The Training of Trainers course participants share their thoughts on the course, on various topics taught there as well as other broader innovation related topics in this regular blog post series. In this blog post Minh a lecturer from Vietnam National University writes about her experiences with entrepreneurship and testing your assumptions.
When I first began this intensive training program, I wasn’t sure whether or not I would become an innovation expert or a consultant or create or join a successful business startup. However, now that I have spent some time in the course, one thing that I am sure about is that I look forward to a breakthrough in my career path, a redirection of my interests toward a field, that for a long time I attempted to succeed in many times. Despite my past failures, I have never had any intention to stop learning about entrepreneurship and innovation.
My goal is to learn new tools so that I may equip myself with new knowledge in order to shorten the path that my ideas have to go through thereby succeeding sooner or terminating unfeasible projects sooner. In addition, as a lecturer, I expect my students’ path to success will be shorter than the ways that I had explored.
These new concepts, new tools, and even new methods of teaching formed a thought in my mind: I myself need to change. Speed is the word that comes to mind after the first lesson. Starting up a business is an experience which cannot be substituted. The more we fail the more experience we stand to gain. It is a risk that we take on as entrepreneurs before knowing the end-result. The awareness of and sensitivity to speed helps us recognize and appreciate the scarcity of resources: time, money, and attention. Yet, speed does not mean jumping directly into a potential project in order to gain quick success. If we are conducting an experiment in a scientific way, then we can save scarce resources via simple experiments to verify a lot of assumed ideas in our business model (assumptions). Therefore, speed is important to verify assumptions quickly so we can decide whether to go on or to stop.
Additionally, I realized that doing business is not very different from scientific research because the things in life we see, hear, or think are simply just assumptions and they require experiments to prove. The most important realization is that this course will change me as a business starter as well as my mindset about entrepreneurship, innovation, and startups; and about values in the shape of products and services that we bring to the market. As a trainer, I need to help shape a new way of thinking and acting in this turbulent world, i.e., a new mindset for the 21st century.