I have not met Mark Zuckerberg in person, but I always mention Facebook when talking about Lean StartUp, Lean Inception and MVP.


Facebook example is amazing not only because it all started with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), but because the company embraces the Lean StartUp style.


I had the pleasure to facilitate a Lean Inception at Facebook (it was in 2016 at Facebook Brazil). Differently from many organisations planning their first Lean Inception, this one was very easy to organize and to facilitate. Facebook follows a Lean Startup approach and works effectively with MVP. It is in Facebook DNA!


This week I got a confirmation of Facebook´s culture as I came across this letter Mark Zuckerberg wrote to the investors, published by Wired in 2012.


Mark does not use the word ´Lean StartUp´ to describe it. Instead, he calls it the Hacker way. Mark works like this since the beginning of Facebook, which was before Eric Ries and Steve Blank had given a name to the Lean StartUp movement.


I took the liberty to copy a piece of Mark´s letter, the part he explains the Hacker Way,. But I made the following text changes:

  • from ´Hacker way´ to ´Lean StartUp way´,
  • from ´Hacker culture´ to ´Lean StartUp culture´,and
  • from ´hackers´ to ´we´.


Here it goes:


“The Lean StartUp Way

As part of building a strong company, we work hard at making Facebook the best place for great people to have a big impact on the world and learn from other great people. We have cultivated a unique culture and management approach that we call the Lean StartUp Way.

The Lean StartUp way is an approach to building that involves continuous improvement and iteration. We believe that something can always be better, and that nothing is ever complete. They just have to go fix it — often in the face of people who say it’s impossible or are content with the status quo.

We try to build the best services over the long term by quickly releasing and learning from smaller iterations rather than trying to get everything right all at once. To support this, we have built a testing framework that at any given time can try out thousands of versions of Facebook. We have the words “Done is better than perfect” painted on our walls to remind ourselves to always keep shipping.

The Lean StartUp way is also an inherently hands-on and active discipline. Instead of debating for days whether a new idea is possible or what the best way to build something is, we would rather just prototype something and see what works. There’s a mantra that you’ll hear a lot around Facebook offices: “Code wins arguments.”

Lean StartUp culture is also extremely open and meritocratic. We believe that the best idea and implementation should always win — not the person who is best at lobbying for an idea or the person who manages the most people.” — adapted form this letter Mark Zuckerberg wrote to the investors, published by Wired in 2012.


Do not copy the product from great companies. Instead, try to understand their culture and the process they follow to build great products. Tweet this.


The Lean StartUp by Eric Ries. This amazing and epic book has more than a decade! The following book by Eric Ries has even more on the Lean StartUp culture and how it has been impacting organisations and governments: The StartUp Way.


Since 2011, whenI read the Lean StarUp book, I have been helping people align and build the right product in a collaborative and effective workshop: I name it Lean Inception. It is also a book and a movement.


As I was living in Brazil form 2010 to 2019, the Lean Inception book and movement is very big in Brazil, but it is still in its infancy worldwide. Once a month I have an open class on Lean Inception and I often talk about it on large events.