Research is critical especially for scientists as it forms foundations that later influence further research. Scientists tend to look towards past research conducted by fellow scientists; however for entrepreneurs, this step involves investigating what potential customers are after or what current competitors are doing.
Choosing people from within the target audience, focus-group meetings, and other market research tools can yield useful, relevant, and meaningful data. Looking at competitors can deliver insightful information that can lead to the discovery of how to differentiate and in some case can even be the lightbulb moment needed to find a competitive advantage. Having a unique value proposition is what distinguishes one company from others working in the same space.
Like a scientist would review data from all tests in order to form conclusions and determine if the hypothesis was correct or not, entrepreneurs also need to collect data and review. An experiment in the lab or A/B tests run on a website mean nothing without an objectively, measurable way of recording the results. Qualitative data is quite common in market research and is harder to measure. This type of data can come from focus groups that ask for customer opinions. The information is valuable, but figuring out how valuable the data is can be a whole new challenge. The point of collecting and reviewing data is to form solid conclusions about the hypotheses made in previous steps.
There is much to be valued from the Scientific Method and adapting it for business will bring objectivity and a methodology that involves continually testing and improving product/ service offering. Similar to the way science is constantly changing as new information is discovered, as an entrepreneur, assumptions need to always be tested in order to stay relevant.
Being an entrepreneur is not something you can learn from a textbook. There is no one single reason one entrepreneur is successful and another fails spectacularly. The formula is more than just an awesome idea, it requires a network of resources, motivation and a willingness to put in the hard yards. To increase the odds of success, the rationale behind the scientific process can be adapted and repurposed as 'The Scientific Business Process.'