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Experimentation Learning Writing

What I learned from writing to my audience daily

When you’re not willing to experiment inside your organization, you’re leaving money on the table. Find out the root causes behind your hesitation and address those.

There are days I can’t wait to get up. Today is such a day. The dots are connecting in my brain. The framework of my offering is becoming visible, and I’m excited about it. 

Lessons learned

I learned a lot this week from different angles, and a big part of that was your participation in my brief survey. I know that when I need to be creative, I need to hear other ‘voices’.¬†

I was never great at designing interventions without dialogue. Talking things through with other people stimulates my brain. 

Reading your feedback and comments was probably the biggest takeaway from experimenting with writing daily the past two weeks and sending out the survey.

Before I say more, let me start by thanking you for taking the time to answer my questions. I appreciate it because they provide some valuable insights.

My plan for the next weeks is to pick something I learned or read in your responses and write about it. Those lessons will be generalized, and I won’t refer to anybody in person.

The lesson I will share today is that you don’t need daily emails from me. 

Of all respondents, nobody wanted me to email daily, some of you once per week and the vast majority twice per week. So that’s something I will start doing from now on, having completed my experiment.

Why experimentation matters

I’m a big believer in experimentation, and there are several reasons why every company should embrace experimentation in their organization:

First, you can’t experiment without failure. If you’re trying to take all the risk out of it, you’re not experimenting. Deliberate experimentation demonstrates that you’re willing to take risks and engage in projects where the outcome is uncertain. There may be tremendous upside to what you’re trying to find out, but it may also fail. That helps to build a culture of continuous improvement and innovation.

Second, experimentation sends a direct message to people inside your organization that failure is part of doing business. You’re consciously creating a culture where mistakes are accepted, and you encourage people to show courage and accept uncertainty. It’s crucial you back it up with clarifying communication when projects succeed and fail and why (lessons learned).

Lastly, when experimentation is successful, it will help you to innovate and create a climate of continuous improvement. You will leap ahead of your risk-averse competitors, who do not allow mistakes to happen and hang on to the status quo. 

When you’re not willing to experiment inside your organization, you’re leaving money on the table. Find out the root causes behind your hesitation and address those. I’m not kidding.

Cases in point 

Youtube started as a video dating service. “Tune in, hook up” was their first slogan. After they began experimenting with their offering, they became the media mogul they are today. 

Another example. Starbucks started selling coffee makers and coffee beans for those machines. After visiting Italy, Howard Schultz started an experiment to sell brewed coffee. And the rest is history.

Going forward

I designed my experiment (big words for the decision to start emailing daily) to find out whether my audience would appreciate me writing daily to them and whether I would be able to write to them daily.

I didn’t do it just for writing sake but because I wanted to see whether it would increase my subscriber base. Accompanied by creating visibility on social media. 

The good news? I’m able to write to you daily, and I increased my subscriber base. Not as much as I had targeted, but still a good result. 

The bad news (sniff)? You don’t want me to write daily to you.

Starting next week, you will receive my daily insights on Tuesday and Friday. I’ll keep calling them daily insights because I collect them daily. I just won’t send them to you daily. 

And if I miss writing daily, I may still change my mind. 

Thank you once again, and do more of what makes you happy.

Erikjan

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