Hypothesis Testing

Welcome back! Today I’d like to talk about something very important – testing the hypothesis that comes with your business.

Why is this so important? Well, because there are plenty of repercussions to getting this wrong! Seriously. For example, if you wanted to start a new Argentinian restaurant (all the examples I’ll be using here are food based to keep things general) you’d need to know without any doubt that people in your community actually WANT Argentinian food.

You need to be able to separate your own biases and personal experiences from cold, hard data. It is easy to get clouded by judgement on your own behalf, and it is even easier to get useless feedback from your friends and family. This happens all the time though – most of the time your friends and family are quick to tell you all the good stuff about your idea, only because they are afraid of hurting your feelings. This is a large part of our culture, and it’s unacceptable when you want good feedback.

In order to develop and test your hypothesis and market demand, you need to actively seek out negative and constructive feedback. Positive feedback is useless, because it does not help you achieve anything at all. I’d much rather hear about why you think my business model won’t work, because that is more useful to me than someone blindly telling me to ‘follow your dreams’. Bullshit.

Go out there and actually talk to customers. Figure out what they actually like, and don’t like. Most of all, do NOT take lip service seriously. Most people lie, whether they mean to or not. What someone says they will do isn’t necessary behaviour they will follow up on later.

To ACTUALLY test a hypothesis, it is much better to observe behaviour. That is the kind of stuff that will actually help you develop a correct intuition of your business. For example, instead of opening a full blown restaurant, maybe try a small snack stand, or give out samples of your food to get feedback first, before dropping hundreds of thousands on renovation work for a restaurant that potentially nobody might visit.

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