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Design Thinking vs. Lean Startup: Friends or Foes?


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My talk at #AgileIndia2017 on what are the similarities and strengths of Design Thinking and Lean Startup, and where and how we could use them more effectively.

Design Thinking vs. Lean Startup: Friends or Foes?

  1. 1. Design Thinking vs. Lean Startup: Friends or Foes? Tathagat Varma
  2. 2. How do you solve “new” / “unknown” problems?
  3. 3. Design Squiggle
  4. 4. Design Thinking •Evolved from building “physical products” •An approach for “problem finding” •Great for “poorly bounded problems” •High emphasis on “needfinding” of users •Insights lead to “reframing” the problem •Prototyping as a means to “learning” •Test prototypes to “validate” hypotheses •Iterate often expedite “feedback”
  5. 5. Design Thinking
  6. 6. Design Thinking Empathy Prototype TestDefine Ideate
  7. 7. Lean Startup • Evolved from building “successful” IT startups • It offers a “scientific approach” to entrepreneurship • Startup is an “experiment”, focus on “learning” • Starts with building early “MVPs” • Test frequently using “Build Measure Learn Loops” • Validate learning using “actionable metrics” • Build a system of “innovation accounting” to demonstrate “progress” in the form of “learning” • Fine-tune the business model using “pivots” • Establish “product market fit” before scaling the business
  8. 8. Lean Startup Founder’s Vision Build Measure Learn Loops Business Model Build MVPs Validated Learning Innovating Accounting Pivot or Persevere Product Market Fit Scale Up
  9. 9. Similarities •Focus on Customer (User) needs innovation •Expect uncertainties •Start early and make stuff •Build scrappy prototypes •Validate from frequent iterations •Learn and proceed
  10. 10. DESIGN THINKING LEAN STARTUP VISION Solve a problem Build a business PROBLEMS Wicked Problems Hi-tech products MINDSET Problem discovery / needfinding Founder’s Vision / product in-hand APPROACH Qualitative, Intuitive Quantitative, Analytical FOCUS Human-Centered, Users Engineering-Driven, Customers HYPOTHESES Generate, Explore Validate, Experiment INQUIRY Open-ended, Ethnography Problem statement, Actionable Metrics LEARNING Reframing Pivot THEME Empathy Speed
  11. 11. So… Design Thinking Vs. Lean Startup? OR Design Thinking + Lean Startup! (…and where does “agile” fit in?)
  12. 12. Recap • It’s not about “OR”. It’s about “AND”. • Design Thinking offers great guidance on uncovering human needs and identifying the right problem • Lean Startup provides a framework for systematically validating the (solution) hypotheses in fast loops • An integrated approach…
  13. 13. References • Lean Innovation: Design Thinking Meets Lean Startup for the Enterprise, 2016/04/07/lean-innovation-design-thinking-meets-lean-startup-for-the-enterprise/#59dd238245d4 • Design Thinking vs. Lean Startup, • Lean Startup and Design Thinking: Getting the Best Out of Both, startup-design-thinking-getting-best-out-both • Integrating Lean Startup and Design Thinking, startup-and-design-thinking/ • Design Thinking vs Lean Startup, eff0522fe669#.efbn6xrd7 • Agile vs Lean vs Design Thinking, • • When Lean Startup meets Design Thinking: Lessons for Social Entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship/when-lean-startup-meets-design-thinking-lessons-for-social-entrepreneurs • Lean Startup, Design Thinking and Open Innovation for the Enterprise, resource/resmgr/pdf_files/Lean_Startup,_Design_Thinkin.pdf • • Design Thinking vs. Lean Startupp: A Comparison of Two User-Driven Innovation Strategies, Roland Mueller and Katja Thoring