Is Starting a Business More Scientific or Artistic?

7 Mar

Recently, published an article debating how much of a start-up should be science versus art.

In one corner of the ring, is Steve Blanks, a believer that starting a business is more of an art form. Entrepreneurs often go with their gut feeling, as a way to march on with their idea.

Sound a bit ridiculous? A bit too risky? Blanks believes that these gut instincts are the way of the future. He points out these instincts actually come from a lot of pattern recognition, a skill entrepreneurs develop from past experiences and information gathering.

Blank states once entrepreneurs go with their gut instinct, a survival mode kicks in where it is do or die.

In the other corner, stands Kay-Yut Chen, a scientist who thinks just going with your gut instincts can lead to disaster.

Chen argues the entrepreneur must step back and take a hard look at analytics. By taking a closer look at the science of numbers, an entrepreneur will not only be able to decrease their risk but also examine their limits.

Chen uses the example of customer options. Many entrepreneurs jump the gun and believe customers like more choices, when in fact they actually feel overwhelmed. Chen believes if you actually took a little to study how to manage risk, the probability of success increases.

Both Blank and Chen have valid points in their arguments. In an ideal world, Chen’s approach of analyzing every detail would increase your chances of a successful venture. In reality, Blank’s approach may be the more feasible one. Entrepreneurs don’t have enough hours in the day to get to everything and must rely, to some degree, on their instincts.

What are your thoughts?

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