Lean Start-up or Design Thinking (IT Toolbox Blogs)

In “Design thinking vs the lean startup: which one should you use?  Graham van der Made, editor of Ventureburn, the “Start up news for investment markets“, discusses an article sent by the MTN Solution Space which “breaks down the methodologies in order for startup founders to figure out which version is best”. Because “when it comes to creating a startup, two methodologies for products and customers have become prominent: design thinking and the lean startup”. 


 “Design Thinking focuses on finding the underlying need for the product, researching it, and then creating it for your customers“… “work is focused on developing a human-centred understanding of the problem before going into solution mode“.


The Lean Startup approach, popularised by The Lean Startup, a book written by Eric Ries” creates a “minimal viable product all the while making incremental changes to it through feedback from users“…  The “approach is about reducing risk”.


To begin with, the Lean Startup seems to be about starting small, building the product in iterations while taking customers’ feedback in an agile like approach.


Design Thinking (DT) typically establishes the optimum experience or interaction a human should have in discovering, inspecting, buying, using and getting the product serviced. 


Yet, Design Thinking, the article says, emphasises a priori a research into market demand and usage aspects, before committing to the product.

Ideally, this should be indeed the case. But, in practice, Design Thinking like Enterprise Architecture, re-engineer the enterprise rather shape it from the beginning.


Yet, is it an Either/Or relationship? Not really, as Graham says at the end. I do not think that the two methods exclude each other. In fact, I do think that they are just extremes of a single common approach.

What stops a Lean Startup entrepreneur do a research before committing to the minimal product?


In fact, this research is typically mandatory because the Startup Plan would have to make clear the Value Proposition of the Product and as such forecast the sales figures to estimate revenue from which subtract the cost to deliver assessed from estimated resources.

Also, to invest, the stakeholders need to be informed on long term prospects, hence further product and enterprise developments.


A proposed enterprise organisation and management is also necessary at this planning stage to assess costs and ensure the enterprise management and further growth.

But to me, both approaches are more about building a product rather than the Startup enterprise itself. Hence, left out is the building of the Startup itself.


See also

What is the Design Thinking relation to Enterprise Architecture

The Enterprise Architecture and Debt, Design Thinking and Digital evolution (iv)

The relation between Design Thinking and Enterprise Architecture



EA material

Design Thinking
Lean Startup
enterprise architecture

Source: SANS ISC SecNewsFeed @ May 3, 2017 at 07:12AM