Startups are unique. They deal with uncertainty, tight budgets and rapidly changing requirements that make the two most popular product development methods impractical for many startups.
To help entrepreneurs who want to avoid common startup pitfalls, we’ve compiled the following Product Development Methods For Startups infographic comparing options like Agile, Lean Startup/Customer Development and Design Thinking.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of methods available to startups, but they are the major players in today’s startup scene.
The Agile and Lean Startup methods are fundamentally different from Design Thinking. As a result, the customer development process for lean startups is about market analysis and testing business assumptions. The agile methodology, on the other hand, relies on constant delivery of small batches of work to deliver value immediately. Customer development is an important part of both methodologies because it helps entrepreneurs validate their ideas before spending time building a product that nobody wants.
Although effective, this approach tends to focus more on features than user experience – which is why Design Thinking may be a better option for some startups. Design thinking provides a structured approach to understanding customers’ needs and developing innovative solutions that meet those needs. In this article, I will compare and contrast 5 different methodologies – Lean Startup, Design Thinking, Scrum, Agile Development and Kanban – to help entrepreneurs choose a methodology that is right for their business. The Lean Startup methodology focuses on the efficiency of a startup team by breaking down work into small batches – just-in-time delivery – rather than delivering large batches of work – waterfall development.
Customers are generally involved in developing products toof value– which is why may be a better option for some startups. Design thinking provides a structured approach to understanding customers’ needs and developing innovative solutions that meet those needs.
Lean Startup vs design thinking: key similarities & differences
Both Lean Startup and user experience design embrace the importance of understanding your customers and developing an empathic mindset. They both value problem analysis and the need to go into the field to observe and experience what customers do – or don’t do – in their day-to-day interactions, before coming up with a solution that meets their needs.
The common ground between Lean Startup and design thinking:
- understanding customer needs
- empathy for users & iterative development processes
- value creation & the importance of user experience design
Lean startup vs design thinking: key differences All business models are not equal – What is the business model behind my product? Business Model Canvas helps you identify your financial resources , customer segments , partners & value propositions . The aim is to determine the primary dimension of your business model , which is the single most important lever you can pull to build a successful company . The value proposition outlines what value your product or service delivers for whom and how it does it. It represents the specific intersection between customer needs & user experience ( UX ) design .
Lean startup vs design thinking: key similarities – Business Model Canvas helps you identify your financial resources, customer segments, partners & value propositions.
– The aim is to determine the primary dimension of your business model, which is the single most important lever you can pull to build a successful company.
– The value proposition outlines what value your product or service delivers for whom and how it does it. It represents the specific intersection between customer needs & user experience ( UX ) design .
Lean startup vs design thinking: key similarities.
Lean Startup is not just about creating an initially low cost product, which maintains high margins for a relatively small number of customers. Maybe this was true in the last century but not in the 21st century where the cost of building products has changed dramatically. If you are using agile methods like Scrum , you basically build only what your users want — to get immediate feedback on actual usage against your initial assumptions about customer needs and thereby continuously improve products or services faster than any other company out there doing it.
The difference between lean startup and design thinking is that lean startup focuses more on designing compelling products by validating assumptions before building them while design thinking focuses more on designing compelling products by solving problems for customers. While both these methods are great, lean startup is the preferred method of most companies because it gives you a competitive advantage.
Some people do believe that design thinking is better suited for larger organizations who want to shift towards agile methods like Scrum but this is not true either. Design thinking can be applied at any stage in a product development lifecycle and even if you already have an existing successful product, how about applying design thinking to improve user experience so as to increase customer retention rate or reduce churn? You will often find that your existing successful product does not meet all the expectations of your customers which means there is always room for improvements — so go ahead and apply design.