How Many Experiments Do I Need To Run?

A teacher said to her student, “Billy, if both of your parents were born in 1967, how old are they now?”
After a few moments, Billy answered, “It depends.”
“It depends on what?” she asked.
“It depends on whether you ask my father or my mother.”

It’s also like that with the number of experiments you need to run, in order to build a new product.

It depends.

On how much of a breakthrough you want your product to be.

Taking this into the Lean Startup realm, before you even start your technical experiments like Altschuller, you can run marketing experiments.

Figure out what your market wants. What problems they have. What keeps them up at night.

Then, when you put your product creator hat on, you’ll make a product which has a chance at commercial success. That’s the bit the Soviets missed.

If you want to find out more about how to run these types of marketing experiments, I’ve got your back. My upcoming book Your First Startup Experiment goes into a lot more detail.

Read it.

Apply it.

Profit from it.

Why the Launch Tomorrow process actually works

Recently I showed up on the Predictable B2B Success podcast. Vinay interviewed me. He originally worked with Dan Norris as his content guy, and is now running a content repurposing agency.

Why Founder Market Fit Matters…A Lot

Back in the day, I was looking into entering the weight loss market with a SaaS solution or coaching services. In theory, it sounded like a great idea. I based it on a “signature success” story of my own. Based on that success, I thought I could provide value, help others achieve the same. But I overlooked the importance of founder market fit.

What I didn’t consciously realize was that most of that actual market was very different from me. I was a young, somewhat nerdy guy, the type of guy who got excited about techie stuff and spreadsheets. And that’s how I achieved what I did in the context of weight loss.

Often new ventures can operate in the same domain as previous experience (i.e. founder-market fit), but the way customers are acquired is different. For example, elephant-hunting enterprise software sales leaders aren’t really a good fit as self-service hosted software founders, even if the core business software vertical is right in their wheelhouse. A killer paid online acquisition guru isn’t a good fit for a venture which requires fostering an open source community for adoption. And sometimes domain expertise can’t be relied on at all when markets are entirely new it’s much more challenging to have founder-market fit for a VR startup when the category didn’t meaningfully exist a few years ago. However, you can still have founder-go-to-market fit in an emerging or entirely new market because the methodology for customer engagement can rhyme with what founders have done in the past. (

Ditto on the consumer side. Someone with experience in a particular industry will sense patterns, how marketing works in that space. And also will have industry friends who can help, if needed.