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I feel like the question is mixing 2 things.

One is using a top-down approach versus an iterative approach. The other is about the nature of your problem: do you have product risk or market risk?

The lean approach is about eliminating waste, which, in the context of startups, often means building something small and talking to users. But that's only because most startups have market risk. If you have product risk, you should still iterate on your solution instead of building it in one go.

I feel like you are asking for examples where the market-risk was addressed. The most interesting companies would be those where the first test was a total miss and they solved a totally different problem in the end.






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