The Lean Startup

Case Studies

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The Lean Startup movement is taking hold in companies both new and established to help entrepreneurs and managers do one important thing: make better, faster business decisions.

  • Once Drew Houston, CEO and Founder of Dropbox discovered Eric Ries's Lean Startup blog, the company started iterating their product much faster in order to test what customers really wanted, early and often. Using Lean Startup principles, in just 15 months, Dropbox went form 100,000 registered users to over 4,000,000.

  • Wealthfront is democratizing access to outstanding investment managers. Most investors use mutual or index funds but lack access to top hedge funds and money managers. Wealthfront solves this problem by vetting managers and, with technology, providing the scale necessary to make these managers accessible to regular investors. Wealthfront practices continuous deployment in an SEC-regulated environment where risks and costs of failure are very high. Founded in 2009, the company now manages over $200M and processes over $2M a day.

  • Grockit was founded in 2007 to enable social learning, specifically test preparation (SAT, LSAT, etc). The company used agile development to get a product out quickly and continues to use this method in continuous deployment. On a typical day, Grockit's online learning platform hosts 1,000 cross national border interactions and supports users spanning 150 countries.

  • Founded in 2004, IMVU is the world's largest 3D chat and dress-up community. At IMVU, members can meet new people, chat, create, and play games with friends. IMVU uses experimentation to develop new product features and processes to develop those features. IMVU has reached 50 million registered users and a $40+ million annualized revenue run rate.

  • Votizen is disrupting how our government and politics works by putting focus back on individual voter. In founding Votizen, David Binetti pivoted several times from a social network of verified voters to the first social lobbying platform in American history. Votizen's tools led to the first bill driven into the US Senate by social media alone.

  • Aardvark, a company subsequently acquired by Google, developed a social search engine. The product enables users to ask questions, mainly subjective, that are then distributed to the social graph for users for answers. Aardvark tested its concept by building a series of minimum viable products (MVP), each designed to test a way of solving a customer problem. What became Aardvark was the sixth prototype that the team created.