Founder Nick Swinmurn was frustrated because there was no central online site with a great selection of shoes … Swinmurn could have waited a long time, instead on testing his compete vision complete with warehouses, distribution partners, and the promise of significant sales … Instead, he started by running an experiment. His hypothesis was that customers were ready and willing to buy shoes online. To test it, he began by asking local shoe stores if he could take pictures of their inventory. In exchange for permission to take the pictures, he wold post the pictures online and come back to buy the shoes at full price if a customer bought them online.

Eric Ries, Lean Startup, (p. 57)



Out of a hundred good ideas, you’ve got to sell our ideas So you build up a society of politicians and salespeople. When you have five hundred tests you’re running, then everybody’s ideas can run. And then you create entrepreneurs who run and learn and can retest and relearn as opposed to a society of politicians.

Eric Ries, Lean Startup, (p. 33)


Flash-forward to 2002. Cook was frustrated … Simply put, too many of its new products were failing … he came to a difficult conclusion: the prevailing management paradigm he and his company had been practicing was inadequate to the problem of continuous innovation in the modern economy … Because TurboTax does most of its sales around tax season in the United States, it used to have an extremely conservative culture. Over the course of the year, the marketing and product teams would conceive one major initiative that would be rolled out just in time for tax season. now they test over five hundred different changes in a two-and-a-half-month tax season.

Eric Ries, Lean Startup (p. 32–33)