How do you know something works unless you try it out? You can guess and conjecture all you want. You can do field studies, polls and focus groups, but the reality is that most of the major decisions we make are fraught with risk. For example, the Red Sox thought it would be a great idea last year to bring in John Lackey for some veteran leadership. It turns out that the only leadership Lackey provided was leading his teammates to beer and buckets of fried chicken.
This is a fundamental problem that exists in life. No, I am not talking about drinking beer and eating fried chicken. I am talking about the challenge of figuring out whether something will succeed or fail BEFORE it actually succeeds or fails. About 6 months ago I decided to get a new job and I had to make a big decision about where I would go and what I would do. I did a lot of research online, but the thing that ultimately helped me make my decision to join MESH01 was talking to other peers and experts who provided insights I would have never picked up on my own. Conceptually speaking, I was able to validate my hypothesis (i.e. I would enjoy working at MESH01) through a form of empirical evidence (i.e. people that were like me who have tried to do the same type of job and indicated they liked it). Of course, I was still taking a risk, but that risk was greatly diminished.