The Art of Experimentation - A Hierarchy of Prototypes


When asked, “What’s the background of your team?” in addition to “incredibly diverse” I’ll say, “At the end of the day, everyone on our team is a brilliant designer of experiments.” That is, they’re more than problem-solving consultants and/or generative designers, they are nimble explorers and adept survivalists. They know how to hunt, gather, and find fertile ground. 

That's the fundamental polymathy that successful innovation and entrepreneurship requires.

In pursuit of this, we employ a myriad of tools and techniques to architect and execute experiments. The image above lays out a basic hierarchy of prototypes we leverage in the course of our work. And we use a governing principle implied in the y-axis to choose the right tool for the job - "what's the lowest level of fidelity that will return the necessary learnings?"

What do you think? What would you add to the above?

- Clay Maxwell, Managing Partner, PI + PI Ventures, San Francisco

Clay Maxwell