Building Businesses Is [Or Should Be] A Scientific Process

Many of you who are dabbling in startups or live in the digital marketing world have probably heard these two concepts: The Lean Startup, and Growth Hacking. 
In a nutshell, The Lean Startup is a methodology (which is probably a community and industry unto itself also) that emphasizes on doing interviews with potential users of your startup idea before building anything, helping you build on ideas properly. Growth Hacking takes your idea further through a methodology that studies potential ways for growth (with more focus on digital promotion tools like Google Ads, SEO, etc) through trial and error.

See where I’m getting here?

Both methodologies actually use a process that is probably as old as science itself, better known as the scientific method.

Many of you who are dabbling in startups or live in the digital marketing world have probably heard these two concepts: The Lean Startup, and Growth Hacking. 
In a nutshell, The Lean Startup is a methodology (which is probably a community and industry unto itself also) that emphasizes on doing interviews with potential users of your startup idea before building anything, helping you build on ideas properly. Growth Hacking takes your idea further through a methodology that studies potential ways for growth (with more focus on digital promotion tools like Google Ads, SEO, etc) through trial and error.

Here’s the Lean Startup Cycle:

from theleanstartup.com

Here’s a growth hacking process cycle:

from bluewhaleventures.com

See where I’m getting here?

Both methodologies actually use a process that is probably as old as science itself, better known as the scientific method.

from Wikimedia

While the questions raised by scientists in their research might have a wider or deeper scope, depending on their fields of research, businesses that continue to build and grow ask questions on how to serve their customers better, what product or service to provide next, or even how people respond to their existing products. Existing data on customers can be studied to uncover new insights, or new research processes can be initiated to improve processes, products or services.

The scientific method is especially important for companies that are at hypothetical stage — they might only have a vague hypothesis on what kind of business they are building and what kind of customers it will be serving. Testing hypotheses — or “riskiest assumptions”, as The Lean Startup calls it — through research is one of the simplest and measurable ways to determine whether a hypothesis warrants further follow up or is disproved.

Businessmen and aspiring startup builders might think that building businesses are far removed from the worlds of scientific research, but even in multinational corporations with emphasis on product sales, the best sales forecasting is always done by comparing various data points — comparing earlier sales trends in similar periods, comparing with similar product sales, conducting FGDs and surveys; the list goes on.

Of course, it may not apply to all businesses — some business leaders are notoriously visionary and prescient, even when data says otherwise, and not all experiments in the free market can be measured and compared so rigorously as scientific experiments in a lab would be required to do. Even so, applying a scientific method and outlook to building your business will definitely be a benefit, not a burden.