The Real Startup Book

The Real Startup Book is a large, crowdsourced compilation of research and experiment inquiry methods from lean practitioners worldwide. Every method has a short description, a how-to guide, and links to additional information. This book is best used to review questions about certain business model elements, such as the customer, the value proposition, channels, relationships, and business revenue. In other words, the critical elements in product/market fit.

When to Use It

If you’ve ever recognized a giant gap or unanswered question in your business model and had no idea how to go about filling it, this book is for you. You may be asking:

  • Who are our customers?
  • What are the most important features of our product?
  • Why are people doing that with our product?
  • Will people actually pay for this?

Who Should Use It

This book will be most useful if you are familiar with concepts such as lean startup, user experience, and business model innovation. If you are managing innovation projects where the business model is partially or completely unknown, or are assisting in the management of large numbers of innovation products, this is a very helpful resource. Users of this book often have job titles like product manager, CEO of an early-stage startup, entrepreneur-in-residence, chief innovation officer, VP of innovation, accelerator manager, and lean startup/innovation coach.

How It Works

The Real Startup Book Instructions

Do not read this book straight through -- it is not a Step 1, Step 2, Step 3 guide to building a startup.

  1. Begin by reading the intro and index to figure out which parts of the book are relevant to you and your startup.
  2. Read the relevant chapters, then reference the methods described in the remaining pages as needed.
  3. Think of this book as a toolbox. It’s organized to help you find what you're looking for when you need it.
  4. The index is ordered by what you’re trying to learn. Are you trying to learn about your customer? How to price your product? What will make your users come back?

Authors and Contributors

Tristan Kromer

Tristan Kromer works with innovation teams and leaders to create amazing products and build startup ecosystems. He has worked with companies from early stage startups with zero revenue to enterprise companies with >$1B USD revenue (Unilever, Swisscom, Salesforce, Fujitsu, LinkedIn).

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