The scientific method is a very powerful tool used by scientists around the world in the attempt to better understand the universe around us. Humans have been making questions about it for a very long time. For each question, some people come up with their own explanations of what might be at play in the background. This is what they believe to be the truth. This famous methodology has the power to separate the valid explanations from the invalid. Putting it in simple words, the scientist comes up with a hypothesis about whatever he’s studying. For the ones who don’t know, the hypothesis is nothing but a possible explanation for why/how something works/is. To validate this possible explanation about the world, one has to come with tests, that not only show that the hypothesis might be true but also tests for the predictions of that hypothesis as well as tests to disprove it. The last one is probably the most important of all. If after the tests the hypothesis is proven wrong, then it is discarded and a new one comes to replace it. If its proven right on the other hand, we build up our knowledge on it. It becomes one of many of the pillars of our common wisdom.
The scientific method in business
The scientific method is a tool to use in the search for the truth. If our assumptions fail the tests we move on and look for better explanations. For this reason it is also a good tool to use in business.
Looking deeper at the lean startup methodology, you can see the scientific method embedded on it. We assume that a certain feature will double the number of sales for a produt. We build it and release it to the market. If it does increase the number of sales we keep it. Assuming no other feature was added at the same time or any other factor was in play in the sudden growth of sales. On the opposite scenario, we simply make new hypothesis about the costumer’s tastes and habits and we go back to building and testing.
At the beginning of the lean startup methodology we build, and there we aim at a minimum viable product. On the middle we test it, in order to know if the product has the impact we envisioned. This can be done through the implementation of the scientific method. The third phase is learning from our experiments and that happens to be the topic of the next post :).
To learn more about the scientific method read: Scientific method
It is all about knowledge and experience;)
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