Previously, I asked what kind of leader you wanted to be. In it, I struggled with the question of the tradeoffs of misrepresenting ground truth. Suppose you work at the WWE and you need to make a business decision. Somebody literally believes that it’s all real. You need to make a business decision about a contract renewal. What kind of harm are you doing to them, and to yourself, in going along with their belief, something that you know yourself not to be true? Absurd? Yes. Beliefs are absurd things. Later that month, I was asked why I was so sure that WWE wasn’t real? Why was my version of ground truth any more legitimate than somebody else’s ground truth?[…]

What a fantastic read from Camuffo, Cordova and Gambardella! If you haven’t read A Scientific Approach to Entrepreneurial Experimentation, you’re missing out. It’s a great read. And not only because it reinforces my own preexisting biases, but also because there are challenging bits in there. The core finding is “We find that entrepreneurs that behave like scientists perform better, pivot to a greater extent to a new idea, and do not dropout less than the control group in the early stages of the startup.” The authors focus on a key behaviour that scientists exhibit. A scientist has two types of skepticism – skepticism that something is true, and skepticism that something is not true. Those represent two types of error, helpfully[…]

W1A is so much fun because the main character, Ian Fletcher, tries. And he fails. But he keeps on trying. And even though Ian isn’t aware of the character flaws that cause him to fail, he persists in trying. Ian Fletcher’s tragic character flaw, the source of so much of his pain and anguish throughout the series, is his optimism. That’s what makes it funny. I hope you’re finding this blog, and the twitter feed, funny. Because like Ian, I’m struggling. Like you, I’m composed of a couple thousand hours of meetings, deckage, talks, seminars, code, charts, stories, bullet points, facilitation, deliberation, analysis, email, papers, and pure rage. My stance as a scientist has informed the tools that I use,[…]