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Lean Startup. Theory & Motivation Examples & Learnings. Rémy Blättler Chief of the System, Supertext AG remy.supertext.ch @swissghostrider. Born in Eschenbach Electronics technician @ Cerberus BSc in CS at HSR in Rapperswil Co-founder Collaboral Startup @ Technopark Zurich. Reto.

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Lean Startup

Theory & Motivation

Examples & Learnings

Rémy Blättler

Chief of the System, Supertext AG remy.supertext.ch @swissghostrider

  • Born in Eschenbach

  • Electronics technician @ Cerberus

  • BSc in CS at HSR in Rapperswil

  • Co-founder Collaboral

  • Startup @ Technopark Zurich



East Coast (NYC)

West Coast (SF)

Remy blaettler
Remy Blaettler

“Chief of the System” at Supertext, the fastest growing Swiss translation and copywriting company

[email protected]



What does a successful startup need
What does a successful startup need?

A great idea

Good timing

A rocking team

VC capital

and lots of hard work (and time)


The background
The background

Eric Ries was a fairly unsuccessful serial entrepreneur.

He was searching for a way to increase the success rate of his startups.

Based on the principles of lean manufacturing from Japan (Toyota)

The principles
The principles

Entrepreneurs are everywhere

Entrepreneurship is management

Validated learning


Innovation accounting

Traditional management
Traditional management

Set exact targets based on experience and existing clients.

Plan and execute accordingly.

Successful execution of a plan that leads to nowhere.


Waterfall, maybe Agile

Traditional management1
Traditional management

Clearly does not work for startups.

“Let’s just do it” is adopted.

No management does not work either.

First a reality check
First: a reality check


Does your customer have the problem that you are trying to solve?

Will they pay for it?

Will they pay YOU for it?

Can you build the solution for that problem?

Try to sell the product before you build it

(It’s not the same as asking customers what they want.)

Mvp minimum viable product
MVP (minimum viable product)

Skimp on features not on quality.

Remove any feature, process or effort that does not contribute to the “test”.

NOBODY is going to steal your idea

And if they can execute your idea quicker and better than you, you’re in trouble anyway.

Quantitative learning
Quantitative learning

You can always justify failure as part of the learning experience, but that's a bit cheap….

Use experiments, not market research.

Innovation accounting
Innovation accounting







Actionable vs. vanity metrics

Only measure things with a clear cause & effect.

Split tests


Don’t give up too quickly.

But don’t try to ride a dead horse either.

Listen to customer feedback!

And adding more services to the wrong idea is not the answer.


Enter your qualitative/ quantitative data


What are you trying to achieve?


[Specific repeatable action] will [Expected measurable outcome]

Validated learning

What did you learn?

 Validated or not


How will you setup this experiment?

Next action

What is your next experiment?

Grow adapt
Grow & adapt

Make sure the paid acquisition is not higher than the customer lifetime value.

Eventually your business should grow faster than the build-measure-learn feedback can loop.

It s simple api sourcing
It’s simple: API sourcing

An online database for pharmaceutical ingredient suppliers.


$20k for a web agency


$30 for a Wordpress template

$25/month for an online db knack

Just start somewhere
Just start somewhere

Pain: project managers send out complicated Excel sheetsthat are always out of sync.

Solution: build something that keeps them in sync.

First idea: synced project management in Excel

Better idea: generic synced spreadsheet!



Shared Excel

Shared Word

Shared PowerPoint

Desktop and web version

Enterprise edition

School edition

Free edition

Spent 2 weeks on the login page


Shared Excel desktop version

Spent 2 weeks building the VB client


What we sold to our clients


What we actually had


Our plan…


… and the reality

Keeping deadlines dosensio
Keeping deadlines - Dosensio

Built shared drive for Sharepoint

First working prototype after 2 months

Perfected it for another 12 months

Ran out of money and released it

Turns out the customer wanted something different

Startup excuses
Startup excuses

I have no idea

I have no money

I’m not a developer

I need a logo first

Need an idea
Need an idea?

Photos of tourists with a camera drone at the Eiffel tower

“Create an event app” app

Email snooze for Outlook

Hollywood tours with a lift platform

Funny footnote
Funny footnote

Eric Ries was working on something completely different when he came up with the lean startup approach.

Forget about the million dollar idea

Just start something. Anything.

D ownload the presentation
Download the presentation




Lean startup machine by trevor owens
Lean Startup Machine by Trevor Owens

Learn to build a successful business in three days.

Lean Startup Machine (LSM) is a three-day workshop on building a successful business.


Lean startup factory
Lean Startup Factory

Build a real startup in one weekend.

And we’re not talking about just a business plan.


Reduce the batch size
Reduce the batch size

Example: letters

Fold, pack, close the envelop and put on a stamp.

Single-piece flow instead large-batch approach

Speed up release and learning cycles