reigns of the current project to some good manager, I can go back to "startup" mode and explore new boundaries.

Milan Babuškov, 2011-12-01
Copyright © Milan Babu┼íkov 2006-2024