Only on Kickstarter: THE LEADER'S GUIDE by ERIC RIES

Created by Eric Ries

A 250-page exclusive book + a backer-only community for new and experienced practitioners of the Lean Startup principles.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Getting the ball rolling
almost 4 years ago – Tue, Aug 11, 2015 at 03:56:15 PM

Dear backers,

After devoting much of the last two months to writing, researching, and conducting interviews, The Leader’s Guide is on its way to becoming a book. We’re now in the process of mapping out a more detailed editorial schedule and seeking out the rest of our publishing team, including a designer, copy editor, and compositor.

In the meantime, we have been preparing to launch our Beta Tester Community on MightyBell. MightyBell will roll out their first wave of invitations today and continue throughout next week. Keep an eye out for an email from domain name.

We have also invited you all to become part of The Leader’s Guide on BackerKit. These invitations were sent on June 29 from the domain. If you did not receive one, please check your spam folder before notifying us in a message or comment below.

The BackerKit link in these invites should have been taken to a page containing our fulfillment survey. 68 percent of you have filled out this survey but it’s crucial that we raise these numbers before July 29—the deadline that we’ve chosen to lock down survey responses. If you do not fill out the survey, we will not have your shipping address on file and will not be able to ship you your books and bonuses.

July 29 is also the last day you will be able to get items through our BackerKit shop, which features some add-on items that we have made available for a few more weeks. The add-ons were designed specifically for backers who would like to add to their existing Kickstarter pledge.

We are also offering discounted Lean Startup Conference packages through BackerKit for a limited time. These packages include registration and an exclusive Leader’s Guide Workshop, a practical session where attendees will learn directly from examples used in the book, delivered by people featured in the book. Lock it in now to get a pass at our backer-only price.

Many of you have asked us when your rewards and bonuses will become available. We have been hard at work preparing a fulfillment timeline, which we will share with you soon. We will start distributing select items like the Mobile Startup Pack and Lean Content Course this week, so stay tuned.

We have been working closely with our donors to schedule experiential rewards. If you selected one of the following rewards, a member of our team will reach out personally:


Please keep an eye on your inbox and respond ASAP so we can get the ball rolling.

Thanks for your support!


Surveys + The Backer Community
almost 4 years ago – Wed, Aug 05, 2015 at 03:23:00 PM

Dear backers, 

Thank you once again for your support! My team and I have been busy figuring out all the logistics and fulfillment details and I want to give you an update.

We’ve been reaching out to our generous rewards donors and putting together a calendar of events, experiences, and delivery dates for the rewards you’ve all pledged for.

As I mentioned in my last update, I announced our partnership with BackerKit (you can read more about it here). I’m very excited about their platform.


We’ll be sending emails with a special link inviting you to BackerKit to fill out our rewards survey very soon. 

Filling out the survey will ensure that the fulfillment process goes smoothly so you can get your rewards as soon as possible. Please be sure to fill it out promptly. 

Many of you have written to us with questions about your pledge level, or updating your shipping or billing information. We’ll be able to handle all of that via BackerKit. 

Further, as a special bonus, BackerKit offers the ability to buy “add-ons” which are an a la carte selection of some of our most popular rewards. Some add-ons will only be available for a limited time (two weeks), which is something to keep in mind when you make your selection. 

If you use Facebook to log into Kickstarter, the BackerKit invite will be sent to the email synced with your Facebook account. If you have another email you’d prefer to use, please send us a direct message. 

You do not need to create a login and password to fill out your BackerKit survey. Simply fill it out once you get the link. If you decide you've filled out something wrong in your survey, you can return and edit your responses until I announce a cut off date for changes. 

If you have any questions, let us know! 


As I dive back into the research and writing process for The Leader’s Guide, I’ve found myself with many questions about everyone who backed the campaign. What kind of companies have you built or do you dream of building? What roadblocks are you facing as you try to drive a lean transformation throughout your organization? What are the biggest threats to your company’s ability to compete?

In short, I’m eager to learn more about The Leader’s Guide community. And since we’ve gotten a number of questions about when our backer community will be up and running, I know a lot of you are ready to start learning from each other.

After weeks of evaluating various tools and platforms, we picked an awesome partner to help us get the community platform up and running: Mightybell. Because their software was built to enable members of professional networks to learn from each other faster, their platform seemed a natural home for The Leader’s Guide community.

On July 1st, we’ll be sending those of you who backed at a level that included a copy of The Leader’s Guide an invitation to join the network, which will go live in early July - so stay tuned!

In the meantime, my research team and I have been busy gathering more case studies from growing startups, entrepreneurs working to drive lean transformations within their organizations, and non-profits who are utilizing Lean Startup techniques. Hearing these stories is one of the highlights of my work, and I look forward to sharing them with you.



What we've been up to...
almost 4 years ago – Tue, Jun 23, 2015 at 12:17:14 PM

It's been a while since our last update so I wanted to share a little about what we've been up to since the campaign ended.

A lot of you have been asking about when you'll be receiving the stretch goal bonuses, upgrade specials, and other content that will be available months before The Leader's Guide. We have been busy working out the details with a fulfillment partner, which we are pleased to announce is BackerKit. BackerKit's software allows backers to update their own shipping information and assists us with delivering surveys and collecting backer data for my next book. Best of all, the platform includes add-ons which gives backers a second chance to purchase items that they missed during the campaign. We'll have more information about exact delivery details shortly. Stay tuned!

As thrilling as the campaign was, it would not exist without the stories, case studies and tools that I'll be including in The Leader's Guide, and so it’s been great to return to the editorial side of things. I've begun combing through piles of material and thinking about the writing and research that needs to be done. I'm diving into other books--and beyond--for inspiration when it comes to the structure and design. And I'm mapping out an editorial calendar for the various editions of The Leader's Guide and the mini digital books.

I’ve been so humbled by the support and words of encouragement I’ve received before, during and after the campaign, and I’m working hard to ensure that The Leader's Guide exceeds your expectations and that the backer community supports your entrepreneurial endeavors long after you receive your copy. I plan to deliver on my promise to create something awesome for everyone who put their faith in this project.

I’m so excited about this book, and I can’t wait to share it with you all.



Thank you!
almost 4 years ago – Fri, May 29, 2015 at 08:40:41 AM

This has been an enormously rewarding, fun (hectic!), and educational experience. I cannot thank you enough for all of your support over these past 30 days (and beyond).

Throughout this process, your feedback has helped us shape the direction of the campaign and has contributed in significant ways to its success. Together, we’ve created a community of nearly 10,000 people who will be sharing their experiences and learning from one another (myself included). I can’t wait to get started.

I also wanted to thank my team for all their incredible hard work and dedication to making this campaign a success.

Details on the delivery of rewards to come soon. But for now, please accept my deepest thanks.


Reminder about my hour-long AMA today at 1:30 PST — and a breakdown of all the stretch goals and upgrades!
about 4 years ago – Sat, May 09, 2015 at 09:19:44 AM

I wanted to remind you of my hour-long AMA right here in the Kickstarter comments today, April 9th at 1:30 PM PST. It's only possible to be a part of the AMA if you are a Kickstarter backer.

If you have questions about the campaign, The Leader’s Guide, the Lean Startup methodology, or anything at all, now’s your chance!

Another stretch goal!

Congrats! You just unlocked the latest stretch goal so everyone in the campaign will have the chance to attend a free hour-long Q&A with 500 Startups’ Dave McClure and me. Details forthcoming.

OK...what am I getting?

We’ve added so many stretch goals and upgrades in the last couple of weeks, so we wanted to give a quick run-down of everything you are getting.

ALL backers will get: Free content, courses, tools, virtual events, and events

  • A free Value Proposition Design & Testing webinar with Strategyzer cofounder and author Alex Osterwalder (a 30-minute presentation and 30-minute Q&A). 
  • 15% off 500 Startups’ WMD Conference (just use the discount code “KICKSTARTER” when you register).
  • A free hour-long Q&A with 500 Startups’ founding partner Dave McClure and me. 
  • Access to the Lean Content course, created by two-time Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner Ondi Timoner and me. 
  • Exclusive Value Proposition Design and Testing posters from Alex Osterwalder not available openly on the internet 
  • A 100-page excerpt of Alex Osterwalder’s Value Proposition Design and a 70-page excerpt of Business Model Generation. 
  • A digital copy of their choice of books from O’Reilly’s Lean Series. 
  • 3 months of access to Safari, which includes over 30,000 books, video courses and conference talks on topics like leadership, design, core programming and more.
  • Twilio is offering a 20% discount on SIGNAL conference tickets to all backers (just use the discount code “LeadersGuide” when you register).

First-come, first-served access to events!

  • All backers are eligible to attend one of 11 international workshops from our corporate sponsor Pivotal Software. Space is limited. More info to come. 
  • The first 20 backers who responded to our survey are eligible to attend our corporate sponsor Twilio’s Signal Conference for free. (Twilio will be notifying winners shortly.)

Additional bonuses for backers of specific reward levels

  • Everyone who backed the “Developer’s Pack” or the “No brainer” pack gets a $500 credit on purchases of team accounts for 2+ users for 1 year of Safari access. 
  • Everyone who backed a package designed for teams (such as the "Two-Pizza Team" package) will receive a $1000 credit on purchases of team accounts for 10+ users for 1 year of Safari.
  • Everyone who backed any of the Experiential packages ($2000 and above) will receive a 1-year subscription to Safari for you and up to 10 members of your team (a $3,990 value).

Upgrade run-down

  • Brad Feld upgrade: The first 50 people that increased their pledge by even $1 will get a signed copy of one of the following books by Brad Feld: Venture Deals, Startup Boards, Startup Communities, Startup Life, or Do More Faster. 
  • O'Reilly upgrade: The first 50 people that upgraded their pledge to a higher level reward will get the complete 7-book set of the O’Reilly Lean Series PLUS one year of Safari access for their team. 
  • Alex Osterwalder upgrade: The first 50 people that upgraded their pledge to a higher level reward will receive a copy of Value Proposition Design, signed by Alex. 
  • 500 Startups upgrade: The first 10 backers that upgraded their pledge to a higher level reward will receive 10 comped tickets to WMD.

By now, we’ve notified everyone who was eligible for the upgrade specials.

When do I get everything?

We’ll be sharing information about downloads and dates and details for events as soon as we have it, after the campaign ends.

That’s it! (For now, anyway…)

Phew! I hope you’re as exciting about these bonuses as I am. There’s less than a week left in the campaign, but we have a few more surprises in store, so stay tuned.

Thanks again for all your support!