The meetup yesterday on the Lean Startup was very inspiring, so I am following up the post with some more thoughts on how can we implement the validated learning concept on various businesses and scenarios. I strongly believe that the Internet and all the applications that have been built on this global network provide us with valuable sensors to touch, feel and understand the dynamics of human behavior. We can conduct experiments, collect data and learn from them. This is precisely what Validated Learning is from my perspective. The classic example is the concept of selling a car through the internet, when someone floated this idea 13 years back, the conventional wisdom was it will never work but I know various examples from Steve Blank‘s book as well as Bill Gross’s interview on This Week in Venture Capital with Mark Suster show how they experimented and did validated learning. Bill Gross is a fantastic ideas guy, check out the full video but if you want to skip to the part about the Car Selling example it is at 0:31:41 in the video. The summary of it is they had just put a landing page with some images of Car with a price tag on it, they had no inventory or distribution or management team or any infrastructure to support selling cars but they did it anyway to learn if anyone would click on the “Buy” button and their idea was if anyone click on it they will have validated the idea a car can be sold on through the Internet, they followed that link to test further hypothesis will a user actually give their credit card information and personal details like address, phone number etc sure enough they put up a form that takes in the information of the buyerand the credit card information. They were surprised to see the orders start to come in, and when it did they physically drove to a Car seller bought the car and deliver it to the buyers. When you think about this, the buyer really does not care whether you are buying it from another seller or not, all he cares about is the convenience of being able to buy a car from his office. They found out that there were many buyers and once they had validated that hypothesis, they built the infrastructure to support growing sales. Actually, I think they took down the site in a day because they could not fulfill the orders that poured in, thats what I can a luxury problem.