DiscoverLenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | CareerReflections on a movement | Eric Ries (creator of the Lean Startup methodology)
Reflections on a movement | Eric Ries (creator of the Lean Startup methodology)

Reflections on a movement | Eric Ries (creator of the Lean Startup methodology)

Update: 2023-10-29


Eric Ries is the creator of the Lean Startup methodology, author of the New York Times bestseller The Lean Startup, and founder of the Long-Term Stock Exchange (LTSE). He’s also a multi-time founder and currently advises startups, VC firms, and larger companies on business and product strategy. In today’s episode, we discuss:

• The current state of the Lean Startup methodology

• Common misconceptions about the Lean Startup methodology

• Understanding how to actually think about MVPs (minimum viable products)

• When to pivot and when to stay the course

• Thoughts on AI and how to deal with uncertainty

• How to structure your company around core values and create products that benefit humanity

• The philosophy behind Eric’s current big idea: the Long-Term Stock Exchange

• Much more

Brought to you by Sanity—The most customizable content layer to power your growth engine | Jira Product Discovery—Atlassian’s new prioritization and roadmapping tool built for product teams | LinkedIn Ads—Reach professionals and drive results for your business

Find the full transcript at:

Where to find Eric Ries:

• LinkedIn:

• X:

• Website:

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter:

• X:

• LinkedIn:

In this episode, we cover:

(00:00 ) Eric’s background

(04:46 ) Eric’s recent activities and projects

(06:23 ) Eric’s start in advising and first-principles thinking

(10:56 ) Lessons from designing the Lean Startup process

(14:04 ) The current state of lean startup methodology

(22:33 ) Common misconceptions about the methodology

(24:28 ) Changes Eric would make in an updated version of Lean Startup

(27:52 ) An explanation of minimum viable product (MVP) and why Eric still stands by the process

(37:36 ) An example of “Less is more”

(41:24 ) More on MVPs and the importance of testing your hypotheses 

(41:24 ) How LTSE had to pivot after a partnership fell apart

(48:37 ) Eric’s take on the concept of craft

(53:36 ) Why getting fired for standing by your conviction can be a career accelerator

(55:17 ) Tech’s mental health crisis

(56:28 ) Advice for founders stuck in a “zombie company”

(1:00:16 ) How continuous pivots shape a company’s vision, with a real-life story

(1:08:20 ) Challenges in assessing companies from an external perspective

(1:13:17 ) Practical advice for businesses considering a pivot

(1:18:42 ) The impact of artificial intelligence

(1:26:59 ) The current capabilities of ChatGPT and its potential use as an equalizer in the marketplace

(1:31:26 ) Eric’s current work with founders on human flourishing

(1:42:40 ) Advice for founders who want to build ethical companies 

(1:49:37 ) Examples of first-principles thinking

(1:53:42 ) Why shareholder primacy theory is wrong

(1:55:19 ) The “spiritual holding company” 

(1:58:12 ) Lightning round


• The Long-Term Stock Exchange:

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses:

• Lean manufacturing:

• Six Sigma:

• Clay Christensen:

• Eric Ries on 4 Common Misconceptions About Lean Startup:

• Anakin Skywalker meme:

• Linear: Building with taste, craft, and focus | Karri Saarinen (co-founder, designer, CEO):

Snow Crash:


• Ben Silbermann on LinkedIn:

Wonder Boy: Tony Hsieh, Zappos, and the Myth of Happiness in Silicon Valley:

• Understanding Steve Jobs’s Reality Distortion Field:

• Paul Graham’s website:

• Segment:

• Loom:

• The Slack story:

The Social Network on Netflix:

• Thomas Kuhn: Paradigm Shift:

• Conway’s Law: the little-known principle that influences your work more than you think:

Monty Python and the Holy Grail Guards Scene on YouTube:

• Toyota Production System:

• Warren Buffett’s Forbes bio:

The Enlightened Capitalists: Cautionary Tales of Business Pioneers Who Tried to Do Well by Doing Good:

The Grace of Kings (The Dandelion Dynasty):

All Systems Red: The Murderbot Diaries:

Star Wars: Andor on Disney+:

• Tesla Powerwall:

• Levoit Classic 300S ultrasonic smart humidifier:

• The Law of Sustainable Growth: <a target="_blank" href="

In Channel



Download from Google Play
Download from App Store








Sleep Timer


End of Episode

5 Minutes

10 Minutes

15 Minutes

30 Minutes

45 Minutes

60 Minutes

120 Minutes

Reflections on a movement | Eric Ries (creator of the Lean Startup methodology)

Reflections on a movement | Eric Ries (creator of the Lean Startup methodology)

Lenny Rachitsky