“The surest way to be late is to have plenty of time” -Leo Kennedy
Apart from design thinking, the lean startup is now among the most commonly used buzzwords in both large enterprises and startups. So what is the difference between the two and how do we know when to use either?
As you have seen, design thinking is used to come up with user- centric solutions to problems. The lean startup methodology (LS) becomes very useful once a prototype is finalized. In DT, we have the Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test phases. In LS, we have the Build, Measure and Learn steps. LS steps become part of the Test phase in DT.
Let us consider a simple example. Suppose that you are a retailer wanting to expand your customer base and to improve customer experience. You would go through the DT phases to come up with set of ranked solutions, and then pick the best solution to test out. Let’s say the solution is to implement virtual reality (VR) in your store so that it can be used by every customer who enters the shop. Before building the full-blown VR offering, you need to test its prototype. This is when you should apply LS by building a minimum viable product (MVP), taking it to the test market and learning from the actual customers.
In a way you could think of DT as engaging more with the problem space and LS as more relevant to the solution space. But both design thinking and lean startup go hand in hand in innovation.