If the Internet is a Psychology Experiment, Are You a Psychologist?

We’ve reached a point where startups can base their business model on the rapid testing of multiple prototypes. Scott Adams of Dilbert fame argues that this basically makes starting up a big psychology experiment. If we are in established firms, we need to build some skills to compete in this environment.

Seven Steps to Build Your Experimental Capability

Experimenting is a core innovation skill. Scott Berkun’s book The Year Without Pants outlines the approach that Automattic uses to foster experiments at WordPress.com. It’s a great approach, which you can adapt to fit your organisation too.

Mistakes versus Experiments

One of the reasons that people try to avoid failing is that it seems like they’ve screwed up if they fail. This can certainly be the case, if your failure is major. But if you set up experiments to test ideas out, and you learn from them, then failing can be very productive. Here is […]

Culturematic by Grant McCracken Makes a Great Case for Experimenting

Experiments are a critical innovation skill, and it’s one that you can use to build your Innovation Competence. A culture of experimentation is one of the elements that distinguishes highly innovative firms from those that arene’t quite as good at it. The best thing that I’ve run across recently on the importance of experimentation is […]

How to Improve Your Innovation Competence – Experiment!

Note: This is part of a series of posts explaining the individual parts of The Innovation Matrix. See this post for a description of the full model and what can be done with it. I presented The Innovation Matrix at a conference last week. After the other three speakers in my session had given their […]

Anything You Want by Derek Sivers – “Experiment. Go!”

Experimenting is the key to innovation success. The new book Anything You Want by Derek Sivers is worth a read (there’s tons of information about the book, and some great videos here). The book tells lessons that Sivers learned while running his website CDBaby. My first thought in reading the experiences of one person is […]

The “1-10-100” Rule for Innovation Experiments

I was talking to one of our PhD students this afternoon about his research design. He was trying to figure out how to structure his network survey to learn about how a firm that we’re working with innovates. He is particularly interested in learning about the role of trust in the evolution of innovation networks. […]

All Life is an Experiment

Uncertainty is one thing that makes a lot of people uncomfortable. Unfortunately, in most business situations, uncertainty is a fact of life. Graham Hill made an interesting response to my post yesterday about simplistic, complex and simple models. He said: The real world is complex . Most businesses simplify the complexity to ‘manage’ it. Complex […]

Why Experimenting Beats Benchmarking

In his excellent new book Why the West Rules – For Now Ian Morris tells many great stories while trying to explain the trends in human history from around 14,000 BC to now. One of them jumped out at me – the story of the rise of Portuguese sea power on the back of guns […]

Innovation Through Prototyping and Experiments

I’ve talked before about the importance of experiments in the innovation process. Experiments are essential for two reasons. First, they allow us to be more confident that our ideas will work. If we run a successful small experiment, that gives us some idea of how the innovation might work as we try to scale it […]