Apr 21, 2020

How rapid experimentation can help you survive and thrive in these challenging times

We truly live in interesting times. For fans of Nassim Taleb, it’s like we’re living through two of his books: the black swan and antifragile. Black swan events are unpredictable and unprecedented and shake the global economic machine to its core. Some could argue that the Coronavirus pandemic is exactly that. Being antifragile means that an organism actually gets stronger from stress. For example, your muscles are antifragile: if you stress them (e.g. in the form of working out) then they will get stronger and more resilient over time.

Here’s a question for you to ponder: how antifragile is your organisation?

This question will determine which players merely survive and which players thrive in these unprecedented upcoming months. How can you make sure that your organisation will be in the latter group?

Winston Churchill once said that one should “Never let a good crisis go to waste”. In other words, there are hidden opportunities to be found in even the darkest of times.

Rapid experimentation will increase your chances of finding those opportunities.

Rapid experimentation has arisen out of Silicon Valley in recent years as guiding philosophy to find success in any part of a business. Whether you’re aiming to find product-market fit, new tactics to fuel your growth engine, the best features to launch to your customers or how to up-sell your current customers to buy more, rapid experimentation will increase your likelihood of achieving your goal fast.

The idea behind rapid experimentation is simple: the more you experiment the more you learn. The more you learn about what works and what doesn’t work, the faster you can apply those learnings and reap the benefits. Many Silicon Valley companies live by this ethos.

Jeff Bezos, for example, has said in his Amazon shareholder letters: “Our success at Amazon is a function of how many experiments we do per year, per month, per week, per day. Being wrong might hurt you a bit, but being slow will kill you”.

Now, more than ever, speed is incredibly critical.

Here’s my tip to you: increase your antifragility by adopting the mentality of rapid experimentation.

I’ll be running a webinar on how to actually do rapid experimentation on Thursday 7th May together with Epicenter. You can reserve your spot here. Hope to see you there.

Stay antifragile!

Anssi Rantanen
Finland CEO, Growth Tribe Academy

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