Stages of Lean Startup Development

Stages of Lean Startup Development

Lean Startup is a methodology for business and product development that aims to shorten product development cycles and quickly discover whether the proposed business model is sustainable.

This is achieved by adopting a combination of business hypothesis-based experimentation, iterative product release, and validated learning. It is a practice that uses lifelong learning from a target market to develop, launch, and modify a high-demand product or service to meet that market.

Lean emphasizes customer value over product value and realizes that failed startups almost always produce a product, but rarely produce the right customers for that product. Feedback received from customers is taken as initial and ranges from an unverified concept to a growing company.

When starting a Startup using the Lean methodology, one of the first things you will encounter is:

Achieving these fits will help you minimize the risk of failure. In the continuation of the post, we will try to bring you closer to these three concepts to better understand the entire Lean methodology.

Problem-Solution Fit

One of the most common reasons for a startup failure is to create a product that no one wants. If you do something that customers want, that they need, you may be able to build the right business model. It should be noted that the focus of every business model is solving the problems that customers have.

This is a problem that customers themselves are aware of. A problem that causes them a significant level of pain, and they are willing to pay for its solution, are motivated, and actively seek a solution.

As a result, this category of alignment is best defined as a company's capacity to recognize an issue worth solving and when a fantastic solution will be delivered to a clearly defined target group. At this stage, it is essential to communicate and get to know the users to determine whether the hypothesis about the problem and the solution are correct. 

In this phase, you sell the vision, that is, you deliver a solution without products, reducing the necessary time for development, money, and future failures. This is a great time to learn how to design your product.

This phase answers the following questions:

  • Are you focused on a problem that is worth solving?
  • What problem are you solving for your customer? There could be more problems, and you need to research well.
  • How often does this problem occur?
  • What is the cause of each problem?
  • Is your customer currently working on a solution to their problem?

This phase can last several weeks or several months. You must find out what your customers' problems are and then offer adequate solutions to those complex problems that will be acceptable to them in the first place. It is necessary to get to know your customers.

Steve Blank pointed out that the difference between winning startups and all those losses is that the winners understand why customers are buying. Losers never do that. " So “get out of the building,” research and understand your customers. Be winners!

Product Market Fit

The most essential and most difficult phase. If you manage to pass this phase, then your product is quite ready for everything that follows. Marc Andreessen, an American entrepreneur, believes that Product Market Fit means "Being in a good market with a product that can satisfy that market." The moment an entrepreneur recognizes the need in the market and makes a solution that customers want to buy, it will suit the market.

This is the phase that answers the question: Is your product the solution that people want?

Achieving Product Market Fit is key to a successful business. This means that there is a market demand for what you sell, and people are willing to pay for your product because it is better than all the alternatives offered to them.

This is the stage where you incorporate your solution into the product that people want and validate your business model. A good way to know if you have reached this stage or not is to determine if at least 40% of your users would be disappointed if they no longer had the opportunity to use just your product. This phase can last for several months or even several years.

If a company gets stuck at this stage it can completely lose its focus. What needs to be emphasized about Product / Market Fit is that it is confirmed by the appearance of significant and continuous growth. If you do not grow from month to month, with an increased number of customers, it is proof that you still do not have the right product.

Scaling Fit

What does scaling mean? It means growing and growing fast.

It is necessary to emphasize that not all companies want to grow. Many entrepreneurs are satisfied with the current situation and the way they work, and also many companies are not ready to take the next step and grow into large companies. However, if you want to grow up and start making serious, big money, then scaling is what you need to do.

If you have confirmed that your product is completely suitable for the market, you can place it on the mass market. However, it is necessary to be careful when this phase is in question because premature scaling and incorrect assessment can lead to failure. Also, if you scale slowly, you may miss out on some key opportunities and resources, so you need to capture the right moment.

At this stage, the focus is on the following issues:

  • How to accelerate growth?
  • Where are the bottlenecks and how to eliminate them?
  • How do maintain satisfaction and retain customers while the company is experiencing exponential growth?
  • What changes will need to be made to the product and brand itself as the focus shifts to the early majority market?

It is a phase that you want to last as long as possible. You need to continue to optimize each of your features to create an outstanding experience for all your users.


Achieving these requirements allows you to establish a connection between the original idea and the outside world. By leaving the building, you are on the right path to directly test your product and experiment with customers, which will provide you with the necessary information. Study where you are at the moment, review each step, and determine what you can do to eliminate current customer problems and make sure your growth lasts as long as possible.

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