If you want to own the bible of speed for developing products, services or starting companies, Developing Products in Half the Time: New Rules, New Tools by Preston G. Smith and Donald G. Reinertsen is the book. It doesn’t matter what industry, what product or service, this book will speed up your development process. Silicon Valley startup entrepreneurs use the principles – whether they know it or not, just by being exposed to the Silicon Valley culture.
I’ve read this book more than once. Actually, I’m reading it again – now. Every time I read it, I get new ideas of how to become more efficient, more productive and faster. The irony is that the book uses principles from the great Taiichi Ohno and the Toyota Production System. When you start reading it, you might assume every company uses these methods but, believe me, they’re not. Not enough startup entrepreneurs are maximizing the principles to get out into the market faster. Some entrepreneurs use these principles, although they may have not read this book, because of lack of resources or due to necessity.
So, you want to get faster and quicker in rolling out your products, services or company? Just shrinking the “fuzzy front end” is worth 2X in speed. Dedicated, co-located, cross functional teams are good for at least another 4X. Effective overload management will bring roughly another 2X. Just these principles can give an entrepreneur and investor 8X in speed.
I have used these principles myself and they work. When I have not used the principles due to various circumstances (but there is really no excuse on my part not to use them) I have had projects that just stalled and achieved little result. These principles can be applied to developing anything. I’ve even used it in writing film scripts. My partner and I have been able to write production-ready film scripts in one to four weeks using the same principles.
If every entrepreneur and investor fully understood the principles of Developing Products in Half the Time, the world would become very interesting indeed.
One of the big things I got out of this book was that speed of development is one consideration but it’s not the most important. That’s the irony of the book. Smith and Reinertsen provide the “development tools” but they also give one of the best pieces of advice to any entrepreneur or investor:
“We must strongly reemphasize the message of the original book. Fast time to market is worth money – sometimes a great deal of money – but it is not universally good. The only way to determine which actions are appropriate in pursuing development speed is to know what cycle time is worth in financial terms. Since your competitors are getting faster, a sloppy approach to pursuing rapid development will become more and more expensive. In the future, the race is likely to go to those who buy cycle time at the right price.” And at the right time as well.
Later in the book, the authors make a profound statement, which I ponder myself when looking at any idea, product, service or startup company: “It may well be that these companies are already going faster than the marketplace will support.”
Developing Products in Half the Time is a must read book for all entrepreneurs, investors and inventors… period. End of discussion. I’m wasting time further explain it. Just get the book.
entrepreneurdex rating: 10 out of 10.
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