I just read and added to a conversation initiated by Paul Fox regarding his description of how he is going about teaching Lean Startup.
Paul starts a conversation about his post in the Lean Startup Circle on LinkedIn and in one of his responses to supportive comments he writes: “One thing I think that’s important is distinguishing between principles, processes, tools, and tactics.”
For me, this is an important way to frame the Customer Development, Lean Startup, and Market Validation concepts to help others grok them.
Paul characterizes Eric Reis’s The Lean Startup as primarily about First Principles and Process with some discussion on tactics and tools. He suggests that Ash Maurya digs deeper into tactics. To continue on this theme, I would add that Steve Blank and Bob Dorf are clearly Principle and Process focused in their latest The Startup Owner’s Manual and Steve’s blog, of course. Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur is clearly an important tool and usage is a useful tactic.
For me, Paul has put his finger on what I have felt is missing in emphasis from Customer Development and Lean Start-Up books — the tactics….especially as they relate to actually getting “out of the building”.
For me, the principles, process, tactics, and tools are all just motivators to help lower the barrier to getting out into the field. That is, principles help explain why it works, process how it works, tactics what to do, and tools help you get the most out of it.
I’ll feel successful if I can make this blog into a tool for explaining the tactics and where the tactics fit into the process while showing how they follow and flow from the principles.