How do entrepreneurs think they create value? A scientific reflection of Eric Ries’ Lean Startup approach

  • Dennis Lyth Frederiksen
  • Alexander BremEmail author


The means with which entrepreneurs create and capture value can be difficult to get a comprehensive picture of. Looking at the tools they use can offer insights, and in this context, the book “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries has received a tremendous amount of attention. Supposedly, many entrepreneurs have read the book and may have followed his advice. Hence, we investigate the merits and characteristics of the methods detailed by Ries through a comparison with leading theories and empirical evidence found in the scientific literature. The results indicate that overall the methods find considerable backing and can in parts be recognized under already established constructs. Heavy use of effectuation-logic is evident throughout the book, with a clear and explicit emphasis on experimentation over long-term planning. The paper closes with a discussion of the possible broader implications of the methods and effectuation, including the potential impact on corporate strategy.


Entrepreneurial thinking Lean startup Causation Effectuation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EngineeringAalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark
  2. 2.Mads Clausen InstituteUniversity of Southern DenmarkSonderborgDenmark

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