Eric Ries asserts that, at a deeper level, a startup is designed to create something new under extreme uncertainty, and that what matters most for entrepreneurship is the context in which this creativity operates. This requires taking entrepreneurship management more seriously. The management of people who build entrepreneurial technology increases the speed at which one can develop new products and prototypes: This could be the best time ever to be an entrepreneur.
Pivot is the ability to change direction in response to failure. Within every failure is a good idea waiting for the right circumstance or application. Pivot is an incremental and "zig-zagging path" towards the right market fit. The faster the pivot, the more likely a startup will find success before running out of money.
Ries contends that startups must be "built to learn", meaning validated learning about what customers want has to be the unit of measurement for company success. Turning ideas into products, and testing those ideas against reality, allows the company to pivot effectively, enabling customer-centered testing to be done by the dozen, or even, by the hundred.
Eric Ries is the author of the blog, Lessons Learned. He was the co-founder and served as Chief Technology Officer of IMVU, his third startup. He is the co-author of several books including The Black Art of Java Game Programming (Waite Group Press, 1996). In 2007, BusinessWeek named Ries one of the Best Young Entrepreneurs of Tech. He serves on the advisory board of a number of technology startups including pbWiki, Smule, 750i and KaChing.
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