Design Thinking, Lean Startup and Agile: What is the difference? - Deepstash
Design thinking

Design thinking is an iterative process in which we thrive to understand the user’s pain, challenge assumptions, redefine problems, in order to create new strategies and solutions.

The usual Design thinking phases are the following:

  • Empathize with your users
  • Define your users’ needs, their problem, and your insights
  • Ideate by challenging assumptions and creating ideas for innovative solutions
  • Prototype to start creating solutions
  • Test solutions.

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Lean startup is a methodology for developing businesses and products, which aims to shorten product development cycles and rapidly discover if a proposed business model is viable; this is achieved by adopting a combination of business-hypothesis-driven experimentation, iterative product releases, and validated learning.

The lean startup methodology was born in Silicon Valley in the 90s, but the use of the word “lean” has its roots to Toyota’s lean production system. Toyota’s lean manufacturing system was used to build things efficiently, yet it doesn’t tell what should be built.

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Agile is a way of working, based on an iterative development, incremental delivery and ongoing reassessment of a product.

As mostly used in software development, it is based on a clear idea of the product’s concept and its market.

Contrary to the idea of focusing on a set of features to be developed, agile focuses on the high-value features first. Agile is all about producing tangible, working results after each iteration.

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Design Thinking, Lean Startup and Agile can be combined
  • Empathize, Define and Ideate through Design Thinking 
  • Turn ideas into Business models following the lean startup 
  • Build and deliver the product incrementally and faster through Agile processes. 

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If 90% of startups fail because they produce products nobody wants, combining those methodology drastically reduce this risk of failing. 

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