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Lean Startup
An Investigation Into Factors That Contribute to Startup Success



This work has been undertaken as part of a student educational project and
the material should be viewed in this context. The work does not constitute
professional advice and no warranties are made regarding the information
presented. The Authors, Cambridge Judge Business School and its Faculty do
not accept any liability for the consequences of any action taken as a result of
the work or any recommendations made or inferred.




The origin

The Application of the Lean Startup Methodology
The Lean Startup Principles

Limitations of the Lean Start-Up Methodology


Executive Summary

The Lean Startup Methodology

Overview of Research Methodology

Summary of Findings




1) Startups Overall

2) Startups in Enterprise Software and Services (B2B)

3) Startups in Ecommerce and Consumer Web

4) Startups in Consumer Mobile

5) Situations Where the Lean Methodology is Less Applicable


i) Companies

ii) Founders

iii) Consumer (B2C) vs Enterprise (B2B)
iv) Investors

v) Founders

Findings and Recommendations







1 Startups Interviewed

2 Founders

3 Consumer vs Enterprise 27



The central objective of this report is to examine and identify key factors that contribute to the
success of start-up companies, with particular focus on the lean startup methodology widely
applied by early stage ventures to help mitigate risks, minimize costs and shorten product
development cycles. To achieve this, our team undertook primary and secondary research over a
three week period. Based on findings from 64 in-person and telephone interviews with founders,
ventures capitalists, accelerators and industry experts, as well as from researching Cambridge
University and online startup databases, we formulated recommendations related to factors and
best practices that increase the likelihood of startup success. The research has revealed a number of
findings, which form the basis for general recommendations when developing a new venture.

In total, 22 recommendations were made split over four sub-categories: 1) Startups Overall;
2) Startups in Enterprise Software and Services (B2B); 3) Startups in eCommerce and Consumer Web;
4) Startups in Consumer Mobile. In addition, we also highlighted situations as to when the lean
startup methodology is less applicable.

Overall, this study reveals that the road to success for startups is a complex process involving
multiple and, in many cases, product or sector-specific, strategies and methodologies, some in line
with the lean startup methodology, others not. Whilst no one-size-fits-all approach prevails, we
found that the lean startup methodology should be used by companies as a toolkit, reference or
philosophy, but not as a strategy. This study also demonstrates that there are many other variables
to consider that equally have an impact on success. Factors such as deploying innovative marketing
and distribution channels, exploring new markets, building trust, exploring new niches, as well as
choosing the right business model also critically impact the likelihood of survival, and ultimately








A. The Origin
Eric Ries, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, proposed the lean startup methodology as an approach for
starting a business in his 2011 book The Lean Startup. In the technology sector where over 75% of
companies fail, according to Shikhar Ghosh of Harvard Business School (Gage, 2012), the possibility
of increasing success is valuable.

In his book, Ries outlines a methodology capable of shortening product development and release
cycles by following a handful of core steps. Ries main claim is that through this methodology
startups can mitigate, or at least minimize, risks, achieve higher levels of productivity, and decrease
costs. The foundation of the lean startup methodology is the lean manufacturing movement of the
1980s, aimed at eliminating processes that did not create value for the customer (Ohno, 1988). Ries
combined the Toyota lean principles with his own startup experience and previous work done by
Steve Blank, another Silicon Valley serial-entrepreneur and academician, to form the central theses
of The Lean Startup.

B. The Application of the Lean Startup Methodology

Since 2011, the application of the lean startup methodology has proliferated and is now regularly
adopted by many startup companies. Advancements in technology (such as cloud computing) allow
for cheaper, faster development and delivery of new products and services. Startups can now test
the feasibility and attractiveness of their products/services before fully committing to developing
them. Additionally, founders can create and test multiple versions of their offering, known as split
testing, to find out which features and value propositions resonate with their users. Leveraging this
process, the entrepreneur can determine if they have reached product-market fit or if they need to
pivot - make a major change to the product, their company structure or the business model. This
process enables startups to quickly respond to customer demand as well as make changes early in
the product development cycle before spending too much time, energy and resources on features
that customers do not want.

That said, the application of the lean startup approach depends on the product/service being
developed, the target market, the questions asked, the product maturity, as well as the type of
business being created. In addition, the applicability of lean startup principles can also depend on

the customer channel (B2C or B2B) and the complexity of the problem being solved. Lastly, the
nature of a product itself can affect a companys decision to apply lean principles. For example,
companies involved in the design of software can easily modify and iterate changes during its
development, even multiple times per day. However, companies that are designing hardware
solutions such as new silicon cells for solar panels cannot frequently iterate due to costs involved in
making even slight design changes.

C. The Lean Startup Principles

The five key principles, as devised by Eric Ries in The Lean Startup, are:

1) Entrepreneurship is Everywhere
Entrepreneurial approaches apply to any organization, of any size, operating in any sector.
Entrepreneurs are everywhere, not only in their parents garages.

2) Entrepreneurship is Management
Founders should use a scientific method to make decisions and build sustainable businesses. Ries
also advocates pivoting, the ability to change strategy without changing the vision. For example,
if a company has a valuable product, however not for the customer segment it initially targeted,
then it can pivot and change the target market or even the intended purpose of the

3) Validated Learning
Ries recommends a process of validated learning whereby companies run quick and frequent
experiments to validate each element of their product/service before moving on to the next
phase of development. This is achieved by designing tests to see how customers will react to
certain changes in the product, for example by testing two versions to see which customers
prefer (also known as split testing). This contributes to the build-measure-learn cycle (see

4) Build-Measure-Learn
Founders should develop a hypothesis about a particular aspect of a product or service and to
determine what information is required to obtain an accurate result. This process does not
involve asking customers what they want, but understanding what customers want by observing
what they actually do with a product/service. Following this, startups can build a Minimum

Viable Product (MVP, hereafter), which is a version of the product that enablesa minimum
amount of effort and the least amount of development time. The minimum viable product lacks
many features that may prove essential later on but enough that the product can be tested with
customers (Ries, 2011). Ries argues that one of the key measures of success is the time it takes to
learn - how quickly a hypothesis is validated or rejected. Therefore, the focus should be to
minimize the total cycle time through the build-measure-learn feedback loop to gain competitive
advantage by learning faster than the competition.

5) Innovation Accounting:
Traditional accounting and performance metrics, such as revenue, that work for larger
established companies often do not fit early stage companies that generate little revenue and
negligible profits. Therefore, instead, Ries suggests a process of innovation accounting which
focusses on indicators that allow startups to gauge short-term impact and trajectory, such as
customer acquisition and churn rates.

D. Limitations of the Lean Start-Up Methodology
Despite the advantages offered by lean startup methodologies, critics raise a number of limitations:

i) Could Slow Time to Market

Lean startup thinking promotes looking for an opportunity, establishing the market and business
case, then developing, testing and validating a hypothesis before launching a product. However,
in todays fast paced world, changing consumer tastes and rapid technological innovations move
fast and, on occasion, this model can be redundant. According to Ben Horowitz, the co-founder
of venture capital giant, Andreessen-Horowtiz which has investments in AirBnB and Facebook,
by making running lean an end, you may lose your opportunity to win the market, either
because you fail to fund the R&D necessary to find product/market fit or you let a competitor out-
execute you in taking the market (Gobry, 2010).

ii) Suffocates Innovation and Creativity

The lean approach encourages rapid testing and iterations by adopting a fail fast, fail cheap
philosophy. Whilst this process might encourage companies to operate more efficiently, it can
suffocate creativity, and thus innovation, and potentially drive very talented, creative people

iii) Makes a Poor First Impression

As mentioned previously, the lean start-up methodology promotes building a MVP. In this way,
companies can avoid investing too much time, effort and money into building a finished product
that customers might not want. However, critics argue that often companies only get one chance
to make a first impression and risk discouraging potential customers by putting them through
continuous iterations, updates and interface changes.

iv) Discourages Investing in the Future

Lean startup thinking implies that startups should not spend money on anything that is not
directly adding immediate value to the customer. However, strategic cases exist whereby
spending more now will bring value in the future. This requires a long-term vision and strategy as
opposed to short-term development cycles and incremental iterations.

v) Encourages Features Not Whole Products

The lean startup methodology follows a scientific approach to eliminate waste and mitigate risk.
Whilst effective, this approach can adversely affect decisions based on a greater vision requiring
heavy investment, guts and/or faith. Furthermore, some critics argue that it encourages
companies to focus on building incremental features rather than complete and meaningful
products. According to Inc. Magazine, the lean startup methodology is good for companies that
are developing software or other consumer services. However, it falls short in making great core
products (McCorvey, 2012).

vi) Doesnt Optimise for Revenue Maximisation

One of the major arguments against lean startup thinking is that although it helps to minimize
risk and possibly increase chances of achieving revenue, it does not increase chances of
maximizing revenue. Great innovators are visionary because they are able to experiment and
take risks. However, as noted by Broughton, not everyone can be Steve Jobs.

vii) MVP Wont Meet Needs of Sophisticated Customers

The lean startup methodology promotes a MVP approach to product development. However,
critics suggest that this can be rudimentary and encourage the development of products which
are not deep in their functionality or meet the demands of sophisticated consumers. Companies
risk going to market with a lacklustre product/service.


Research for this consulting project was divided into two parts: primary and secondary research. The
primary research consisted of in-person and telephone interviews designed to collect in-depth
qualitative information/data from entrepreneurs, investors and industry experts, with a focus on
critical success factors for startups. These interviews formed the basis of the investigation as limited
academic research exists on the lean startup methodology. The team spent three weeks
interviewing 64 entrepreneurs, investors, accelerators, and other experts to get their experiences
and insights. The list of interviewees can be found in Appendix 1.

The team also carried out secondary research using startup databases available online such as
Crunchbase, Mattermark and AngelList, as well as through general internet research and consulting
databases accessible through Judge Business School Information Services. Due to the private nature
of many of the early stage companies studied, the team found limited company information on a
small selection of the sample.

Given the limited academic research on the lean startup methodology, the team decided to
approach the project as an exploratory study. Therefore, based on the lean startup methodology,
the team designed a structured, open ended questionnaire template that was used for all

The questions fell into 6 categories:
Company Profile
Founders and Team
Entrepreneurial Management
Product (including the Validated Learning and Build-Measure-Lean principles)
Metrics and Marketing (including the Innovation Accounting principles)

The team designed two types of questionnaires: one for founders/startups, the other for venture
capitalists, incubators, and industry experts.

For inclusion in the study, the team targeted tech startups based in the United States that
represented the industries and sectors within Idealabs current and historical portfolio. The team
specifically focused on companies founded before 2013 that had received, at least, seed funding.
The team sought a wide sample of companies, from those that had successfully IPOd to those that
had shut their doors, although the less successful companies proved more difficult to convince to


i) Companies
In total, the team interviewed 13 investors, experts and incubators, as well as 51 startups with:
A combined total funding of $2.5 billion
An average company age of 5.4 years
A median number of 20 employees.

Most of the companies interviewed applied lean principles to some extent. However, the degree to
which these principles were applied varied significantly.

ii) Founders
When analysing responses from founders, it is evident that being a sole founder is often too
demanding and undesirable. However, equally, having four or more founders can cause difficulty in
maintaining alignment. The team found that the ideal number of co-founders was two or three, and
startups with two co-founders raise, on average, at least twice as much money as startups with
three founders.

The team also analysed the difference between first-time founders and serial entrepreneurs. First
time founders are more likely to:
Conduct customer interviews
Launch their company with friends or classmates
Attempt to take on larger, more complex problems (like multi-sided markets and social

Whereas serial entrepreneurs are more likely to:
Reach product-market fit faster
Apply lean principles in their approach to business
Use agile software development practices
Raise more money

Please see Appendix 2 for an overview.

iii) Consumer (B2C) vs Enterprise (B2B)

In addition, the team detected differences in the approaches taken by consumer-focused companies
(B2C) versus enterprise-focused companies (B2B).

Overall, B2B companies:
Are more likely to create an MVP
Pivot more often
Are more likely to find product-market fit
Place more emphasis on metrics to track performance

Whereas consumer-focused companies (B2C):
Conduct more split testing
Release new versions of their product more often

See Appendix 3 for an overview.

iv) Investors
Overall, investors viewed the lean startup principles favourably, as important tools for early stage
companies to use, but recognised that applicability varies and must be considered on a case by case
basis. For investors, the top key success factors were the founding team and the potential market for
the product/service.

v) Funding
The general consensus among respondents was that more funding does not necessarily lead to
higher levels of success and that, at times, higher levels of funding can even inhibit success by
causing startups to become complacent, lose focus and pursue less creative solutions. In addition,
our findings showed no correlation between the number of funding rounds and success, or between
the amount of funding and the application of lean startup principles.


vi) Marketing and Distribution

While lean startup principles primarily apply to the product development process, the most
successful companies in our sample also found ways to apply piloting, split testing, frequent
iterations to their sales, marketing, and overall distribution efforts. One theme that emerged from
our interviews is the importance of creative marketing and distribution in tech startups. In software
companies, specifically, as the barriers to entry decrease and competition intensifies, distribution
methods, and not the product itself, emerges as a key differentiator. Multiple founders emphasized
the importance of using inexpensive marketing tactics such as creating content for inbound
marketing and search engine optimisation; fostering relationships with influential bloggers and
thought leaders to generate buzz; and leveraging less-crowded, emerging platforms and


This section presents the main findings and recommendations for consideration by Idealab. It
focuses largely on the key factors that contribute to the success of start-ups. Some of the findings
validate the relevance of lean principles. However, it is evident from the in-depth and company-level
investigation that the determinants of success are much more complex and diverse than implied in
the lean startup methodology. In the course of research for this study, the team identified a
number of other factors critical for success, including a number of common tipping points.

The findings and recommendations will be grouped into four categories.

1) Startups Overall;
2) Startups in Enterprise Software and Services (B2B);
3) Startups in eCommerce and Consumer Web;
4) Startups in Consumer Mobile.

1) Startups Overall
Based on analysis and findings from the research, the team recommends that startups:

Create a Concierge MVP

Founders should test all ideas and concepts before developing any software/hardware. In
this way startups can minimize cost whilst understanding which features of a particular
product or service customers want. Testing hypotheses offline requires devising innovative
tests. For example, one expert we consulted recommended creating a fake website to gauge
consumer interest. Other founders cited using competitive third party marketplaces to test
their product concept before building their own.

Talk to Customers to Build Empathy

Effectively utilizing customer feedback is a key step in the lean startup methodology.
However, our research suggests that customer surveys and focus groups can often yield
superficial and potentially misleading results and insights. According to the many of the
companies interviewed, the most effective feedback comes from in-depth interviews with
customers and truly understanding their pain points, such as what keeps them up at night.


Build Testing into Company DNA and Validate Throughout

Product split testing is a cornerstone of the lean startup methodology. However, our
interviews indicate that split testing must not only be used to test product hypotheses, but
throughout the entire business lifecycle and facet of its operations. Several companies we
spoke with credited a nail before scale approach to human resources, customer service,
and sales as a key to their continued success.

Acknowledge and Test Biases

One of the barriers to success, and possible reasons for failure, can be the founders blind
affection for his/her idea. To eliminate bias, founders should encourage others to highlight
the pitfalls and drawbacks of beloved ideas, and should design tests likely to surface flaws
and misconceptions.

Be Cautious of False Negatives

One of the downsides of lean startup approach is the possibility of false negative results
from poorly designed tests. This could mean that startups forgo profitable and lucrative
opportunities. Therefore, to avoid false negatives when testing a new hypothesis ensure that
a sample size is large and representative, and make sure to dig into the why behind a
certain outcome. For example, one of the founders interviewed recalled the first customers
introduced to their MVP. Just one out of the first twenty customers finished their order.
Instead of dismissing their entire product concept, the founder conducted follow-up
interviews with the nineteen customers that had abandoned the cart. He found that while
all nineteen liked the product, they didnt want to pay the full price upfront for an untested
product. The company moved to a monthly subscription model and offered a one-month
free trial and saw their cart conversion increase exponentially.

Track and Drive to Custom Metrics

Each company should devise custom performance metrics that drive the most value to its
business and should only track metrics that matter most to its success. The lean startup
methodology encourages startups to use performance metrics such as customer retention
rates or customer churn rates (Innovation Accounting). Whilst these are certainly useful for
gauging performance, the most critical metrics for a startup can be those that are unique to
its business. For example, in the case of a media company, it may not be the traffic that
matters the most, but the overall depth and quality of the content.

2) Best Practices for Enterprise Companies (B2B)
Based on our analysis and findings, startups serving SMEs and large enterprise customers should:

Engage in Thought Leadership

The most successful enterprise-focused companies interviewed had founders who were
deeply-rooted and involved in their respective industry communities. In this type of
business, the success of a product/service can be largely based on technological or industry
credibility rather than social credibility. Therefore, to gain traction and respect in the
community, founders should take on the role of thought leaders by seeking opportunities to
promote their expertise by presenting at conferences, writing blogs on their company
website and social networks, establishing a Twitter following, and exploring innovative ways
to demo their technology to key influencers.

Use the Power of Partnerships

Partnerships enable startups to piggyback on other platforms to gain traction and achieve
joint wins, as well as unlock access to key distribution channels and networks. A number of
interviewees highlighted this point and attributed their success to partnerships with larger
counterparts very early on. In addition, several founders cited the failure to establish critical
partnerships in the beginning as the primary reason for lack of early momentum.

Bundle Products with a Service Package

Many companies highlighted that, often, enterprise solutions developed by innovative
startups can be complex making them difficult to use. Founders should consider bundling
consulting service packages with products to ensure high customer satisfaction, engagement
and retention.

Choose the (Right) Business Model
Enterprise companies should choose the business model that best matches their specific
offering. Our research indicates that, recently, many enterprise companies start with a
freemium model - a pricing strategy by which a product or service is offered free of charge -
before switching to a strictly paid model. Often, the rationale for a freemium product is to
gain traction and build a large user base more quickly. However, this also means that
companies are not generating significant revenues and must often dedicate resources to

support non-paying customers. In many cases, this makes long-term profitability difficult
because, as the company moves toward a paid-only model, it is hard to convince customers
to pay for a product/service they are used to receiving for free.

Explore Acquisitions When Possible

The acquisition of smaller competitors was cited as an effective strategy for several B2B
startups, both to fill product or business gaps, as well as gain market share. Plus, potentially
bullying out other competitors through aggressive technology development. Acquisitions
often require deep pockets and dont fall within the lean startup framework. However, they
proved to be a popular strategy for a number of companies interviewed.

3) Best Practices for eCommerce and Consumer Web companies

Based on our analysis and findings, startups in eCommerce and consumer web should:

Focus on Delighting and Surprising Customers through Delivery

Increasingly, companies that set themselves apart do so by devising innovative and creative
marketing and delivery channels. It is no longer possible to compete on product or price
alone. A number of eCommerce companies that we spoke with focused specifically on
curation-- helping customer navigate through a sea of product offerings.

Build Feedback Directly into the Order Flow

Many respondent companies focused on building feedback loops into every purchase that a
customer makes to improve their offering on a continuous basis. In addition, many devised
new and innovative ways for customers to give feedback within the post-purchase order
flow to decrease the friction in obtaining responses. This increased the number of responses
received, thus, helping to improve their offerings.

Focus on Unsexy Niches

Curation and customer feedback loops help to improve product/service and delivery, but do
not address customer acquisition and retention issues. Our research suggests that focussing
on smaller, unsexy niches of underserved customer bases can be an effective strategy to
gaining traction and market share.


Build Community Before Product

Build a community around your product/service even before it has been developed. Begin as
a forum or blog on a larger platform such as Facebook or WordPress. In doing so,
entrepreneurs thinking about serving a specific market can go beyond simply testing a
sample of potential customers, as outlined by the lean startup methodology, but actually
build a user base before having a product/service. Some larger companies that began as
blogging platforms have built-in ecommerce functionality to serve this specific demographic
of entrepreneur.

Use Mobile to Help Retailers Improve Their In-Store Experience

Larger retailers with brick and mortar locations focus on enhancing their multi-channel
experience. They have realized that their ecommerce websites can be used, not only to
attract online sales, but also to drive traffic towards physical stores, as well as improve the
in-store experience. This shift in focus has forced many retailers to rethink their online
presence, as well as invest in their mobile experience.

4) Finding and Recommendations for Consumer Mobile and Apps

Based on our analysis and findings, startups in consumer mobile and apps should:

Build a MLP (Minimum Loveable Product) instead of an MVP

Whilst many companies interviewed agreed with the MVP principle of the lean startup
methodology, they stressed the importance of building a minimum loveable product or
minimum desirable product as mobile app companies often have only just have one chance
to provide immediately utility to the user, especially in a sector where success is heavily
dependent on design and/or attractiveness.

Cosy up to Apple and Google
A high percentage of mobile users search for new apps by perusing the top selling apps
within the Apple and Google Play stores. To increase the chances of an app being featured,
companies must follow the submission guidelines for each app store, as well as foster
relationships with the app store category managers.


Build Trust
One point raised by a number of companies not considered in the lean startup approach, is
the importance of building and maintaining a customers trust. Mobile apps have the
advantage of being able to collect meta data about their users, push onscreen notifications,
and easily publish to social networks like Facebook and Twitter. However, users have high
expectations for privacy which must be respected.

Test Your Product Using Mobile Web

As noted previously, the lean startup methodology promotes continuous testing and
iteration. For mobile application this is a challenge because companies not only have to ask
users to download multiple versions, but also face app store penalties for releasing too
often, and can even lose online reviews when they submit a new version. Therefore, our
research indicates that companies should consider testing their product concept, navigation,
and workflows using mobile-web at first, before developing native applications. One
founder credited the use of a mobile website instead of a mobile app with saving his
company hundreds of development hours on an unnecessary feature.

Appeal to tech nerds

In the startup world, technologists are often early adopters and can be celebrities in their
own right with the power to influence other consumers. Therefore, as one company
interviewed stated, getting in the pocket of techies is key.

Go where your competition isnt

Many app categories and markets are oversaturated with indistinguishable offerings. If an
app spans many genres, consider entering a less populated app store category and/or
building traction in less attractive, underserved markets. One company interviewed brought
up the case of WhatsApp, which focused on dominating the European and South American
markets before turning its attention to the USA.


5) Situations Where the Lean Methodology is Less Applicable

As already noted above, we found numerous examples where the lean startup methodology was
critical to success. However, several interviews also revealed cases where lean startup principles are
difficult to apply:

The investment requirements in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries make it
virtually impossible for a company to produce an MVP with the intention of testing and
iterating multiple times. It can take years and millions of dollars to come up with one version
of a drug or medical device, which are both subject to strict regulatory requirements.

The financial services industry is also heavily regulated, making it difficult to make fast and
regular changes to platforms that provide services for managing and/or transferring funds.
In addition, major players in this industry, such as banks and Visa and MasterCard, can be
slow moving, creating an unwanted drag effect.

Often, a truly representative MVP of a hardware product can be expensive and time
consuming to produce at scale. Any changes to the design will have implications for the
parts and components that go into its production, and this cost will either be borne by the
company or its customers. Furthermore, each iteration effects the downstream supply
chain. Therefore, applying the lean startup approach to hardware companies can be very
complicated, time consuming, and costly.



As highlighted in the findings and recommendations, many different factors contribute to startup
success, from the right combination of the founders to the correct application of lean startup
principles. This exploratory study showed that while merits exists for applying the lean methodology
and its tools to help start-ups navigate marketing and product development, cases and situations
emerged where the lean principles might not be the appropriate.

In addition to founders, venture capitalists also view lean startup methodologies as useful tools that
encourages startups to take small, careful, and cost-efficient steps to reach product-market fit,
which minimizes risk in the process.

Overall, this study revealed that complex process of transforming a startup into a successful
company cannot be completed following the lean startup methodology alone. In other words, there
is no a set formula or one-size-fits-all approach for success. Each venture must be built using its
own recipe of principles and strategies. One recurring theme from almost every interview is that the
lean startup approach is important and all start-up companies must be aware of it. However, it
should not be treated as a strategy, or a religion, but as a philosophy and a set of tools. Each
startup must be strategic and find its own approach, deciding which lean startup principles are
relevant to its specific needs and which other factors should also be considered.




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APPENDIX 1 Startups Interviewed





Dean Stoecker

Founder & CEO


Narinder Singh

Co-Founder &


Jake Seid



Tom Jones


Climate Corp.

Jim Ethington

Vice President


Matthew Prince

Co-Founder &


Drew Graham

Founder & CEO


Neil Patel



Ivar Chan


Genesis Media

Joshua Feuer



Ian Reddy




Scott Daniel

Founder & CEO


Carl Shepherd



Bradford Coffey

VP Product
Strategy &


Tal Chalozin

Founder & CTO


Melissa Tyree


Lookout Mobile Kevin Mahaffey

Co-Founder &


Bhavin Parikh



Max Bruner

CEO & Co-



Amit Sharma

Founder & CEO


Gautam Gupta

CEO & Co-



Frank Fischer

Founder & CEO

On Demand

John Santini




David Ulevitch

Fouder & CEO


Jake Peters



David Fine on
behalf of
Florent Peyre

5th employee


Tony Levitan

Co-Founder &



VP Product &

Red Clay

Ashley Etling

Design Director,


Scott Crawford



Jared Friedman

Co-Founder &


Cyriac Roeding

Co-Founder &


Sachin Duggal

Co-Founder &



Founder & CEO

Stitch Fix

Mike Smith




Amir Peleg

Founder & CEO



Founder & CEO


Eric Dreyer

Founder & CTO

..and 26 other startups, Venture Capital funds and incubators/accelerators.


APPENDIX 2 Founders

# of Founders

Funds Raised

Alignment and
Emotional Support

Being a sole
founder is very

2 founders raise
2x more than 3
3 founders raise
2x more than 1
Teams with 4 or 5
founders tend to
have more
difficulty aligning


APPENDIX 3 Consumer vs Enterprise


Lean Startup Principles

Customer Development
Split Testing

Frequent Releases

Product-Market Fit
Product vs Customer
Product Focus

Customer Focus

Enthusiasm For Lean