A methodology in which ideas for launching companies and products are viewed as hypotheses to be validated by experimenting with them in the marketplace. According to leanstartup.com, the term was first used in September 2008, in a blog post by Eric Ries. In 2011, Ries wrote The Lean Startup.
The approach is based on a learning process of rapid, sequential product releases that generate customer feedback. The goal is to increase the likelihood of success without having to use excessive external funding or expensive product launches. The learning process begins with the development of a "minimum viable product"(MVP), which has only those features necessary to make the product useful to early customers. Feedback from these early customers is used to make the decision to either continue on the path taken (for the product or service) or to move to alternative, more valuable uses of the basic idea or technology. This avoids wasting time and resources on developing products that customers do not want, while providing information quickly and with minimal investment about what they do want.
The philosophies behind the Lean startup and Lean management both emphasize eliminating activities that do not create value for customers.