Reality is inconvenient at times, especially when it doesn’t conform to our assumptions and/or wishful/magical thinking. Instead of relying on assumptions/faith, this blog looks critically at context-relevant research, evidence, and experience as the basis for decision-making. This blog (and website) provides actionable advice, see this discussion for what it means for advice to be actionable. Implicit in our risk-management approach are questions about the validity and credibility of what we think we know, and reducing the risk that we are wrong.
We frequently and unapologetically quote Steve Blank who goads people to leave the office. Steve says “Build it and they will buy is not a strategy, it is a prayer,” “you cannot create a market or customer demand where there isn’t customer interest.” Steve has a point. There is a real risk of your office becoming an echo-chamber of your thoughts and assumptions. You need to leave the office and visit your prospective customers in their natural environment. You need to see them struggle for progress in their respective contexts.
If passion and ill-founded over-confidence are not sufficient, then what is? Use the scientific method to test all of your assumptions. Briefly, the method gets us to make explicit our assumptions and guesses (hypotheses). We then create and perform experiments to determine if our hypotheses have any validity. See the Build, Measure, Learn Loop below.
The explicit goal for traversing the Build, Measure, Learn Loop above is to gather the evidence required to unambiguously and with high confidence make a decision. The decision is to either launch (your solution), abandon, pivot, or repeat another cycle of the loop. Whether it was your preferred one or not, that decision will be an evidence-based outcome.