If you haven't seen it, Wired.com has a fantastic article on the history of Minecraft. It covers the origins of the idea, how it was inspired by other existing games, and how Notch was eventually able to bring it to the marketplace.
As someone involved in the startup community in Spokane, one quote caught my eye:
“The reason that I released the game so early was that I would never have been able to finish it otherwise. Charging money was the same thing. I knew that I would never feel that it was good enough to put a price tag on. So I charged from the start,” says Markus today.
He might not have known the term "lean startup," but that's the essence of what he did. He created the minimally viable product that he could sell and put it out there. Elsewhere in the article he talks about how he made sure the development process was completely transparent and open for everyone to be a part of.
It's a good read if you have a chance.