Doing Research

Sometimes at work I feel like there's something I'm missing. Something that I'm not doing that the company drastically needs. I work in a startup for the crazy inventiveness and fast iterations. And we are fast, it's quite a sight. But there is no time for proper research or tight enough experiments. Understandably, of course, but in the end research is about saving time.

Be very careful to understand the difference between conducting research experiments and conducting validation tests.

Research is used to formulate assumptions and hone the focus of those assumptions.

Validation tests are used to find out if your assumptions are correct and to collect valuable data that is used to guide you towards product/market fit as a result of optimisation or identifying a potential alternate opportunity (in the case that the original opportunity you set out to seize isn't one worth seizing/you aren't capable of executing what is necessary to seize it)

from reddit: What is research?

What usually ends up happening is we have an assumption - then we develop the prototype and see what happens. Seems legit, right? Only problem is the assumptions are never written down or articulated. When experimenting we're not totally sure what exactly we're experimenting with. The product moves forward in the end and better results come, but I keep wondering if there's a framework that would speed up the process and get more clear answers with less developing. The Javelin experimentation board seems to be one, but somehow it doesn't quite fit our use case. Need to look into the why.

I suppose what would help a lot is more of those meetings that feel like not getting anything of value done. I'm a productivity freak and I don't fear the unproductive meeting - I squeeze what I need out of them. So a meeting that would put all assumptions on the table and figure out what is testing and how.

At many of my previous jobs - research (or the act of generating ideas) is what is always missing. The more conventional the company the more it's lacking. Personally I can't work without it, I've quite those jobs. I find research just as important as doing the work itself. Makes sense, right? Before you spend a month building something you take a day or two to find out if it's even worth making.

Okay. perhaps I've gotten it out of my system. I'm sure this will work itself out into something I'm satisfied with. The team is very open and flexible and anything we do seems to have a good reason, I just don't know all of them.

Krister Viirsaar

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