Willing To Experiment

Willing To Experiment

When you experiment you’re expending energy without a guarantee of a positive result. We naturally avoid wasting energy and so we avoid experimentation. Don’t let that fear control you.


You must be willing to expend energy in order to experiment. Yes, it will feel like a waste.


Thomas Edison was willing to run 1,000+ experiments in order to create a working light bulb. Each test took an investment of energy, focus, money, time, lab space, etc. and there was no guarantee the bulb would ever be commercially viable, even after conducting 900 experiments.


Tests aren’t a waste. They’re the investment leading to your ‘light bulb moments’.


Are You Willing To Run 1,000 Experiments?


You don’t know how many tests you’ll need to run to unlock your current challenge.


Good News: You probably won’t need to run 1,000 tests.


Your latest challenge may require 10 or 15 tries, or maybe just 3! But you don’t know, so you need to be willing to just continue experimenting.


How Quickly Are You Willing To Run 1,000 Experiments?


Keep up the pace. If Edison ran 1 experiment per month it would take him 83 years to get to lucky #1,000. 1 per day it would take him 3 years.


The faster you run your experiments, iterate, and run more, the better.


Starting An E-Commerce Business…


I ran a lot of experiments. I quickly tested a lot of products. I kept them cheap so I could run a lot of them. The first 10 products all failed. I had freelanced to earn that lost money… bummer…


Then, one product worked. Then another worked better. Now, some of my products appear to be doing very well.


I’m now experimenting with Facebook advertising and once again I’m losing money, but I see the ‘light bulb moment’ on the horizon.


How You Can Experience Your ‘Light Bulb Moment’


  1. Don’t Re-Invent The Wheel – Before you invest money in experimentation, invest time in learning what’s already known. It’s free.

  2. Start Small – Keep experiments as small as possible at first so you can run them again and again while making adjustments.

  3. Record Everything – Write down what you learn, even if a test is unsuccessful. This knowledge is the asset you’re after.

  4. Mentally ‘Write Off’ The Costs – Assume you will get no results and that the time and money are ‘gone’. Be prepared for the inevitable ‘failures’ and be pleasantly surprised when something works!

  5. Swap Out Entertainment Expenses – Instead of buying the $10 movie ticket, spend $10 on a test. Pop some popcorn and check the data. Revealing results with real-world consequences can be just as entertaining as a movie.


An experiment is a 1-time expense. Knowledge is a long-term asset. Paying 1-time expense to acquire a long-term asset is almost always a good deal.