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Pivot: How Top Entrepreneurs Adapt and Change Course to Find Ultimate Success by Joanne Hyland, Remy Arteaga

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Chapter 11

Business Experiments

The great philosopher Mike Tyson once stated, “Everyone has a plan, till they get punched in the mouth.” Unfortunately, far too many entrepreneurs, including me, have gotten punched and knocked down. I learned the hard way that plans are valuable only if you recognize the fact that plans are snapshots in time as to what you intend to do in the future. Business plans are filled with assumptions, and it is your job as an entrepreneur to uncover assumptions and convert them into knowledge. Blindly executing on a business plan filled with assumptions may make you feel like you accomplished something, but truth be told, all you are likely to do is waste your time and your investors' money. Don't fall into the trap of executing your way to failure.

Converting assumptions into knowledge takes work. Maybe that's why so many entrepreneurs continue to go from idea to prototype to launch to failure. Many of these entrepreneurs are engineers and scientists, who follow the bad advice of friends and family and create products that the market shuns. I find that scientists and engineers are very comfortable in creating experiments to test their technical assumptions, but shy away from running business or market experiments. I am not suggesting that we should ignore running technical experiments; after all, technical is one of the uncertainty types. However, it is just as important to reduce market, organization, and resource uncertainty. The only way to convert ...

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