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  • Maria Teresa Shephard

The Minimal Startup


How could there be any relationship between Eric Ries' "The Lean Startup" and minimalism?

It’s pretty simple actually. Ries' methodology capitalizes on the concept of “less is more”.

Less accidents. More experiments.

Less ‘what ifs'. More data driven decisions.

Less financial excess. More intentional investments.

Less developmental ambiguity. More structured outcomes.

Less wondering. More knowing.

Simply put: the success of any startup is contingent upon intentionality.

Here are my golden nuggets from the first chapter seen through my minimalist lens:

  1. Entrepreneurs are everywhere. | Develop them.

  2. Entrepreneurship is ambiguous. | Mitigate the uncertainty.

  3. Learn through validated lessons. | Experiment consistently.

  4. Build to measure to learn. | Decide effectively.

  5. Benchmark your innovation. | Maintain cyclically.

I perceive all of the above mentioned one-liners as inexorably tied to purpose. If you are not present in your decision making, you won’t know what you want to create, who you want creating it for you, how you want to measure it’s creation, if you want to prune or propagate your creations, and how you know to keep creating at all.

I challenge you to think twice about every decision you make this week. Be radically transparent with your skepticism to your colleagues, as well.

As you look at your schedule, ask yourself, “Do I have all my time documented and my goals outlined?”

If not, do that before anything else. Schedule every hour even if it’s “free time.” (What’s that?!)

As you check for meetings, ask yourself, “Do I really need to be there?”

If not, then decline the invite and keep it moving.

As you are working through your tasks to reach your outlined goals, ask yourself, “Am I mindlessly multitasking?”

If so, then stop what you’re doing. Immediately. Switch to single tasking and execute one assignment or cognitive excercise at a time.

Hit these above targets and you’ll instantly find focus leading to personal success in your week.

Remember: If your task list has more than three items on it, your list is too long. Full stop.


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