Lean Startup, to Lean Company, to Rich Exit: How to Apply Kenan System's $1000 In, $1.5 Billion Out

Lean Startup, to Lean Company, to Rich Exit: How to Apply Kenan System's $1000 In, $1.5 Billion Out Principles to Today's Startups

By Kenan E Sahin

The turning $1,000 into $1. 54 billion story. . . In 1982, MIT professor Kenan Sahin took $1,000 from his savings and used it to undertake the most extraordinary entrepreneurial journey, culminating with a $1. 54 billion rich exit just 17 years later. This is the story of Kenan's turning his academic theories into axiomatic principles for building a Lean Startup into a Lean Company followed by a Rich Exit.


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Book Information

Publisher: Forbesbooks
Publish Date: 03/26/2024
Pages: 240
ISBN-13: 9798887502496
ISBN-10: 8887502498
Language: English

Full Description

Lean Startup, to Lean Company, to Rich Exit shares the remarkable story of Dr. Kenan Sahin, who took $1,000 in savings and used it to undertake the most extraordinary entrepreneurial journey, culminating with a $1.54 billion rich exit.

Kenan was teaching at MIT in the 1980s and sought to validate his many academic theories in a real-world lab. So he founded a startup to begin testing innovations in organizational development--challenging nearly every business best practice of the 1990s and largely transforming those practices. Among Kenan's critical insights into rich-exit business success include...

  • Suffusing the organization with a "teach and learn, learn and teach" mindset
  • Empowering every team member to practice "situational leadership"
  • Leveraging a lean team with "splitsuit" systems architecture development
  • Recruiting and retaining the nation's finest talent by hiring based on aptitude > attitude > willingness > experience (in order of importance)
  • Turning performance reviews into company improvement exercises
  • Improving on traditional profit-sharing formulas with a "gain sharing" formula
  • Finding a way to reject outside funding and retain full ownership
  • Replacing notions of customer satisfaction with "customer success"
  • Finding the work/life balance that maximizes team productivity
  • Bridging disconnects between sales & production, end-users & IT, management, and R&D
  • Leaping the chasm from a service-based to a product company
  • Combining judicious simplification with ambiguity tolerance to master complex situations
  • Flattening internal communications so anyone can access anyone else
  • Making "smart interruptibility" an accepted practice at every level of the company
  • Developing the "bins, balls, and backplane" framework of modern user interfaces
  • Rejecting the "Big IP Lie" and writing "peace contracts" to drive rich-exit potential

After just 17 years, Kenan's company, Kenan Systems, was acquired by Lucent Technologies and he remained the sole shareholder. Importantly to him, all of his 750+ employees also benefitted from the exit. This is the inside look at how it happened. This is a field-tested framework for building a lean startup into a lean company and then a rich exit--the perfect model for any aspiring entrepreneur.

Since Kenan also pioneered large scale commercial AI and big data systems, the framework and principles of innovation he developed are even more relevant in today's marketplace.

About the Author

DR. KENAN SAHIN is an academic, scientist, inventor, technologist, serial entrepreneur, and philanthropist. Educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he then served on the faculty at the MIT Sloan School of Management, at UMass Amherst, and Harvard.

He founded Kenan Systems with $1,000, growing it into an international company with 750 employees before selling as the sole shareholder to Lucent/Bell Labs.

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