The Lean Product Playbook with Dan Olsen

Many of us the product world are familiar with Lean Startup and its valuable concepts, such as product-market fit and the build-measure-learn loop. However, many product teams run into challenges when they try to adopt Lean Startup principles. They find it difficult because teams lack specific guidance on what to do and how to do it. 

Dan Olsen shared the key ideas from his bestselling book The Lean Product Playbook. 

Lean Product Expert

Dan Olsen is an entrepreneur, consultant, and Lean product expert. At Olsen Solutions, he works with companies to build great products and strong product teams, often as interim VP of Product. His clients include Facebook, Box, Microsoft, Medallia, and One Medical Group.

Before consulting, Dan worked at Intuit, where he led the Quicken product team. He also led product management at social networking pioneer Friendster and was the co-founder and CEO of TechCrunch, award winner YouVersion, a personalized news startup. Dan wrote the bestseller The Lean Product Playbook, published by Wiley, and organizes the Lean Product & Lean UX Silicon Valley Meetup.

The Lean Product Playbook

The Lean Product Playbook provides specific, step-by-step guidance on how to apply Lean Startup ideas. In this recent talk, Dan described an actionable model for product-market fit and a 6-step process that explains how to rapidly iterate based on customer feedback, illustrated with real-world examples. 

The Lean Product Playbook with Dan Olsen

Bullet points:

  • What is Lean Startup about?
    • Articulate hypothesis.
    • Identify fastest ways to test.
    • Keep scope small (MVP).
    • Test with customers.
    • Learn & Iterate.
    • Achieve product-market fit
  • What is Product-Market fit?
    • Will be achieved by getting the next 5 points right enough in the form of a pyramid where the steps from the bottom to top: target customer, underserved needs, value proposition, feature set and UX.
  • To determine your target customer you can test, for example, new product or new feature.
  • Figure out customer needs by defining problem space (user benefits) vs. solution space (product).
  • Define the value proposition by using the Kano model.
  • Specify your MVP feature set
    • By working down a pyramid from top to bottom by from delightful to usable and reliable to functional.
    • Create your MVP prototype to test with customers.
  • Users will always only see the tip of the iceberg of your product (visual design). Below the water, there’s interaction design, information architecture, and conceptual design

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