Research, experiment or do

Research, experiment, do - the top of a row of books on a shelf

VFQ is about discovery. Discovering what’s the right thing to build and how best to build it. It’s about being open and embracing change to match today’s fast-moving, digital world. But, do you always need to discover how to do something?

Well, the answer is no. Sometimes we do know enough to just move ahead. Sometimes we have so little knowledge, it’s best not to jump to experiments.

This diagram shows the relationship between confidence and knowledge.

Confidence vs Knowledge
  • You should explore to learn more about a domain where there are experts to refer to and where you can build on the shoulders of those who have been before.
  • You should get on and build when you have a lot of knowledge (ideally empirical evidence!) and have a lot of confidence in the subject area.
  • You should experiment to build confidence and knowledge.

One word of warning. Experts aren’t always right. There are countless examples of where the experts missed an important insight because their knowledge and confidence got in the way. This happened in the area of DNA discovery and in the area of ulcers and the H.pylori bacteria, to name two.

If in doubt experiment to make progress. If you are looking to do something new and unique, experiment.


As a team decided where you can get on and build because you’ve got a lot of confidence and knowledge, where you need to do research and where you need to focus your experiments.