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The Running Lean startup process captured on 52 cards. Actionable steps for starting a business.
275 backers pledged £4,925 to help bring this project to life.
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Have you ever had a brilliant business idea, but did nothing about it?

Were you put off by the risk and uncertainty?

Were you confused by all the conflicting advice?

Did you just not know where to start?

Or...

Have you tried to start a business and failed?

If you answered 'yes' to any of the above questions, The Running Lean business startup cards are for you! 

They provide a step-by-step, proven process for starting a business.

They will help you test your business idea to see if it will work, build your first product (or service) and then start making money.

They won’t guarantee your success, but they will greatly reduce your chance of failure … and at the same time save you a lot of time and money.

The Running Lean process, developed by the serial entrepreneur Ash Maurya, is nothing short of a revolution in the way new businesses are started.

Already early adopters, innovators and leading entrepreneurs around the world have embraced it ... and now you can too.

What is the Running Lean Startup Process?

Running Lean is a set of proven steps which take you through the process of capturing a business idea, testing it with potential customers, adapting it to customer needs, building a prototype and finally taking it to market.

Historically less than 10% of startups become profitable and survive for more than five years.

The Running Lean startup process greatly improve these odds.

Traditionally entrepreneurs have started their businesses by doing some research and then documenting their findings in a 50 page business plan. 

They raise some money and start secretly developing their product or service. 

After a lot of hard work, late nights and stress they launch their product, throwing whatever money they have left at marketing, PR and sales.

If they are lucky their customers will love what they have created and the business will prosper.

Unfortunately, in 90% of cases, not enough customers care about what they have built to keep the business alive.

A lean startup follows a very different process.

You capture your business idea on one sheet of paper in less than 15 minutes.

By doing this you deconstruct the business into nine clear areas so it is easy to understand.

You can then identify the riskiest parts of the plan and test them with your potential customers.

You then build a simple version of your product or service. This is known a the Minimum Viable Product or MVP.

The MVP finds out whether you have built something that solves a problem your customers are prepared to pay to get solved.

If customers start paying for the MVP you can add new features and focus on growing the company.

If customers are not prepared to pay for the MVP, it’s time to change your business model by iterating, pivoting or moving on to pastures new.

Unlike the traditional startup process, customers are involved at every stage of testing and development. Therefore by the time you get to launch, you know your target customers want what you have built.

The Running Lean methodology won’t turn a bad idea into a profitable business, but it will let you know it’s a bad idea before you’ve wasted a lot of time and money.

Having been involved with building four startups, I cannot stress enough what a revolution this methodology is.

The Running Lean Startup Card Deck

The 52 cards take you step-by-step through the Running Lean startup process from capturing your idea on a Lean Canvas to building a Minimum Viable Product to growing your revenues and profits.

The deck can be used to:

  • Learn the key principles of starting a lean business
  • Teach entrepreneurs and students about the Running Lean startup process
  • Share the techniques with a project team 
  • Help guide an entrepreneur through the start up process in a simple, logical and practical way
  • Provide experienced entrepreneurs with an aide memoir after reading the Running Lean book

The cards are numbered in a logical order so they can be followed step-by-step from idea to launch.

The deck is based on the excellent book Running Lean by Ash Maurya. Ash is a serial entrepreneur and through his real-life experiences he focuses on the practical application of the lean process. I recommend you read the book and use the cards to remind you of the steps.

About the Cards

The cards are twice the size of standard playing cards and are made using the finest materials.

Card specifications:

  • 52 cards
  • Twice the size of standard playing cards (95 mm x 140mm)
  • CMYK color printing
  • 350 gsm high quality art paper
  • Plastic coated for long life
  • Plain cardboard tuck box

N.B. the final card measurements and materials may be slightly different depending on which printing company we use.

The Background to Running Lean

The Lean Startup movement was started in the mid-1990's by entrepreneur and academician, Steve Blank. 

Blank, who founded eight companies four of which went to IPO, created a logical process for testing business ideas using customer feedback. He called it the Customer Development methodology.

Eric Ries, one of Blank's students and a successful entrepreneur himself, further developed these ideas and coined the phrase Lean Startup. In 2011 he published a book, The Lean Startup, which sparked an explosion of interest around the world. 

Today there are a Lean Startup events most weeks in every major city in the world.

Ash Maurya, a serial entrepreneur, was an early adopter of the lean startup principles, but he was frustrated by the lack of easy-to-follow, practical steps. 

In 2010 Alexander Ostewalder, a business consultant, came up with a one page business plan template he called the Business Model Canvas.

Maurya recognised its potential and adapted it to fit into the Lean Startup process. He called the new version the Lean Canvas.

Then through trial and error, feedback from his blog readers, studying the work of Eric Ries, Steve Blank and Dave Mclure, he finally came up with the Running Lean methodology. A year later he published a book, Running Lean, which has sold over 10,000 copies. It's a must-read for entrepreneurs.

As Jason Cohen, the founder of WP Engine and Smart Bear, put in a testimonial for the book: 

"Lean concepts are exciting, but it's hard to know what actually to do. Ash not only gives advice, but he makes it practicable - this is the first comprehensive guidebook for how to execute a Lean Startup"

Why Kickstarter?

I've put this project on Kickstarter for three reasons.

1) A key principle of the Running Lean process is making a prototype of your product to see if anyone will buy it. Kickstarter is my way of testing and validating the market for this card deck.

2) In order to get the volume discounts to keep the bigger card size, premium quality and reasonable price, I need to print at least 500 decks. If enough people make a pledge, I can afford to make the cards the best they can be.

3) Kickstarter is where early adopters and innovators hang out ... just the sort of people I'm looking for

Acknowledgements

I would like to acknowledge the innovative thinking, tireless work and relentless evangelising put in by the team who started the Lean Startup revolution. I highly recommend their books which are the cornerstones of the movement.

  • Running Lean by Ash Maurya
  • The Four Steps to Epiphany by Steve Blank
  • The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
  • Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder
  • The Startup Owners Manual by Steve Blank

I would like to offer special acknowledgement and thanks to Ash Maurya for supporting this Kickstarter project. His book, Running Leanis essential reading for every entrepreneur and project manager. 

Risks and challenges

The risks of investing are low.

The design for most of the cards have been done, although on funding they will all be re-drawn by a professional graphic designer. There is a risk that this process will take longer than expected.

A manufacturer has been identified and all the costs are confirmed. Our estimates are based on getting 2,500 decks printed.

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Funding period

- (46 days)