[Weekly Word] Back to its roots

Illustration by Kevin Christopher M. Tee (2015); editing by Allister Roy S. Chua (2015)
Illustration by Kevin Christopher M. Tee (2015); editing by Allister Roy S. Chua (2015)

liːn stɑːtʌp |

It’s interesting how my friend and mentor shared this in one of our Facebook groups just in time for today’s Word. As those in the entrepreneurial scene know, Philippine Senator Bam Aquino is pushing for entrepreneurship to further drive the country’s growth in a responsible and inclusive manner. A former social entrepreneur himself who believes entrepreneurship is the key to development, Sen. Bam’s key legislation since taking office are mostly to do with entrepreneurship – such as the Go Negosyo Bill, the Social Enterprise Bill, and the Youth Entrepreneurship Bill, which all seek to make entering business easier for us especially the youth. And here’s where our word becomes relevant.

The Lean Startup is a principle and movement invented by Eric Ries back in 2011 that seeks to take business back to its roots – how we can truly innovate, how we can use up as little resources as absolutely necessary, how to make more of an impact. It isn’t just about going as “lean” as possible in the sense of reducing materials and resources, but also about having a carefully-structured thought process behind the formation of a product or service. It is about reducing – but not eliminating, which is impossible – uncertainty, and thereby promoting a validated, research-based learning. It is about working smarter, not harder (similar to how true simple living is). This leads you to create your minimum viable product through building, measuring, and learning.

Here, we return to the core of what sustainable business truly is: we offer something of value that others need or want. This exchange is mutually voluntary, as John Mackey and Raj Sisodia explain in Conscious Capitalism. The Lean Startup lets you minimize the obstacles that leads you to that “something of value”.

Although from a general viewpoint I advocate (social) responsibility and (faith-driven) service, I also believe in entrepreneurship as the key to sustaining and augmenting the impact one can make with said responsibility and service. I agree that it can, should be, and is a major – though by no means the only – driver to integral development from the macro down to the micro scene. Another of my mentors was correct: we all should know the principles of the Lean Startup. I myself am trying to get the grasp of it still, in my desire to apply it in the things I want to do. This blog included. 😉

But as Tim O’Reilly, CEO of O’Reilly Media, says, the Lean Startup isn’t just about being more successful entrepreneurially – it’s about applying our learnings to everything we do. O’Reilly envisions Lean Startup principles being used for things as diverse as government programs and healthcare: We waste as little as possible (time, money, energy, and everything under the sun) to achieve the greatest impact.

Come to think of it, isn’t that what higher purpose living is all about, as well?

Etymology

Lean (Eng., “(of an industry or company) efficient and with no wastage”) +startup (Eng., “a newly established business”).


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