The Lean Entrepreneur: How Visionaries Create Products, Innovate with New Ventures, and Disrupt Markets by Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits.The Lean Entrepreneur: How Visionaries Create Products, Innovate with New Ventures, and Disrupt Markets by Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits.

The Lean Entrepreneur

Real Entrepreneurs dont have “tunnel” vission – they have “funnel” vision !

“The Lean Entrepreneur: How Visionaries Create Products, Innovate with New Ventures, and Disrupt Markets” is a book written by Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits. It was published in 2013 and is part of the Lean Startup movement, which emphasizes a systematic, scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups and innovative projects.

In this book, Cooper and Vlaskovits build upon the principles popularized by Eric Ries in his book “The Lean Startup.” They provide practical guidance for entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs looking to create new products, innovate within existing organizations, and disrupt markets by leveraging lean methodologies. The key ideas in the book include:

  1. Validated Learning: The authors emphasize the importance of conducting experiments and gathering data to validate assumptions before fully committing to a business idea. This approach reduces the risk of building a product or service that customers don’t want.
  2. Build-Measure-Learn: The Lean Entrepreneur framework involves a continuous cycle of building a minimum viable product (MVP), measuring its performance, and learning from the results. This iterative process helps entrepreneurs refine their ideas and make data-driven decisions.
  3. Customer Development: The book emphasizes the need to engage with customers early and often to gain a deep understanding of their needs and pain points. Customer feedback is crucial for shaping product development.
  4. Innovation Accounting: The authors introduce the concept of innovation accounting, which focuses on measuring progress through actionable metrics. This allows entrepreneurs to track the impact of their efforts and make informed decisions about pivoting or persevering.
  5. Pivot or Persevere: The book provides guidance on how to determine whether to pivot (change the direction of your startup) or persevere (continue on the current path) based on the data and feedback collected.

“The Lean Entrepreneur” is a valuable resource for individuals interested in entrepreneurship and innovation, as it offers practical insights and real-world examples to help them navigate the challenges of bringing new products to market. The book provides a structured approach to creating and scaling successful ventures while minimizing waste and risk.

Chapter 1: Startup Revolution – The Dawn of Disruption


In the fast-paced and ever-evolving world of business, innovation is the name of the game. Startups and entrepreneurs have become the driving force behind major industry disruptions, challenging established norms, and reshaping the business landscape. In the opening chapter of “The Lean Entrepreneur,” titled “Startup Revolution,” authors Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits set the stage for a journey through the dynamic world of startups, disruption, and the Lean methodology. This chapter not only introduces the fundamental concept of disruption but also lays the foundation for the Lean Startup philosophy to meet its visionary counterpart, the Lean Entrepreneur.

Which Is to Say, Disruption Hurts

The opening words of Chapter 1, “Which Is to Say, Disruption Hurts,” encapsulate the essence of the startup landscape. Disruption, while exciting and transformative, is often a painful process. Established businesses, products, and services can face significant challenges when disruptive startups enter the scene. The pain, however, can be an opportunity for entrepreneurs to innovate, find gaps in the market, and create solutions that resonate with consumers. In this section, the authors highlight the importance of recognizing that disruption is not just about causing upheaval but also about solving real problems and addressing unmet needs.

And Cue the Lean Startup

With the stage set for the disruptive startup revolution, the authors introduce the Lean Startup methodology. This approach, popularized by Eric Ries in his book “The Lean Startup,” emphasizes a systematic and scientific way of developing new products and businesses. At its core, the Lean Startup encourages entrepreneurs to build a minimum viable product (MVP), measure its performance, and learn from the results to iterate and improve. The introduction of the Lean Startup methodology in “The Lean Entrepreneur” sets the stage for a holistic journey through its principles.

Lean Startup, Please Meet the Lean Entrepreneur

The final section of Chapter 1 bridges the gap between the Lean Startup and the Lean Entrepreneur. While both methodologies share common ground in terms of building, measuring, and learning, the Lean Entrepreneur extends this approach to the broader context of creating innovative products, innovating within existing organizations, and disrupting markets. The Lean Entrepreneur embraces a broader vision, emphasizing the importance of values, culture, and a deep understanding of market segments and customers. The chapter invites entrepreneurs to think beyond the product and venture into the realm of customer-centric innovation and market disruption.


Chapter 1 of “The Lean Entrepreneur” serves as an essential foundation for the journey that lies ahead in the book. It introduces the key concepts of disruption, Lean Startup methodology, and the broader vision of the Lean Entrepreneur. In a world where change is constant and innovation is imperative, this chapter encourages entrepreneurs to embrace the challenges and opportunities that come with disruption and equips them with the tools to navigate this ever-evolving landscape.

As we continue through the book, we’ll delve deeper into the practical strategies and insights that enable visionaries to create products, innovate with new ventures, and ultimately disrupt markets. Stay tuned for the subsequent chapters that will provide a roadmap for aspiring entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs on their quest for success in the world of startups and innovation.

Chapter 2: Vision, Values, and Culture – The Cornerstones of Startup Success


In the world of entrepreneurship and innovation, a great idea is only the beginning. To transform a vision into a successful venture, entrepreneurs must navigate a complex landscape that involves not just products and services but also people, culture, and a profound sense of purpose. Chapter 2 of “The Lean Entrepreneur,” titled “Vision, Values, and Culture,” delves into the critical elements that shape the foundation of a thriving startup. In this chapter, authors Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits emphasize the importance of a clear vision, strong values, and the development of a Lean Startup culture to guide entrepreneurial endeavors.

Vision and Values

At the heart of every successful startup is a compelling vision and a set of core values. Vision serves as the guiding star, setting the direction for the company and inspiring everyone involved. It is the “why” behind the startup. In “The Lean Entrepreneur,” the authors underline the significance of a well-defined vision, one that not only motivates the team but also resonates with customers. This chapter discusses how having a clear vision aligns the efforts of a startup and provides a sense of purpose that goes beyond profits.

Values, on the other hand, form the moral compass of the organization. They define the principles and ethics that guide decision-making, behavior, and the culture within the startup. The authors make a compelling case for the necessity of clearly articulated values that reflect the character of the company. These values influence how employees interact, how products are developed, and how customers are treated.

Lean into It: The Lean Startup Culture

Building on the foundational elements of vision and values, “The Lean Entrepreneur” delves into the concept of a Lean Startup culture. This culture is characterized by a commitment to experimentation, data-driven decision-making, and a relentless focus on customer satisfaction. It encourages a mindset that welcomes change, adapts to feedback, and embraces uncertainty as part of the entrepreneurial journey.

The Lean Startup culture is not limited to a specific set of rules but rather a framework for thinking and acting. It promotes the idea of continuous improvement, where entrepreneurs iterate on their products, business models, and strategies based on real-world feedback. This chapter explores the cultural elements that make a startup truly Lean and adaptable in the face of challenges.

Over the Horizon: A Framework

To ensure that the vision, values, and culture are effectively communicated and implemented within the organization, the chapter introduces a framework. This framework acts as a guiding structure for entrepreneurs to align their efforts with their vision and values while fostering the desired Lean culture. It helps in creating a shared understanding of the startup’s purpose and principles, facilitating a smoother and more efficient journey toward success.


Chapter 2 of “The Lean Entrepreneur” highlights the critical role that vision, values, and culture play in the success of a startup. It underscores the need for a clear vision that inspires, values that guide, and a Lean culture that adapts to change and prioritizes customer-centricity.

As we move forward in the book, readers will gain a deeper understanding of how these foundational elements are put into practice in the real world of startups. The framework introduced in this chapter provides a roadmap for entrepreneurs to navigate the often turbulent waters of the startup ecosystem while staying true to their vision and values. With these principles in place, entrepreneurs are better equipped to build products, innovate with new ventures, and ultimately disrupt markets.

Chapter 3: All the Fish in the Sea – Navigating Market Segmentation


In the ever-expanding sea of opportunities in the world of entrepreneurship, it’s easy to get lost without a clear sense of direction. In Chapter 3 of “The Lean Entrepreneur,” titled “All the Fish in the Sea,” authors Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits shed light on the importance of market segmentation and understanding one’s target audience. They explore how effective market segmentation can help entrepreneurs chart a course to success by identifying the right fish to catch in their sea of potential customers.

Know Your Audience: Why Segmentation Matters

The opening of this chapter emphasizes the critical role of market segmentation. In a world where customers have diverse needs, preferences, and behaviors, a one-size-fits-all approach is seldom effective. The authors stress the importance of understanding that not all customers are the same. Segmentation is the process of dividing the market into distinct groups or segments based on characteristics such as demographics, psychographics, behavior, or needs. Recognizing the unique characteristics of these segments is key to tailoring products, marketing strategies, and communication to address their specific requirements.

Market Segment

The chapter delves deeper into the concept of a market segment, which refers to a subgroup within the overall market that shares similar characteristics and needs. These segments can be based on factors like age, income, geography, interests, or industry-specific criteria. The authors explain how identifying and defining market segments allows entrepreneurs to focus their efforts on those areas where they can have the greatest impact and achieve the best return on investment.

Personas: Create a Fake Customer

One powerful tool that emerges in the quest for effective market segmentation is the creation of customer personas. A customer persona is a fictional representation of an ideal customer within a specific market segment. These personas are given names, stories, and characteristics that help entrepreneurs humanize their target audience. The chapter discusses how the development of personas enables entrepreneurs to better understand and empathize with their customers, which, in turn, informs product development and marketing efforts.

Choosing a Market Segment

Choosing the right market segment is a critical decision for entrepreneurs. The authors in “The Lean Entrepreneur” provide guidance on how to evaluate and select a market segment that aligns with the startup’s vision, values, and culture. They stress the importance of market research and validation, ensuring that the chosen segment offers a viable opportunity for growth.


Chapter 3 of “The Lean Entrepreneur” underscores the significance of market segmentation in the entrepreneurial journey. By segmenting the market, entrepreneurs can better target their efforts, understand their customers, and create products and services that truly resonate. The use of customer personas adds a human dimension to this process, allowing entrepreneurs to empathize with their audience and design solutions that address their unique needs.

As we continue through the book, readers will gain further insights into how these principles are applied in practice, enabling entrepreneurs to create products, innovate with new ventures, and ultimately disrupt markets by connecting with their target audience in meaningful ways. Market segmentation isn’t just a strategic decision; it’s a fundamental step toward entrepreneurial success.

Chapter 4: Wading in the Value Stream – Unearthing the Heart of Innovation


In the journey of entrepreneurship and innovation, understanding the concept of the value stream is akin to unearthing buried treasure. Chapter 4 of “The Lean Entrepreneur,” titled “Wading in the Value Stream,” authored by Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits, delves into the essence of the value stream, emphasizing the pivotal role it plays in the development of successful products and ventures. This chapter takes readers on a journey to articulate and discover the value stream, a foundational step in the innovation process.

Articulating the Value Stream

The value stream is the sequence of activities and processes that deliver value to the customer. In this chapter, the authors highlight the importance of articulating the value stream clearly and comprehensively. By doing so, entrepreneurs can gain a holistic view of how value is created and delivered through their products or services. This clarity is essential in identifying areas for improvement, eliminating waste, and streamlining processes to enhance the customer’s experience.

The value stream articulation process involves mapping out the steps and touchpoints that a product or service goes through from inception to delivery. This mapping provides entrepreneurs with a visual representation of their business processes, making it easier to identify inefficiencies and bottlenecks.

Value-Stream Discovery

Value-stream discovery is the process of identifying and understanding the value stream from the customer’s perspective. In this chapter, the authors highlight the importance of putting the customer at the center of the value stream. By taking a customer-centric approach, entrepreneurs can gain insights into customer needs, preferences, and pain points, allowing for the development of solutions that directly address these aspects.

Value-stream discovery often involves direct engagement with customers, gathering their feedback, and observing their interactions with the product or service. This firsthand knowledge helps entrepreneurs refine their offerings and ensure they align with customer expectations.


Chapter 4 of “The Lean Entrepreneur” underscores the pivotal role that the value stream plays in the innovation process. Articulating the value stream provides entrepreneurs with a clear understanding of their business processes, enabling them to make informed decisions about optimizing and streamlining their operations.

Value-stream discovery, from the customer’s perspective, ensures that the product or service is aligned with the actual needs and preferences of the target audience. By embracing this customer-centric approach, entrepreneurs can create solutions that resonate with their customers and drive innovation in a meaningful way.

As the journey continues through the book, readers will gain further insights into how these principles are applied in practice. Entrepreneurs can harness the value stream to enhance the customer experience, drive efficiencies, and ultimately create products and ventures that stand out in the competitive entrepreneurial landscape. Articulating the value stream and understanding it from the customer’s viewpoint are fundamental steps in the quest for innovation and success.

Chapter 5: Diving In – Navigating Customer Interaction


In the dynamic world of entrepreneurship, there’s no substitute for understanding the pulse of your target audience. Chapter 5 of “The Lean Entrepreneur,” titled “Diving In,” authored by Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits, is a pivotal exploration of the critical aspects of customer interaction. This chapter delves into the art of listening to your customers, a cornerstone of Lean methodology, and emphasizes the dynamic nature of engaging with the very people your venture aims to serve.

Listen to Your Customers—or Not

The opening of Chapter 5 underscores the fundamental principle of listening to your customers. While customer feedback is invaluable, it’s essential to recognize that not all feedback is created equal. The authors emphasize the importance of distinguishing between “must-have” feedback, which directly informs product improvements, and “nice-to-have” feedback, which may not align with the core vision of the venture.

Effective customer interaction requires entrepreneurs to be discerning listeners. They must extract meaningful insights from customer feedback, distinguishing between actionable input and suggestions that may dilute the venture’s focus. This balanced approach allows entrepreneurs to adapt their products while staying true to their vision.

Customer Interaction

The heart of Chapter 5 delves into the multifaceted landscape of customer interaction. The authors highlight that entrepreneurs should not wait for feedback to come to them passively. Instead, they should actively seek out opportunities to engage with customers. This proactive approach fosters a deeper understanding of customer needs, preferences, and pain points.

The chapter explores various methods for customer interaction, such as surveys, interviews, and user testing. It stresses the importance of regular and ongoing engagement with customers to gather insights, validate assumptions, and iterate on product development. By establishing a consistent feedback loop, entrepreneurs can ensure that their products or services remain aligned with customer expectations.


Chapter 5 of “The Lean Entrepreneur” underlines the pivotal role that customer interaction plays in the success of a venture. Listening to customers and engaging with them actively is not just a best practice; it’s a fundamental aspect of Lean methodology. This chapter emphasizes the need for entrepreneurs to be discerning listeners, filtering feedback to extract actionable insights while maintaining the integrity of their vision.

Customer interaction is an ongoing and dynamic process that drives innovation. It allows entrepreneurs to refine their products or services, stay responsive to market changes, and foster meaningful relationships with their audience. The insights gained through customer interaction serve as the compass guiding entrepreneurs in their quest to create ventures that resonate with their target market.

As the journey through the book continues, readers will gain further insights into how these principles are applied in practice. The art of listening to customers and engaging with them actively is not just a task; it’s a mindset that separates successful ventures from the rest. Entrepreneurs who master the art of customer interaction are better positioned to create products and ventures that meet real-world needs and stand out in the competitive entrepreneurial landscape.

Chapter 6: Viability Experiments – Testing the Waters of Entrepreneurial Success


Entrepreneurship is an adventurous journey filled with uncertainty, risk, and the need for validation. Chapter 6 of “The Lean Entrepreneur,” authored by Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits, is a treasure trove of insights on how to conduct viability experiments. This chapter, titled “Viability Experiments,” offers a strategic roadmap for entrepreneurs to navigate the turbulent waters of innovation. It introduces several essential viability tests, including the infamous landing page, the concierge test, the Wizard of Oz test, crowd-funding test, and prototyping.

The Infamous Landing Page

The chapter sets sail with a discussion of the infamous landing page experiment. In the world of entrepreneurship, creating a landing page is a cost-effective way to test the waters before fully committing to a product or venture. The authors stress the importance of crafting a landing page that outlines the key value propositions of the product or service. It serves as a call to action, inviting potential customers to express their interest, provide contact information, or even make a purchase.

The landing page experiment is a litmus test for gauging market demand and the initial response of potential customers. By analyzing visitor interactions and the conversion rate, entrepreneurs can gain valuable insights into whether there’s genuine interest in their idea.

Concierge Test

The concierge test is an experiment where entrepreneurs provide a highly personalized and hands-on service to a select group of early customers. It’s an opportunity to gather feedback, learn about customer needs, and iterate on the value proposition. The authors emphasize that the concierge test is a practical way to validate assumptions, even if it requires a manual, labor-intensive approach.

This hands-on approach allows entrepreneurs to intimately understand their customers and fine-tune their offerings based on direct feedback and observations.

Wizard of Oz Test

In the Wizard of Oz test, entrepreneurs simulate the functionality of a product or service behind the scenes while customers interact with a facade. It’s a way to test whether the envisioned product or service concept aligns with customer expectations without fully building it. This approach is efficient in terms of both time and resources.

The chapter delves into the concept of conducting Wizard of Oz tests as a cost-effective way to refine the concept before significant investments are made in development.

Crowd-Funding Test

Crowd-funding has emerged as a creative way to test the viability of a product or venture. The authors explore how entrepreneurs can use crowd-funding platforms to pre-sell their products or services, allowing them to assess market demand and raise initial capital for development. Successful crowd-funding campaigns provide validation and financial support, while unsuccessful campaigns indicate the need for product or market adjustments.


The final experiment introduced in this chapter is prototyping. A prototype is a tangible representation of a product or service that can be tested by potential customers. It allows entrepreneurs to gather feedback on the product’s design, functionality, and usability before investing in full-scale development.

Prototyping is a crucial step in the product development process, helping entrepreneurs identify and address design flaws and usability issues.


Chapter 6 of “The Lean Entrepreneur” is a guidebook to conducting viability experiments. These experiments allow entrepreneurs to test their ideas, validate assumptions, and gather feedback before committing significant resources to product development. By utilizing the infamous landing page, concierge test, Wizard of Oz test, crowd-funding test, and prototyping, entrepreneurs can navigate the turbulent waters of entrepreneurship with greater confidence and a better understanding of their venture’s viability.

As the journey through the book continues, readers will gain further insights into how these viability experiments are applied in practice. Entrepreneurs who master the art of testing the waters are better positioned to create products and ventures that meet real-world needs and have a higher likelihood of success in the competitive entrepreneurial landscape.

Chapter 7: Data’s Double-Edged Sword – Navigating the Power of Information in Entrepreneurship


In the world of entrepreneurship, data is a double-edged sword, capable of both driving success and leading to failure. Chapter 7 of “The Lean Entrepreneur,” penned by Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits, delves into the intricate relationship between data and entrepreneurship. Titled “Data’s Double-Edged Sword,” this chapter explores the challenges and opportunities presented by data in the context of both new and existing products.

New Products

Launching a new product is a daunting task filled with uncertainties. In this chapter, the authors discuss the critical role of data in shaping the development and launch of new products. Data can serve as a guiding light, illuminating the path to success, or it can become a pitfall, leading entrepreneurs down the wrong road.

Data plays a pivotal role in new product development by helping entrepreneurs identify market trends, customer preferences, and opportunities for innovation. It allows entrepreneurs to make informed decisions about product features, pricing, and market positioning. Through feedback and data analysis, entrepreneurs can refine their products to meet real customer needs.

However, data can also be misleading if not interpreted correctly. The chapter warns against “analysis paralysis,” emphasizing the importance of taking action rather than endlessly analyzing data. It encourages entrepreneurs to balance data-driven decision-making with an entrepreneurial spirit that dares to take calculated risks.

Existing Products

When it comes to existing products, data continues to wield its dual-edged sword. The authors highlight the importance of monitoring and analyzing data to assess the performance and viability of existing products. Metrics related to customer satisfaction, usage patterns, and sales data are essential for gauging product health.

Data can unveil opportunities for improvement and growth, such as identifying areas where product enhancements can boost customer satisfaction or expand the customer base. By closely examining data, entrepreneurs can pivot or persevere with existing products to ensure they remain competitive and relevant in the market.

On the flip side, overreliance on data for existing products can lead to complacency. Entrepreneurs must not be blinded by numbers, as customer needs can change over time. It’s crucial to maintain a balance between data-driven decisions and a forward-thinking, customer-centric approach.


Chapter 7 of “The Lean Entrepreneur” offers a nuanced perspective on the role of data in entrepreneurship. It is a tool that can illuminate the path to success, but it can also become a stumbling block if not used judiciously.

For entrepreneurs, understanding the intricacies of data and learning how to harness its power effectively is paramount. Whether they are developing new products or refining existing ones, data serves as a guiding force in decision-making. It can empower entrepreneurs to make informed choices, drive innovation, and achieve lasting success in a competitive marketplace.

As the journey through the book continues, readers will gain further insights into how data’s double-edged sword is managed in practice. The entrepreneurs who master the art of leveraging data are better positioned to adapt to the ever-changing business landscape and create products that continue to resonate with their customers.

Chapter 8: The Valley of Death – Navigating with the Minimum Viable Product


Entrepreneurship is a journey fraught with challenges, and one of the most perilous stages is the “Valley of Death.” In Chapter 8 of “The Lean Entrepreneur,” authored by Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits, this treacherous terrain is explored in-depth. The chapter delves into the concept of the Minimum Viable Product (MVP), a crucial tool in overcoming the valley of death, and outlines its significance in the entrepreneurial journey.

The Valley of Death

The “Valley of Death” in entrepreneurship refers to the critical phase where startups face a substantial risk of failure due to various factors such as lack of funding, market uncertainty, or product development challenges. Many startups find themselves stranded in this valley, unable to progress without a clear path forward.

In this chapter, the authors dissect this perilous phase and introduce the MVP as a guiding light. The MVP serves as a lifeline, enabling entrepreneurs to navigate this challenging terrain by providing a way to test ideas, validate assumptions, and gather feedback without the need for significant resources.

Minimum Viable Product

At the heart of Chapter 8 lies the concept of the Minimum Viable Product, a fundamental tool in the Lean methodology. An MVP is the most simplified version of a product that contains enough features to meet the needs of early adopters and validate hypotheses.

The MVP is not a full-featured product but rather a strategic stepping stone designed to get a product or idea into the hands of customers as quickly as possible. The authors highlight that the primary purpose of an MVP is to learn from real-world interactions and iterate based on user feedback.

By introducing an MVP, entrepreneurs can test their product assumptions, gather valuable data, and make informed decisions about the direction of their venture. It helps in avoiding the risk of investing significant time and resources into a product that may not find a market fit.


Chapter 8 of “The Lean Entrepreneur” illuminates the significance of the Minimum Viable Product in navigating the challenging “Valley of Death” in entrepreneurship. The MVP acts as a strategic tool that allows entrepreneurs to gain momentum, reduce risk, and make iterative progress in the face of uncertainties.

By embracing the MVP approach, entrepreneurs can maintain a balance between pragmatism and innovation. It enables them to build products that customers genuinely want, validate their ideas, and navigate the valley of death with greater confidence.

As the journey through the book continues, readers will gain further insights into how the MVP concept is applied in practice. Entrepreneurs who master the art of developing and deploying Minimum Viable Products are better equipped to steer their ventures toward success, even when facing the most challenging phases of the entrepreneurial landscape.

Chapter 9: Real Visionaries Have Funnel Vision – Nurturing Entrepreneurial Wisdom


In the realm of entrepreneurship, the journey from concept to creation can be a turbulent one. The landscape is dotted with challenges, uncertainties, and opportunities for growth. As we enter Chapter 9 of “The Lean Entrepreneur,” authored by Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits, we discover the concept of “Funnel Vision,” an approach that offers clarity and wisdom to aspiring entrepreneurs.

Embracing Funnel Vision

Chapter 9 is aptly titled “Real Visionaries Have Funnel Vision,” reflecting the concept that successful entrepreneurs possess a unique way of seeing the world. This vision, often referred to as “Funnel Vision,” allows them to distill their ideas into a focused and disciplined approach, enabling them to navigate the entrepreneurial landscape with purpose and precision.

The Funnel Vision Framework

The “Funnel Vision” framework consists of a structured approach to entrepreneurship, based on the principles of lean methodologies and customer-centric thinking. It encourages entrepreneurs to adopt a systematic and disciplined approach to product development and launch, ensuring that their efforts are guided by customer feedback and validated learning.

At the core of Funnel Vision is the idea of funneling resources, time, and effort into a refined product development process. This funnel represents the journey from ideation to product development, through to market testing and refinement. Each stage in the funnel helps entrepreneurs filter out unviable concepts and focus on what truly matters.

The Real Visionary

Chapter 9 makes it clear that “real visionaries” aren’t those with grandiose, impractical ideas. Instead, they are those who possess the ability to distill their vision into actionable steps. These visionaries understand the importance of starting small, experimenting, learning from mistakes, and iterating relentlessly. They recognize that success is a product of disciplined execution, not just a grand vision.


Chapter 9 of “The Lean Entrepreneur” serves as a beacon of wisdom for aspiring entrepreneurs. The concept of “Funnel Vision” underscores the importance of a structured approach to entrepreneurship, grounded in lean methodologies and customer-centric thinking.

The Funnel Vision framework empowers entrepreneurs to move beyond the dream and turn it into a tangible reality. By guiding their efforts through a systematic funnel of ideation, product development, testing, and refinement, they can navigate the entrepreneurial landscape with greater clarity and focus.

As we conclude our exploration of “The Lean Entrepreneur,” it becomes evident that successful entrepreneurs are not just visionaries in the abstract sense; they are individuals who apply vision to every aspect of their entrepreneurial journey. They have Funnel Vision, allowing them to transform innovative ideas into real-world solutions that meet the needs of their target audience. With this approach, they stand a better chance of achieving success in the competitive entrepreneurial landscape.

Additional Reading

  • The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries:
    Eric Ries’ seminal work provides a systematic approach to building startups, emphasizing experimentation, iterative development, and validated learning.
  • “Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works” by Ash Maurya:
    Ash Maurya’s practical guide offers a step-by-step process for implementing lean startup principles, focusing on sustainable business model creation.
  • “Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster” by Alistair Croll and Ben Yoskovitz:
    This book explores the significance of data and metrics in making informed decisions during the early stages of a startup, emphasizing the use of key performance indicators (KPIs).
  • “Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days” by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, and Braden Kowitz:
    Although not exclusive to lean methodologies, “Sprint” offers a structured approach to quickly test ideas and drive innovation, guiding readers through a five-day process for efficient validation of ideas.
  • Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future” by Peter Thiel:
    Peter Thiel’s book emphasizes creating groundbreaking, entirely new concepts in a competitive market, challenging traditional business norms.
  • “The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail” by Clayton Christensen:
    Clayton Christensen’s classic work explores the concept of disruptive innovation and why successful companies often struggle to innovate.
  • Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers” by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur:
    This book offers a practical framework for designing and innovating business models, assisting entrepreneurs and innovators in creating sustainable business strategies.