He therefore uses his experiences as the main lessons in the book. Therefore, the book is based on his technology entrepreneur experiences that led to a blog, which was very popular, from the start-ups to the Fortune 100 companies, who were struggling with building new stuff or coming up with innovations. His main argument is that startups fail but most of the failures are avoidable.
Ries uses the words human and uncertainty to define the word start-up. He defines it as a human institution that was designed for the creation of new products or services under extreme uncertain conditions. This is applies for all entrepreneurs, be it one innovator in his garage or several over qualified professionals in a boardroom for a fortune 500 company. The thing in common between the two situations is a mission for penetrating that element of uncertainty in order to discover safe paths for sustainable businesses. For a startup to be successful, a brilliant idea is not enough as the start up requires people to manage it through all the challenges the innovations may face and through the period when the idea may fail and people are fighting over the next step.
Ries argues that most start-ups have a tendency of being much higher-risk ventures than what they actually need to be. Ries notes that all entrepreneurs make the same mistakes when they are starting up. These mistakes include building elaborate products even before they dare to test the products with their consumers. Ries advocates for experimentation that involve rounds after rounds of small experiments. This means that entrepreneurs should come up with small viable products as soon as it is possible and then they start testing the products with consumers. As much as this will take longer, the several hours of internal analysis and strategies will be worth it in the end. The testing should be continuous until the product is completed.