Do You Spend Enough Time Experimenting?

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This morning I found myself diving into a few articles on Inc.com. As an entrepreneur, I enjoy the tidbits I can pull from articles and apply to my current situation in business.

One of the articles I was most caught up in was titled “Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Oprah Winfrey All Use the Five Hour Rule” — I know, it has enough names to truly be identified as click bait.

What actually caught my attention from this article weren’t the names, but instead the “five hour rule”. If you’re at all familiar with Malcolm Gladwell, you’ve probably heard about his 10,000 hour theory. If you haven’t, the basic model is that it takes at least 10,000 hours to be successful at any practice, whether that’s music, art, math, business, etc.

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The author of the article on Inc.com, Michael Simmons, the co-founder of Empact, contends that top performers — the ones mentioned in his title — operate within a Five Hour rule.

I won’t delve too deeply into the article, as you can go read it yourself if you’re fully intrigued. But what caught my attention was his third point on experimentation.

Now, I know a lot of you are already experimenting and probably would consider the vast majority of your career an experiment in brewing science. You may have just read our article on Karl Strauss Brewing’s focus on experimentation.

What I want to emphasize is the importance of experimentation from a brewer standpoint, but also in other segments of your business. While we can all go to colleges or hire people that went to major universities that teach marketing, programming, sales, business strategy or even brewing, it’s important that we don’t forget what makes this industry so unique — it’s the creativity.

Creativity at it’s root is founded on experimentation. As an avid musician for the vast majority of my life, I can attest that almost everything I do anymore is an experiment. Certainly you can pick up your guitar and write a song based on chord structures and guitar theory, but many of the best songs written found themselves experimenting with sound.

Likewise, many of the best beers that have graced our palettes over the past several years have all been designed through experimentation. I don’t even hesitate to state that the brand that you’re reading right now was launched as an experiment. How could we have ever known that you all would enjoy the type of content strategy I had in mind, and would consume our articles in the fashion you do? Cheers by the way for doing so.

Everything in life begins as an experiment and opening up your entire business to experimentation can bring new life to you and your employees.

I challenge you to open your mind to certain ideas the next time you and your team are in a meeting. When someone says, “Why don’t we try this?” Don’t respond with, “But what if it doesn’t work.” Instead, think about experimentation and think to yourself, “But what if it does work!”

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