This post is part of a blog series called Media Myths based on my book Lean Media and some of the questions I get from people interested in the framework. To see the earlier posts, check out the myths archive.
Myth #4: Lean Media has only been practiced in recent years
Lean Media techniques have been used by successful media creators for decades, even though the terminology was only developed in the last 5 years. It is not a new fad.
The earliest example that I talk about in the book is Led Zeppelin, a British hard rock band that used audience feedback and a fast-moving creative process to develop its first two albums in 1968 and 1969.
The producers of The Simpsons also used a low-cost, small-team approach and early audience feedback to validate the concept of a prime-time TV cartoon in the late 1980s. It became a global hit.
A more recent example in the book is Minecraft, a successful video game that was purchased by Microsoft for more than $2 billion several years ago. Minecraft was developed by a Swedish game programmer working part time and using online audience feedback and live testing to improve the playability, design, and other elements.