When you travelled out of town a decade ago, you’d have never thought of sleeping in a stranger’s apartment – you’d make a reservation at a reputable hotel instead. Now, over 100 million people have driven their rental cars past the Hilton and parked in a stranger’s driveway, thanks to Airbnb, a website that puts hosts in touch with travelers looking for unique places to stay. Airbnb began as a small startup company.

Mark Zuckerberg is famous for saying, “I really just want to create a really cool college directory product that is relevant for students. I don’t know what that is.” He didn’t know exactly what he was building and even now,  millions of users later, Facebook, a company that begun as a small startup, is one of the most successful businesses in the world and is still innovating.

That’s startup culture and engineer-turned-entrepreneur Eric Ries studies what works in these small businesses and makes the lessons general enough to be applied to just about any business – large companies or other startups. He studies engineering principles like process management and Six Sigma and relates the quality control standards to the corporate world.  In his book, The Startup Way, Ries defines the following 5 steps as necessary for redefining lethargic companies and helping them become successful again.

  1. Develop a method for continuous innovation
  2. The organizational structure must support continuous innovation growth
  3. Entrepreneurship has to defy what is normal
  4. Change what doesn’t work
  5. Continue to change

The Startup Way includes a few diagrams and charts but mostly, it is an easy textual reference for any business owner wanting to take advantage of the opportunities that our modern entrepreneurial culture provides. The author shares several of his experiences consulting with big companies that might help you too.

Bonus material: Each hardcover book has a unique code where you can register online to receive additional content.

I received a free copy of this book from Blogging For Books in order to complete this review. 

This post also includes affiliate links, where if you click and make a purchase, I make a small commission to fund my book buying tendencies. Thanks! 

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