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Customer and Product Validation For Physical Product Development In a Startup Context

A study on Lean Startup methods and Design For Six Sigma tools

Written by Christoffer Lindkvist, Niclas Stjernberg

Paper category

Master Thesis


Business Administration>Entrepreneurship




Master Thesis: Lean Startup This paper aims to study how Lean Startup Methodology (LSM) can help increase entrepreneurs' chances of success. The case company used in this report has used this method for some time, but has encountered major flaws in the product development of the physical product. In order to explore how to bridge the gap in LSM, design for six sigma (DFSS) will be studied to find how the two product development methods can complement each other in the pursuit of new physical products and the product verification process. The high failure rate of startups has not been ignored. In order to determine the key characteristics and factors that lead to the failure of new enterprises (for example, Feinlieb, 2012; Shane, 2008; Zimmerman and Zeitz, 2002), as well as the key factors that lead to failure, a large amount of literature on this topic has been written. The failed government plan to promote and promote entrepreneurial activities and how to avoid spending billions of taxpayers' money (Lerner, 2009). However, some researchers have taken a hands-on approach and provided a framework for guiding how to navigate in the early stages of a startup to increase the chances of success. In the mid-2000s, Steve Blank's book "Four Steps to the Epiphany" (2006) sparked a new kind of thinking in the entrepreneurial community. The book later became Eric Reese ( The book "Lean Startup" by Eric Ries (2011) provides a starting platform. The concept of lean entrepreneurship has set off a new movement in the entrepreneurial community, from product-centric to customer-centric entrepreneurial methods. Blank (2006) created the concept of "customer development model", which had a great influence on the concept proposed by Ries (2011) as a "lean entrepreneurial methodology" in his book, and it was later followed. The theory behind these methods emphasizes customer-driven product development and encourages entrepreneurs to start talking with customers as soon as possible to understand their problems and gain insights into their problems. The idea behind this approach is to build something based on the actual needs and needs of the customer, rather than based on your own, possibly wrong assumptions. To maximize learning, the riskiest parts of the business plan are written in falsifiable hypotheses, which are empirically tested in short iterations to verify or reject the hypotheses. This is a scientific method of testing every element of your vision against reality by running experiments. This proven learning will provide entrepreneurs with valuable insights that can be used to make decisions about how to turn, when to turn, when to accelerate, and when to stick to a predetermined direction to maximize The growth of business resources is limited. 2.2.1 Lean Startup Principles There are some key principles that need to be explained in order to understand the philosophy behind the lean startup concept and how it is derived from the lean philosophy. These principles are the basis for different stages of the customer's development process. Leaving the building, you will not be able to fully understand your customers from inside the walls of the office building; you must actually meet them. In the early development phase, you will state several hypotheses, but you also need to verify them. Lean Startup requires you to visit potential customers to understand their needs and the anticipated market you wish to enter. This needs to be done from the beginning, and requires continuous effort throughout the development phase. The end result of such activities will be an in-depth understanding of what your target customers really value and what they are looking for (Blank, 2006). Validated learning In order to validate learning and maximize the use of usually scarce start-up resources, the learning cycle must be shorter. You can learn lessons every day and update the experiment accordingly to verify the new lessons, which will improve the customer's final results. Maurya uses the “build-measure-learn cycle” developed by Eric Ries (2011) (Figure 2-2). It starts with a set of ideas and assumptions, and leads to some objects that can be presented to potential customers. Their feedback helps developers develop products. LSM emphasized the importance of conducting experiments to support any decision about whether to turn or stick to the path taken. Each experiment is designed to test a hypothesis, and each experiment is also an expected learning experience. Through learning, you can have a deeper understanding and verification: customers, problems, and markets (Mueller & Thoring, 2012). Turn or insist on whether our assumption is correct or does it need to be changed? If the hypothesis is verified, you will stick to the knowledge you have and continue on the path of decision. If not, you need a shaft. Fulcrum is a structured route modification used to test new hypotheses about products, strategies, and growth engines. LSM supports this decision with the basic scientific methodology that is the foundation of LSM. Using these methods is a way to use human creativity to verify that persistent decisions are not made when you really need to adjust. This does not eliminate the human factor in decision-making, but adds a more scientific method to support it. The purpose is to support the founder to make the right decision, namely transformation or persistence. Because of fear of transformation, it is very common to persist on the path of decision. Read Less