A start up business is now routinely defined as a high risk venture in the search for a business model.
As highlighted by the teachings of the business generation model and Steve Blank this requires testing a series of hypothesises based around the different components of a business model e.g. whether it be to find out who your customer is? or maybe what manufacturing method to use? (Refer to here).
Scientific research follows a similar hypothesis driven and systematic search for answers i.e. the scientific method. The output of this process is a ‘ YES’, ’NO’ or ‘inconclusive’. The consequence of not getting the answer you were looking for (i.e. a ‘no’ or ‘inconclusive’) is that you have to redefine/hypothesize, re-measure, redesign, retest, redirect your experiment in order to re-test the same hypothesize or test a new one.
Start-up business also requires you to perform this iteration / modification/ pivot your direction in search for the perfect business model as you either confirm or deny each hypothesis. It appears that business itself utilises a ‘quasi-scientific method’.
It looks like the I-Corps programme have taken this on board and have flipped business education of researchers on its head by approaching ‘business start-ups as research projects that they can solve through familiar scientific methods’. The article (also written by Steve) also suggests that the scientific mind may in fact be wired better to take on business start up than MBAs who ‘typically want only to execute a pre-designed business model’ as opposed to scientists who want to test their business models with empirical data using a hypothesis driven approach.
In addition to this similarity, entrepreneurs and scientists also have an uncompromising drive to succeed at what they are doing. Not to mention they are both always on the search for funding whether it be grants or VC dollars.
It seems that these two worlds, that we traditionally think as far apart, are probably closer than we think.
Graeme @ graemefielder.com