Episode 7: Ash Maurya on Scaling Lean

Ash Maurya, author of Running Lean and Scaling Lean, talks about how to build products and companies that matter, while minimizing risk. How can you systematically de-risk your business, so you can focus your limited time, money, and energy on what makes a difference. Whether your company sells products, services, or both, tune in, because Ash says, “Life’s too short to build products nobody wants.”

“Lean” has become a buzzword, and you may not know what it really means (or means to you). In this episode, Ash talks about how you can “run lean”– avoiding wasted effort and minimizing risk, and “scale lean”, by giving yourself permission to scale in stages (tweet).


Ash Maurya In this episode, Ash gives tips on how to avoid wasted effort and minimize risk in a startup, including:

  • Why you need to fall in love with your customers’ problem, not your solution.
  • How to “get out of the building” to talk to prospects to learn from them (not pitch them), even if you’re actually still in the building. (Advice I wish I had followed many times.)
  • How long should it take to prove (or disprove) an idea?
  • How Jason Cohen (from Episodes 1&2) used lean techniques to sign up Ash to the earliest version of WPEngine.
  • If you’re having trouble wrapping your head around “lean”, consider this: “Don’t build a key first and then try to figure out which door it might open. If you flip it around, and find the door first, building the key is easy.”
  • Why the hard part these days isn’t “building the product”, it’s “building the customer.”

And don’t feel bad if you’ve made mistakes on this path.

A reader of Ash’s first book came up to him and said “I wish I’d read this book 5 years ago.”

Ash replied, “me, too.”

Here’s the link to Episode 7 with Ash Maurya.

Books mentioned in the episode:

WH Smith Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2012The Wine


WH Smith Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2012. (Listed at $58!!! I can assure you can find it for much, much less than that.) Yummy, fruity, strong California Pinot Noir. If you tend to like that kind of wine, you’ll like it. (It’s strong enough that some decanting, or at least airing, would be helpful. Or, if you can be patient, just let it sit in your glass for a while.)


Where you can find Ash: Web site, Twitter

Where you can find Reuben: @Sales4Nerds, @Mimiran, Mimiran.com.

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Reuben Swartz

Host and Chief Nerd.