Paul Haarman: 7 steps to growing a startup in any market

I have read a book, “the lean startup” by ericries.

It is very interesting and I recommend the book to those who wish to start a business or those who want to revitalize their existing businesses says Paul Haarman.  The reason why I’m writing this article: As you know, we are now in the era of information and globalization at an accelerated rate where superior technology enables disruption faster than ever before. This means that we need new business models and innovation faster than ever before.

The downside with such disruptions is that some industries may not function well (or completely collapse) with such changes, like traditional taxi services with Uber and Lyft! However, it doesn’t mean that every industry will face such risks; most likely only those that are not dynamic enough to continuously increase their productivity. It is also worth mentioning that it is possible for any business, no matter how big or small, to become an innovation powerhouse with the right mindset and process in place.

This article will help you understand how this can be achieved in 7 simple steps!

Step 1: Innovation Powerhouse Mindset

This requires a new mindset where you challenge yourself to create new products, services, markets, and ways of operating using strategies like design thinking, which delivers value by putting people at the heart of its process through empathy. Design thinking helps us build things that solve problems related to human behavior through strategic observation followed by problem-solving instead of relying on traditional research methods(in other words, rely more on customer feedback).  You need to go through this process to design and deliver products, services, and business models that delight your customers.

Step 2: Listening To Customers

It is very important for any entrepreneur or innovator to listen to their customers as one of the most important factors in building better products and services is your ability (and eagerness) to work with those who will buy them! I remember when we started Creative IT, we initially provided clients with hosting services; they were always asking for help to set up their websites and email accounts. So, we started providing website design and development services on the side which was very welcomed by our clients!

Step 3: Pursue Opportunities

In order to identify opportunities, you need to constantly scan your environment for changes in customer behavior, technology advancements, market dynamics, etc. that can be disruptive and provide potential areas for innovation. You also need to generate a lot of ideas and have the courage to pursue some of them even if they seem risky at first. This is where creativity and risk-taking come into play!

Step 4: Build a Team of Talent

You will need a team of talented individuals with different skill sets. Who shares your vision and is passionate about building a sustainable business says Paul Haarman. Make sure to include all the skills that you will need. To support your idea from technical, design, marketing, and finance people. In addition, building a good culture is very important (the company culture can be defined as “the values and beliefs shared by employees of an organization”). So, remember to manage your team well with clear goals in place. In order for them to feel empowered and believe in what they do!

Step 5: Build an Experimentation Culture

Leverage continuous innovation which centers around regular experiments aimed at learning fast via trial-and-error says Paul Haarman. This means that you should move quickly into the market after validating your assumptions using various methods like A/B testing (where two distinct options are compared), multivariate testing (where many variables are tested), and pre-post analysis(comparing the impact of treatment with another). You can start this process using Google Analytics to track your website visitors and collect data. That you might not be able to see otherwise.

Step 6: Build Coherent Experiments

This means defining the goal, hypothesis, and success metrics for your experiment upfront. This way, everyone on your team will understand what you are trying to achieve, how you will measure success. And what they need to do in order to help make it happen.

Step 7: Rinse & Repeat

Make sure that you continuously improve your process by reflecting on what worked and what didn’t work. In order to learn and get better at creating value for your customers. As an entrepreneur or innovator, you should never stop learning and always be looking for ways to improve!


Paul Haarman says building a great product or service is not easy and definitely doesn’t happen overnight. However, if you focus on the customer and follow the steps listed above. You will be well on your way to delivering value that exceeds their expectations!


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