This audiobook is an altered version of the Master’s thesis Lean Production Scale-up. How a startup can scale the manufacturing of physical product innovation by Ilkka Taponen. Approximately half of the original thesis has been removed to suit the audiobook format. The audiobook edit has been designed for an audience familiar with startups and business, meaning that large portions of the basics have been removed from the Theory chapter.
Today the market entry for new ideas and entrepreneurs is easier than ever as the digital age is reshaping how business is done. Through digitalization, the business environment has become highly open and widely connected. The combinations of digital technologies like edge computing and artificial intelligence, AI, enable new business model opportunities. In this fast-changing environment, the most important thing is to learn as fast as possible what to do next and what is worth doing at all. Multiple non-fiction books like The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank and Lean Startup by Eric Ries study the modern internet-era startup business environment.
Still, one aspect has not been included in the broader public discussion. The tools presented in Lean Startup concentrate on finding the market fit as efficiently as possible but assume that the same level of uncertainties does not exist in the company's internal processes. “We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters” is a famous quote by startup investor Peter Thiel. Behind the quote is the notion that there is something different and more challenging about developing physical technologies compared to online services. Manufacturing, indeed, is an underrated problem. It is much harder to take advanced technology and bring it to volume manufacturing than to design it in the first place.