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Experiment

There’s a problem you need to solve. You have an idea that you believe will fix it. You put a plan together to implement your solution to the problem. You build a solution, taking a few months or even years to get it exactly right, just the way you want it. Then you launch to market, expecting to be on next month’s cover of Time.

But it flops. No one comes knocking on your door for that interview.

You review your project plan, your business case, your everything, with a fine-tooth comb. It should’ve worked, you say to yourself.

But it didn’t.

Too often we rush headlong into our ideas, thinking they’re definitely going to work. It’s a combination of Optimism Bias and the Overconfidence Effect. What we should do to counter this is to run experiments. Put some feelers out into the market first. See if there’s a valid need for a solution, and if so, whether your particular solution is something that sparks interest in potential customers. Test your solution in a really basic form with real customers and gather careful metrics about the performance of the solution. This lets you know quite quickly if you’re on the right track before wasting valuable time, money and energy. It may even spark a greater idea.

Avoid disappointment early. Run some experiments. It’s all the rage, you know.

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