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Experimentation Works: The Surprising Power of Business Experiments

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  132 ratings  ·  24 reviews
When it comes to innovation, relying on intuition won't cut it anymore. Whether it's improving customer experiences, trying out new business models, or developing new products, even the most experienced managers often get it wrong. This is especially true in the online world, where predicting customer behavior is virtually impossible.

Managers can, however, discover whether
...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published February 18th 2020 by Harvard Business Review Press
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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Greg
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Leading innovation in organization requires experimentations. We wouldn’t know if our ideas will stand the test of even a short time if we haven’t tested it using the scientific method.

This book is full of exciting and deep insights on business experimentation. It lays the foundation of what it means to conduct business experiments as well as the possible hindrances towards its adoption.

The books also helps organizations dealing with so many uncertainties to develop the discipline of experimenta
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Lukas Vermeer
Oct 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There are lots of books that explain in detail how to design and execute a randomized controlled experiment. This is not one of those books. Instead, this book sheds some much needed light on the questions of why and how organizations can utilize experimentation at scale to drive evidence-based customer-centric innovation.

“Large-scale testing is not a technical thing; it’s a cultural thing that you need to fully embrace. You need to ask yourself two big questions: How willing are you to be confr
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Andreas Aristidou
Mar 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Overall I found this to be a great guideline – a must-read for any business/organization thinking about implementing experimentation. The author takes us through countless examples of companies and organizations who have embraced an experimentation culture. Throughout those examples, he exposes readers to the hurdles and the benefits of becoming an experimentation organization. His vast experience in this area shines throughout the book.

While the book touches upon the math and statistics of exp
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Alexandre Blanco
Jun 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
After reading this book you realise why companies such as Zara, Amazon or Booking became leaders in their markets and especially how top performers are adapting and shaping the market by trying and trying in a high-speed way under today very uncertain and changing scenarios. They do it through extensive experimentation. Prof. Thomke describes in precise and understandable words for non-scientist readers the experimental design method (deduction, induction, abduction, the use of controls…) and ho ...more
Paulo Peres
O livro é um bom exercício de forma técnica sobre como pensar, fazer e implementar a Experimentação dentro da empresa. É fortemente baseado no estudo do autor da empresa Booking.com, mostrando também muitos exemplos da Microsoft.

Um dos maiores ganhos que o autor nos entrega é a mudança de mentalidade que Testar / Experimentar nos traz: o incrementalismo é importante para a inovação! Testar sempre e de forma rigorosa e bem montada, traz sempre lucros. Small and continuous change! Tanto para uma e
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George Mount
Oct 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Relatively good introduction to business experiments. In particular the author did a great job explaining the organizational/cultural implications of experimentation. However the examples were nearly entirely taken from digital business (It read like a pamphlet for Booking.com at times.).

The author himself stated one of the "myths of experimentation" was that it couldn't apply to "analog" business, but didn't go into nearly as much detail on them (Did I mention the author enjoys writing about B
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Jacob Mainwaring
Sep 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Fairly introductory and not a lot of new information here but a good overview of experimentation/why it works. Reminded me of how much I love the topic. Our intuitions are often wrong and real change usually takes place through small, iterative product changes. Chapters 3 & 5 are worth coming back to, especially the case studies around booking.com and Microsoft. I was less interested in the sections about how to make your organization more experiment-driven because this is already the case at mo ...more
Sukhveer
Apr 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
While overtly prescription at times (e.g., 7 attributes, 5 lessons etc.), the fundamental premise of using to scientific method to making all decisions including the business decision makes for rather persuasive reading. There was a bit of an over reliance on Booking.com example as many will find it hard to translate the methodologies to more complex and regulated industries such as healthcare. Thought provoking nonetheless and well argued thesis.
Cassie Grimm
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great for marketing professionals and beyond

I read this book because I listened to a podcast about experimentation a few months ago. Since I recently started working at a digital marketing company I thought it would be useful to dig deeper and read the book. To be honest, it was a bit boring for me so I kind of power-read it, but I certainly gained a few golden nuggets of information that will help me excel as an HR manager in a marketing company!
Jaime Moncada
Jan 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: leídos
Cuando se trata de mejorar la experiencia de los clientes, probar nuevos modelos de negocio o desarrollar nuevos productos, incluso los gerentes más experimentados a menudo se equivocan.
Este libro brinda una perspectiva y un marco de trabajo sobre cómo implementar una cultura de la experimentación y del testeo sobre todas las iniciativas utilizando el método científico en la toma de decisiones empresariales.
Emmanuel Freddy
Jan 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
A great book to read if you are looking to start up an experimentation culture on your team/company. Lots of examples given mostly in the context of bigger companies but a lot of applicable principles to smaller companies too. Helps you understand the power of experimentation and better convey it to people who might not.
Dianna
Jan 11, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Advertised as a book about experimentation in business, it was focused on large companies with lots of traffic and data, such as Amazon and Booking. There wasn’t a clear way for those in other types of businesses to apply these methods. Some good information about applying innovation and gaining acceptance throughout an organization.
Samah Soliman
Mar 31, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: work
Regardless of the fact that I almost had a nervous breakdown trying to finish this book on time for a work deadline, I find the book to be repetitive and lacking structure within chapters most of the time.
Good introduction to business experimentation, though. Quite insightful.
Shabana bi
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jerome
Mar 14, 2021 rated it it was ok
Too academic. Useful for people working in tech
Lendl Meyer
Apr 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
I appreciated all the examples and case studies. First few chapters were pretty slow, though.
Mark E.
Nov 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Practical examples of how to improve experimental approaches, particularly for consumer products
Lee Barry
I did only a cursory reading, but I can see how this would be of great interest to people that are involved in business innovation.
Can Karakulak
Sep 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Best business book I've read in 2020 so far. ...more
Terence
Nov 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: business-read
If you aren't sure if experimentation is right for your company, then this book is for you.
I was disappointed because I was hoping this would go deeper than just making the case for experimentation.

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George Hipp
Jun 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Good book to read if your attempting to transform an organization from one led top down with decisions made by instincts to an experimenting organization led by innovation suggested at all levels, selected by the scientific method. This is not a statistics book and there is no advanced math or methods, it is a study of organizations who rely on experiments to make decisions and a framework to develop the skills in any organization. It is a ton of work, and is important. This book explains why, e ...more
April
Mar 22, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I went back and forth a bit on my perception and application of the material chapter to chapter. In my opinion there was a bit much on the web/site side of experimentation. I’m looking for day to day application no matter where people are within the organization. Curious how others have applied experiments to their every day.
Silvia
Oct 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Experimentation* is important in companies but as the author showed the ability to try thousands of things of which only 5% are successful is reserved to companies that already did it. I'm not sure Google or IBM or booking.com would have been so open to experiments in their early days. All in all, the author made his point. I think this book is perfect students as reading in graduate studies or for business owners that have a profit and want to grow their business.
* - I got this book in advance
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Darya
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Innovation is the key strategy for survival today. The world of technology and entrepreneurial minds is booming and companies who do not transform into digital, do not innovate in the right time have less chance for survival. This book is a very comprehensive practical guide to innovation from idea to testing and understanding the results.
Jakob Rak
rated it really liked it
Oct 22, 2020
Stein
rated it it was amazing
Aug 19, 2020
Winston Charles
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Oct 07, 2020
E Ouwehand
rated it it was amazing
Jan 23, 2021
Alexander Atzberger
rated it it was amazing
Sep 07, 2020
Kevin Sheth
rated it it was ok
Jun 14, 2020
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“It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t make
any difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name
is. If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it. —RICHARD FEYNMAN, PHYSICIST,
TEACHER, AND STORYTELLER”
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“When you can measure what you are speaking about and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of meager and unsatisfactory kind: it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely, in your thoughts, advanced the stage of science, whatever the matter may be.” 0 likes
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