Why going lean is dangerous!

Jens Kuerschner
5 min readAug 25, 2019

Don’t be lean, be smart!

Nowadays, people talk a lot about doing business the right way. They put in some thoughts about digitalization and startup bullshit talk.
One of those catchy buzzwords is “lean”, “lean startup”, or something similar to this.

The problem is: most people (even most so-called experts) do not really know what lean means, confuse it with doing something stupid and often fuck up.
It is okay to fail — but do not fail by being stupid!

What do people think “lean” means?

“‘Lean’ means that we do not discuss everything in detail. We rather just do it and do it step by step. We also do a quick test first to check if there is any market need” — that is how most executives and experts explain it to me.

Some say “lean” is about testing, it is about prototyping, it is about a first Minimum Viable Product (MVP), it is about tipping your toe into the water first, it is about step by step, it is about failing fast and cheap.

This is quite true and false at the same time!
All those things describe the concept of lean management, but most people get misled by them.

What the inventors thought of.

The idea behind “lean” is indeed, to not discuss everything to death, before even rolling out some first version. It is also a lot about learning and adjusting planning, in order to minimize the risk of wrong investment and focus on what really works and adds value (to you and your customers).

Within product management, you build your MVP, test it right within the market, derive learnings, adjust, repeat.

Basically sounds exactly like the paragraph before, right?

Do not think it is easy!

The concept behind “lean” feels simple, but it requires smart actions to do it the right way.
Here are some examples of how people do it the wrong way and why it is dangerous.

The Minimum Not Yet Viable Product

Jens Kuerschner

Tech Founder, Leader, End-to-End Product/Program Manager, Full-Stack Developer, Marketing and Digitalization expert. 🚀 https://jenskuerschner.de