What’s one thing that Hubspot, Facebook, Freelancer.com, Google, Amazon, Netflix as well as all those fast growing startups eating away at your revenue have in common? RAPID EXPERIMENTATION.
In his latest shareholder letter, Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, stated that “Our success at Amazon is a function of how many experiments we do per year, per month, per week, per day.”
So he’s basically saying that Amazon's success is the result of the number and the speed of experiments they run.
Jeff Bezos also states, that the need for rapid decision making is crucial when it comes to growth. Being wrong might hurt you a bit.. But being slow will kill you.
The issue we see on a weekly basis, is that many companies only apply this to the tech and product side of things. MVPs, build fast, fix later, lean enterprise etc...but only for product development.
Which is why we should also include the learnings from Google’s former head of enterprise apps, Dave Girouard.
Girouard outlines the same problem: in business, speed is seen primarily as an asset only in product development.
Ship fast, break things!! But for some reason this mantra still isn’t adopted on the business and marketing/sales side of things.
What you shouldn’t fail to grasp is that speed matters to the rest of the business too — not just product. Google is fast. General Motors is slow. Startups are fast. Big companies are slow. It’s pretty clear that fast equals good, but there’s relatively little written about how to embed this speed and rapid experimentation in other departments than just product!
For the past 2 years, we’ve been focusing on training and helping people implement this speed through a process of rapid experimentation. Specifically by training executives, marketers, product owners and anyone in contact with customers.
We’d like to share some learnings we’ve made along the way.
Most experiments will fail (especially as you’re starting out), so you need to test a lot before you get a big win. Don’t lose patience! Especially during those first 5-10 experiments, fight through those as fast as possible and make sure stakeholders don’t stop you.
The more experiments you run, the more the quality will increase. Your first 10 experiments will just be learning how to run experiments. But as you continue to push through, you’ll get more learnings and your rate of success will improve.
The secret sauce to rapid experimentation; it’s not so secret! It’s a process of rapid experimentation.
We’ve developed the GROWS process for rapid experimentation. Here’s a video explaining it in detail: http://grow.ac/GROWSYT
So how long should experiments run for?
90% of your experiments should last 1 week minimum and 2 weeks maximum. If they don’t you’re not designing them correctly.
Check out this article we wrote on why most of you experiments should last 2 weeks maximum: http://blog.growthtribe.io/experiments-shouldnt-last-longer-2-weeks/
Design your experiments clearly.
Take into account all possible blockers before you run experiments. Usual suspects are the “immune system of the organisation” = stakeholder,legal, lack of skills to execute, IT, branding, agencies, compliance, risk, politics and a bunch more that are specific to your company.
We’ll be making a video on how we design growth experiments soon. But remember to at least have a clear hypothesis and define results you’ll consider a success. If you set these success metrics up you’ll know what to measure during your experiment.
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Video URL: https://youtu.be/XBqM17MKz6U