Learn, Share, Grow – The 10,000-Experiment Rule

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Below is an article from on the 10,000 Experiment Rule to drive ideas, as well as key learnings.

The Blue Courage team is dedicated to continual learning and growth.  We have adopted a concept from Simon Sinek’s Start With Why team called “Learn, Share, Grow”.  We are constantly finding great articles, videos, and readings that have so much learning.  As we learn new and great things, this new knowledge should be shared for everyone to then grow from.


Forget The 10,000-Hour Rule; Edison, Bezos, & Zuckerberg Follow The 10,000-Experiment Rule

By Michael Simmons
Serial Entrepreneur / Bestselling Author / Forbes, Fortune, Time, HBR Contributor / Personal Site:
Oct 26

Most people think that Edison invented the first light bulb.

They’re wrong.

In fact, Edison was spectacularly late to the game.

In 1878, when the 36-year-old inventor decided to focus on building a light bulb, 23 others had already invented early versions called arc lamps, some of which were being used commercially to light streets and large buildings.

So how did Edison win in such a crowded field when he was so far behind?

He and his team spent a year working day and night doing thousands of experiments. On October 21, 1879, they succeeded, creating a light bulb for everyday use in the home.

Edison would go on to pioneer five different multibillion-dollar fields with his invention factory: electricity, motion pictures, telecommunications, batteries, and sound recording. In today’s terms, you can think of Edison as Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Mark Zuckerberg all rolled into one.

What was the key to Edison’s incredible success? In two words — deliberate experimentation. For Edison, building a company was synonymous with building an invention factory.

(Continue reading here.)


Key Learnings:

  • Do 3 experiments a day
  • You never know which will be a success
  • To know what to focus on you need to try many things
  • Start each day with not only a to-do list but a to-test list.
  • At the heart of the scientific method is experimentation: develop a hypothesis, perform a test to prove the hypothesis right or wrong, analyze the results, and create a new hypothesis based on what you learned. The 10,000-experiment rule takes this proven power of experimentation out of the lab and into day-to-day life
  • In any given field, the top 10% of performers produce more than 50% of breakthroughs
  • Why don’t we do experiments?
    • We live in a time where we are obsessed with productivity: do more in less time
    • Experiments are time intensive
  • If you do enough experiments, the odds are in your favor
  • One big winner pays more than enough for all the losing experiments
  • Today’s tools allows for anyone to increase their quantity of experimentation
  • 2 steps to change everything:
    • Identify at least 1 jackpot experiment that could change your life – make it easy to do (cost and time), potential to be life changing, reasonable probability to pay off.
    • Run 3 experiment tests each day.  Identify tests at the start of each day, collect data throughout the day, toward the end of the day, analyze the data.  Try it for 1 month.

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