The Lean start-up achieves success through experimentation and Experimentation involves following a set of processes. With an output focused mindset, the processes seem cumbersome, over the top and a waste of time. When you think you already know what will lead to your desired outcome, experimentation seems wasteful. Just going through the motions of running an experiment won’t aid your learning and will just slow you down; so the experimentation is wasteful thinking becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is something that we need to flip on its head for the Lean Start-up to have a chance of success. It is with a “Learning will lead to Outcomes” mindset that the value of those processes becomes clear.
We can start by promoting belief in the idea that experimentation leads to learning, which leads to outcomes and outcomes are more valuable than outputs. As people increase their belief in experimentation they tend to practice experimentation more rigorously and more frequently. This tends them towards perfect practice, which leads to their experiments generating more knowledge. As they gather more knowledge from their experiments they gain clarity around which outputs are more likely to lead to outcomes. With that clarity they can focus in on a smaller set of outputs with a good chance of producing a positive outcome. The effort saved can either be put towards working on other outputs with a good chance of success or entirely different endeavours. Either way those that apply experimentation appropriately, learn more and importantly deliver improved outcomes.