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Are You Practicing Bad Science?

Leo Manzione

Could you be building your business upon assumptions that are wrong? How frustrating would it be to start over weeks, months, or even years from now?

Imagine…

  • Creating a product or service that, once created, you can’t even give away for free…
  • Investing thousands of dollars in a marketing campaign that completely falls flat…
  • Finding out that your “bread and butter” product is actually LOSING you money every time you sell it…

Not a fun place to be. Perhaps you’ve been there before.

The key to a solid business foundation is practicing, what I call, Good Science. I can’t even begin to tell you how many business owners I come across who are practicing Bad Science.

While I hope you’re the exception to this observation, it’s still worth revisiting the fundamentals.

Okay, to the science lab we go!

Remember those early days of science class when we all learned about the scientific method? Well, it turns out this process of testing hypotheses applies to more than just using vinegar to make a volcanic eruption. It’s an extremely useful tool to apply in our businesses as well.

The scientific method is the epitome of Good Science. Good Science is what we should be using in our businesses every day to make smart, well-informed decisions.

Let’s take a closer look at this statement and see why it rings true.

I can’t even begin to tell you how many business owners I come across who are practicing Bad Science.

Bad Science leads to confirmation biasHowStuffWorks defines confirmation bias as “the tendency to see data that supports a hypothesis while ignoring data that does not.” It’s essentially when we only see the self-confirming evidence that reaffirms what we think we already know, instead of the full picture.

If you think your product is great, should you assume that your customer will too?

Is the fact that you invested or spent a lot on something a good reason to keep investing/spending?

Should you assume your business and products are profitable without properly checking the numbers?

If you’ve been doing something for a long time, that’s a good reason to keep doing it…right?

The big “NO” that answers all these questions seems obvious. But if that’s the case, why are so many business owners conducting Bad Science every day?

It’s essential that we transition to practicing Good Science in our businesses and keep unfounded assumptions from leading us astray. But how do we do this? Well…

  1. Be explicit when forming hypotheses
  2. List the assumptions your business is built upon
  3. TEST THEM
  4. Be honest with yourself about what the data is telling you.

…that last one is so important. Good Science may not always give us the answers we want, but they are the answers we need.

Take a moment and think of ways you can begin implementing Good Science TODAY. When it’s this important, why wait?

I look forward to your results!

Until next time,

 

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