An interesting presentation by Steve Blank and Eric Ries. Key slide is on page 20 -> the rapid advancement and maturity of strong open-source products allow for such lean&mean startups to operate today.
What is missing from the presentation is a slide that talks about what types of products and target markets fit such a model. While a paradigm of fast iterations is favorable to older waterfall models, the ‘lean startup’ paradigm works best in web projects which allow for such fast iterations. If your business is developing consumer hardware, you want to make sure you got the product design right before you pay for a full assembly line in China, just to find out that you have to iterate.
Similarly, developing enterprise software faces challenges that may prevent startups from being ‘lean’. In a world of 6-9 months sales cycle, the feedback cycle becomes too long for comfort; you need a much better understanding of the problem before you start developing a solution.
Anyway, lean startups are a topic that I am thinking about often lately, and the above presentation offers valuable insights.