In Eric Ries’s bestselling book, The Startup Way, the Silicon Valley entrepreneur explains how he helped lead General Electric’s transformation from a stodgy industrial era dinosaur into a lean, entrepreneurial enterprise. Yet strangely, as Steve Blank points out in Harvard Business Review, the effort ended up with the ousting of GE’s CEO for underperformance.
Why did such a seemingly promising initiative turn out to be such a tragic failure? To be honest, I have no idea. Maybe the cultural strain of “lean startup” thinking caused the company to take its eye off the ball. Or maybe it was simply a matter of short-term thinking by activist investors. Or maybe something else entirely.