Claus Werner
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Lean Startup

This article is written by Mohammad Eslim, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.

Claus Werner, one of the speakers at Startup Istanbul 2017 event has worked with Amazon for five years, in all those years, he has worked with startups from all over the world, helping them scale their companies from their city, out of their country, out of Europe, and onto the global market

Startup is a great platform that gets you to make your idea into a unique business, you can make your idea into a plan for a project then create it into the product and/or service you want it to be. Of course it is not easy to go further into the process as there are many levels between forming the idea and the final product.

Lean Startup is a book that is considered holy for all entrepreneurs who are on their way into business. They first have to take their own idea to startup and talk to people about it. They have to introduce the idea, how they got it, what problem does it solve and why would people and investors care to solve it and put their own money for you to solve it.

Nothing comes easy after that, and perhaps the easiest comes way ahead of these levels to come. The idea gives you suggestions on how to create that product that solves the problem which is where the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) comes. MVPs are the smallest thing to test that idea of yours, and you don’t need VCs’ money to do it. MVP are not a whole product and they don’t really solve the given problem, instead you can sell any MVP as a product or/and use it to test how much of a customers’ base you have as a starting point for you to keep going into manufacturing the product or creating the application.

After the MVP you can step further ahead into the creating process or what is called the innovation cycle. First thing is to set an architecture for the dev test environment to start build this idea. Through testing and testing you will move into the first phase, the alpha release which is where we add an extra component or any mechanism to improve the product or the service you are working on. Then we go into the beta release where we are hitting the MVP, we add the right set of components and join the parts to scale up the product or service we are aiming for. 

From idea to MVP we can get a total of $250 spent, and you can basically repeat the cycle again and again and again. And right here is the beauty of cloud where you can take everything you build and if it doesn’t work and you want to go to another direction, you just kill it with one click of a button and start over, furthermore you won’t have an expensive hardware or contracts on your back to hold you down from going forward with your startup.

Finally there is the customers’ discovery process where you have your idea, your MVP and you want to discover who your customers will be. Then you go out and start to validate the customers, find out if they really interested in your product or service and if they are willing to pay for it. In case you failed you pivot and start back again. However, never forget to give your company a time to be build up correctly or your time and efforts will be in vain. 

─ May 19, 2019