What is validated learning?
When a lean startup is about fast product iterations, strictly focused on the needs and requirements of the user, validated learning is the part of the process thanks to which we learn how closely each iteration is satisfied with the people for whom we build it. In fact, the inventor of the Lean Startup approach, Eric Ries, described valid science as “a unit of progress for a Lean Startup.” In other words, for a lean startup, success is not measured by the number of units produced, but by the measurable responses of the target users. Ries himself took the idea from Steve Blank’s customer validation concept, whereby the core ideas on which your product or service is based should be tested with users and tested early in the process with minimal effort. Coming back to users’ responses, the key word is “measurable”. Proven learning is measurable from data such as revenue, user engagement, and feedback. The result is evidence-based and hands-on learning, leading to real product improvements with each iteration. Properly conducted, validated learning is extremely effective.
Why is it so important?
Approved science lies at the heart of a lean product launch and development process. In fact, Ries has defined the term minimum viable product (MVP) for related validated learning: “… a new product version that allows the team to collect the maximum amount of validated customer information with the least effort.”