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I take a issue with a lot of the points in this article but agree pretty strongly that Ries should have picked a different name than "lean". If you continually have to clarify that you don't mean something else (cheap in this case) then you name is not good. No matter how much you can justify that your audience is being dumb in their interpretation, it is still on you to use a word that gets the idea across without confusion.

This is a problem with every name that conveys actual meaning. If you're trying to sum up something complex in 1 or 2 words, people will inevitably have misunderstandings if all they go on is the word.

He picked the name Lean because a substantial part of the philosophy comes out of Lean Manufacturing. And because an essential part of it is striving to be lean. Works for me.

Yes, but it is a problem that is true to different extents depending on the word. The origins of Ries's philosophy may justify his use of "lean", but if that was not the case, I think it would have been better and possible to find a word with a higher meaning to confusion ratio.

For example? Note that it has to have equal or better marketing potential.

Wouldn't the same be true for the term Viable?

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