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Post 77

Lean Startup hackers were already there back in the early eighties

02-May-2013

The fancy "lean" adjective that accompanies every rocking tech business issue nowadays is an already old story. I found it out the other day while skimming through Steven Levy's groundbreaking book "Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution".

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Many hackers of the Homebrew Computer Club (HCC) followed these lean principles as a means to avoid building things that no one really wanted or needed:

  • Bob Marsh, following Ed Roberts from MITS company, would announce his product first, and then collect the money required to design and manufacture the product.
  • Lee Felsenstein would incorporate the user in the design of the product.
  • Steve Wozniak would sit in the back of the auditorium of the HCC, where the electrical outlet was, getting suggestions for improvements and incorporating those improvements into the Apple II design.

Considering that all these business approaches were raised during the recessionary period of the early eighties, and that they served the American economy very well, perhaps they should still be regarded of utmost importance nowadays.



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