Structure Of The Lean Startup

We have something called The Lean Startup, and The Lean Startup has three different stages.

  1. Message
  2. Outreach
  3. Business House


Your message is what you can do to help a particular person solve a particular problem. The message is whom can you help solve a particular problem they may have right now. Then there are some perennial problems like health and wealth. Everybody wants to be healthy. Everybody wants to live forever. Everybody wants to be wealthy. Those are definitely big markets. So there are like 100 different small markets where you can go and help people.

For example, building a skill like playing guitar is suddenly becoming a big market because people realize that they need some time to decompress because the whole family has to stay at home and work from home. Building these skills suddenly becomes a new market because not only do people have the time, but people have urgency because everybody is stuck in the house. The pressure goes up after a while, and you need to reduce the pressure. So you need some right skills to decompress. That market is suddenly becoming huge.

Similarly, people are spending more time inside the house with things like home gardening. They want to be creative. They want to bring out their creative side. A lot of travel time that was being wasted being stuck in traffic jams, going to work, coming back from work is saved.

What you’re supposed to do is you need to craft your message, which is very concise that says, if you have this problem, I can help you solve this problem. Whose problem are you going to solve? And what solution are you going to provide? That is your message.

So, the first part is problem-solving. Whose problem do you want to solve, and how you’re going to help them.

The second part of your message focuses on you. Now, it doesn’t focus on your expertise, it focuses on what you stand for. Is there a problem that you solved for yourself? Is this the same problem you earlier solved for yourself, and you had some roadblocks. Were you able to get across the roadblocks by improving your mindset using secret tools and techniques?

So what do you stand for is the driver of business today, whether it’s corporates or individuals or small business owners, individual professionals, like doctors, lawyers, chartered accountants, whatever it is. What your message stands for is a huge driver of business in today’s market.


I’ll give you the example of Amazon. It is a trillion-dollar company that has done so many different things that you can keep talking about it. So what they stand for is they said, when a customer goes and buys something, there is always that fear; the fear of not getting the right product, the fear of buying a product and not being able to utilize it properly, the fear of buying a product and then having the product faulty, and then spending and wasting your own time driving over to the mall again and then dealing with the salesperson to return the product and get your money back.

First Fear

There’s a lot of fear, there’s this gap where a customer wants something, but at the same time, they are not getting it because there are different issues involved. What Amazon said was, I will remove this fear from the customer’s mind to a point where it is just impossible not to do business with me. So they say, do you want to waste your time going to a mall, driving your car, putting it in the parking lot, looking for a product that may not be in stock? No problem, you can search our online directory without getting out of your house, and you can search for all kinds of products that may or may not be in stock. So you save your time.

Second Fear

What is the other thing? The second thing is that you may buy a product and then find out that in a different season five days later, a particular brand is running a discount or the product you want to buy is cheaper in a different store. No problem, what I’ll do is bring all of the stores worldwide, all of the manufacturers around the world under one roof. You can compare all the pricing, relative delivery, timelines, shipping charges etc., and figure out which one you want.

Third Fear

What is the third fear? What if the product malfunctions? You can return it even after receiving the delivery of a product. You can return it, no questions asked. So there is that comfort and assurance built-in. Not only that, if we say we’re going to ship in four days, chances are we’re going to shift inside of four days. So it’s not that you’re leaving on your vacation on day five and your product hasn’t arrived. So basically, you’re stuck. You paid the money. The product is in transit. You’re not at home to receive it. So, if we say we will ship in four days, it’s probably going to be inside of four days, never above four days. So that is the second level of comfort.

What’s the third level of comfort and assurance? They said during this entire process, if you change your mind, you can cancel your order. If you receive the product, you can cancel your order again. We’ll return the money, and then somebody will come and pick up the product from your house. In fact, chances are, we’ll probably refund you the money first before a delivery boy come and pick up the product from you. So the money goes back to you first, no questions asked.

It is impossible not to do business with Amazon. So that’s what they stand for. They said we believe that there is no reason for a customer to be afraid of anything if they do business with a trusted partner. Now the trusted partner may have their own products, they may not have their own products, but in any situation, you have a guarantee that when you do business with these companies, not only do you get value for money, but you also get valuable service, and you have the assurance that this is the best person you’re doing business with under the sky.

So what do you stand for also has to be defined? Say, this is why I am doing what I am doing. I am a retired corporate professional or a medical professional, but this is what I have. This is the problem I want to solve for you. And this is what I stand for because it’s a passion for me that I’m going to solve this problem for X number of people. Because it’s a calling, it’s a mission, and this is something that you call turning your message into a movement.

You’re offering to a potential customer, which is, hey, this is the problem I am going to solve for you. This is the reason I want to solve this for you because I stand for this. I want to help X number of people solve this problem for themselves. And when you are establishing this, people are going to be drawn to you, not because of a product, but because of a deeper connection. Business with the feeling is great, and the partnership is solid. Not only do they want to consume your product, but they also want to share your product because they believe in your movement.


What is the second item? The second item is an outreach program. Once you have this in the Lean Startup, what we say, message is 80% of the game. Why is this 80% of the game? Because it requires a shift in mindset and shift in mindset is sometimes may take a small amount of time, but it takes a lot of mental effort to see these things differently because we have been traditionally taught to think, especially the people who are in a job, especially the people who are employed corporate professionals.

When you go out and collect money, when you go out and ask for money, it is something to be ashamed about, which is why most people say, I am an MBA, I will work for a company that asks for money from its customer that works for a boss or a mentor or a CEO who is out there asking for money, but I won’t ask for money directly. I won’t ask for money from my customers directly. Although in a job, when you go on a job interview, you do ask for money and all that, but you do it once, and then hopefully, the job keeps you alive for 5-20 years.

There is that whole mindset that says, when I have to go out and ask for money, there’s that mental block. You break through these mental blocks when you form your message and try to turn it into a movement. Those mental blocks are to be broken because when you go out into the market, you must be full of confidence that you’re the best person on the planet to be doing business with.

The outreach program brings your message to the world in a concerted fashion, laser-focused fashion. Throwing it out on billboards and pamphlets and YouTube, that’s not going to work. This thing will go out in a concerted fashion to a limited set of people you control. This means if you are a corporate professional and you don’t want your employer to know that you’re trying to build something for yourself. It’s time to stand up on your own two legs. You don’t want them to know because they may have problems with it. Then you have control over who finds out what you’re up to. That’s total privacy and laser focus targeting. The message goes to the people you intend to go out to and it excludes the people you intend should never see it.

Then you have your message. It pulls a set of people who are interested in what you’re saying like a magnet. This outreach program can be done by phone. It can be done on WhatsApp, can be done on Outlook. It can be done on Facebook.

There are different ways to skin a cat. This outreach program goes out and pulls the set of people interested in what you’re saying like a magnet using the magnetic power of your message. And when they get pulled to you, you bring them into something called your business house, which is a set of products and services or tools and techniques or mindset training that helps them achieve the goal they want. The business houses are also structured in a fashion where regardless of whether you make the product, manufacture the product, don’t manufacture the product, and just label somebody else’s product because you deem it to be the best possible product to solve your customers’ problem. Again, there are thousands of ways to skin a cat, but once you build a business house, the customer has to find a guaranteed solution to their problem, regardless of which tool, technique, or product they use.

It doesn’t have to be product focus, it has to be solution-focused. When people roam around in your business, which is your super mall, which has all kinds of solutions available to their problem that they can choose from. Remember that these people have already expressed an interest in what you have to offer; they’ve expressed a need. The trust is already built. They like you, they like your message, they like what you stand for, they express a need. During this outreach program, you get to talk to them; they express a need, you bring them to the business house, by which time there is no selling to be done. The customers walk around in your super mall. They find a host of solutions they can get or that can help them solve a problem, almost all of them available at a fraction of what the next best person can provide them. And we do this using a secret technique called productizing.


Don’t get too much confused. There are two big differences. Many people say I already have a business house, I already have my products and services, I already have a company, that is great. That could form all or part of your business house. You may need to expand your thinking, and you may need to expand the number of options you have for the customer. A business house is something we called #NotTheGame.

Most Indian entrepreneurs get stuck here. They start building a beautiful and expensive mansion to be their business house. They get so tied up doing this that they forget where the real action is. The real action is in the message stage. Your message is 80% of the game, Outreach is 10-15% of the game, and the Business house is 5% of the game. In fact, even if you don’t have a business house, you can bring the customers in and have somebody else promote their products and services to them and get paid at the back end. You can get paid at the front end, you can get paid at the back end too. This is not important because this thing will put you back years and years and years.


We have something called the minimum viable product, which is we aggregate these things together from some other manufacturers at a low cost. We build our own products as much as we possibly can in 90 days. And then, we focus on our message because it is 80% of the game. We call it #TheGame.

All of that stuff I told you about demand generation falls in here (#TheGame). Less than 5% of entrepreneurs in India really have mastered this because they never needed to. It’s a rich economy. People are spending money. You just have to put yourself in the right position, and you will also make money. So people have been focusing on the business houses for the last 60, 70 years. The game is in the message stage. The game is changing. There’s a glut. There’s an oversupply of products, services, salespeople, and marketing people. What you want to do is set yourself apart from all of them, which is this game.

So this is the structure of the Lean Startup.

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