Review – Lean Analytics: Measuring Your Way to Product-Market Fit by Alistair Croll, Benjamin Yoskovitz

Lean Analytics is a practical guide and checklist for developing a high-growth start-up. The authors’ main premise is that you should find a single meaningful metric, and then run experiments to improve it until this KPI is good enough to move to the next problem (of the next stage) of your business.

The book divides into two halves. The first section guides you in working out what you should be doing – there’s even a useful chapter on deciding what to do with your life and whether you’ll actually enjoy doing what you’re proposing. It encourages you to have clear goals, experiment, and move through build->measure->learn cycle as quickly and frequently as possible
The Lean Analytics part is about picking a number, setting it as the target, and having enough confidence that if you hit it then you consider it a success.

The second half of the book maps things into six (mainly) Internet-based business models and five stages of maturity within those models. It argues that a combination of the model and the stage of maturity determines which metric you should be focused on. This section is less successful than the first because it offers a fleeting, high-level overview which means that you’ll need to get detailed information from somewhere else (however, if it had gone into detail then we’d have a 1000+ page tome, with most sections irrelevant to the majority of readers).

Most of us are not going to build a high growth start-up, let alone an Internet start-up. Maybe you’ll be building-up a small service business? There are enough good ideas, structure and discipline, and collective wisdom to make reading this book well worth your while.

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program


About File Under "Common Knowledge"

I'm Steve Simpson, a senior IT enterprise architect working in the areas of Big Data, Cloud, Mobile and Operational (as opposed to Business) Intelligence. Over my career I've specialised in database internals, data warehousing, SOA-centric middleware and implementing large scale Financial systems. My University degree involved significant amounts of Econometrics, Operational Research and Statistics. This is all proving useful in the world of "Big Data". The purpose of this blog is to share what I discover and learn as I expect it will be useful to other people as they develop their careers in this exciting area. I’ve chosen the blogging name “File Under ‘Common Knowledge’ ” as it summarises my objective well, and it coincidentally provides an easy to remember mnemonic. I tweet as @SharplyUnclear
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