While many startups are new versions of existing ideas, in our quieter moments all entrepreneurs would freely admit they wouldn’t mind changing the world. Me included.
If we want to do this, then one of the most important things we can do is ignore the facts.
Facts specialise in yesterday. They are by definition an historical account of what we understood or what happened. Even science continues to disprove previously held scientific facts – the most recent being the quantum revolution, which among other things has proven that atoms can be in more than one place at the same time.
In startups we should start with fiction. An imagined world of what we’d like to see or create. We need to remember that the concept of ‘what works’ is by definition really, only what has worked. That ‘the way it is’, can only actually be about the way it was. And ‘the way to do it’, is really just a way in which it has been done.
Our job as entrepreneurs is really about turning today’s fiction into tomorrows facts. While this doesn’t mean we should go live with the fairies, it does mean we should sometimes ignore the so called rational.
Lately I’ve been totally loving the Youtube channel Big Think.
Basically it is some of the worlds leading thinkers, scientists, artists, educators et al, giving their views on important questions in a global society. Heavy kind of social, geo techno political issues. Often they are in short soundbites of under 5 minutes. For me it a nice TED alternative for bed time watching on my iPhone, or car listening (also via my iPhone which is streaming it from Youtube) – which makes me wonder is their a Youtube ‘radio’ app – where it streams only the MP3 file? If not there should be one. Gee, I might have to build it myself.
Check out Big Think – it is big awesome. Over.
Think back to grade 9 school. Specifically your science classes. In science we had a specific method of learning:
Aim / Objective
(back to start)
The thing that the science community do much better than the business world is that they know that the really powerful part of the system is the actual experiment. When scientists speak we hear them talking about the experiments, not aims and methods. The experiement is the focus – not the plans and paper work. This is something the business community must take heed from. It is beyond me why the business world obsess with the aim (forecasts) and the method (business plans). The truth is we’ll never know until the experiment is done.
As entrepreneurs it’s compounded again. We’ve got to experiment more than existing businesses with real revenue. We’ve got to do this because we have no results or conclusions which have formed a refined aim or hypothesis. So the more experiments we do, the more robust our hypothesis becomes. Until we experiment we wont really now what materials we need (which in the business world is referred to as resources). Constant planning refinement is as useless as constant refinement of an experiment method would be. Our focus instead must be repeated experimentation.
It’s only when we do this that our startup has a chance of graduating to become a bone fide business.