“Experimentation Works” by Stefan H. Thomke – A Harvard Business Review Press Book Essentials
We all know experiments work – after all, this is how we got the IPhone, the planes and the vaccines. Yet, Stefan H. Thomke brings experimenting to a whole new level. His heavily-researched book (“Experimentation Works”) looks in-depth at how the businesses can create, develop and adjust their business models without committing too many resources in advance.
“Experimentation Works” is a book about a book – it looks at how a for-profit organization can re-arrange its activities so that they extract maximum value from pre-launching them. Thomke attempts to apply the classical scientific method in research to new business problems. The approach in itself is centuries old – and has been heavily popularized by Karl Popper in his 20th century scientific methods famous book. Yet, so far the method has failed to make substantial inroads in the mainstream business – and this is where Thomke tries to make a serious point about it.
The main issue with experimentation in business remains the risk aversion. Thomke warns that many organizations are reluctant to fund “uncertain-results” experiments – and this creates long-term serious development issues. If a business fails to experiment, it actually fails on a large extent to innovate. And if a business fails to innovate, it will slowly fall behind its competition – which becomes a kind of a downwards spiral.Read More »“Experimentation Works” by Stefan H. Thomke – A Harvard Business Review Press Book Essentials