Ilon Mask inspires millions of people around the world. Non-standard thinking, tearing patterns of habitual reality, made him a cult figure of modernity. He is an engineer, entrepreneur, a popularizer of innovative technologies, who sees his mission of improving the life of mankind.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone Mask shared his own scientific method that helps him make revolutionary breakthroughs,
It refers to the first principles of thinking or the ability to start from scratch, which underlies the creation and implementation of all innovations. The approach is to deny the ideas, practices and standards that existed before.
For example, you want to create a truck. You can not think about what trucks are now on the market, how to make a truck better than competitors, etc. You should take into account only that you need something that can move the goods from point A to point B. Well, take into account the laws of physics. Everything else is a topic for reflection and negotiation. You have to find the best solution, even if not at all similar to what everyone is used to.
Unfortunately, human nature is such that we are practically incapable of perceiving what it’s new. Our thinking resists and encounters even obvious facts that break the habitual foundations of our life.
The scientific method of Ilona MMask allows you to look at any challenge with a fresh look. This simple algorithm of six consecutive steps will help the entrepreneur to develop a unique business idea, and the artist to start a new stage in his work. It is universal, suitable for all who are alien to routine and the measured grayness of everyday life. Educate yourself in the ability to avoid the beaten paths and, perhaps, your path will lead you through the thorns to the stars.
The algorithm of 5 steps
1. Ask question
When you are faced with a challenge, do not look for a solution. Instead, try to formulate a key question, preferably one that nobody really asked before.
So, when creating Tesla Semi Truck, Mask used the first principles of thinking that allow you to see the essential core of a thing or phenomenon without stereotypes. This helped him focus on the most important aspects of a good truck – do not just make the truck better than competitors, but make the best truck.
Feel the difference between these questions:
- How can to make trucks even better?
- What does a good truck mean?
Musk thinks in the format of the last questions, which allows him to start work from scratch and create something new.
2. Collect as much data as possible
No, the second step is not the development of a hypothesis. This is the stage of research. For scientists, this stage can consist in carrying out experiments. And for entrepreneurs, it is a survey of experts, the study of special literature or even the acquisition of real work experience in the required field.
At this stage, you can stain your hands, sometimes even literally. An illustration to this stage is the story of how Mask, pondering the idea of his famous tunnel, asked the staff to free parking from the office and begin digging a hole. This allowed him to understand how long the process might take. So work began on this largest project.
3. Develop the hypotheses
On the basis of the data obtained, formulate a number of hypotheses and assign a percentage probability of each of them.
Many simplify the task of assigning each 50%. This will not work. You must take into account all the nuances. Understand how you can calculate the probability of each hypothesis. A superficial approach to this stage will lead you to the DO zone – options for solutions far from innovation.
4. Make a conclusion
Try to refute your conclusion. And ask others about it.
Even if you have enough data to feel confident, you should definitely seek a refutation. Otherwise, you can fall into the trap – take into account the data that confirms your conclusion, and miss those that can smash it.
You can remain at your point of view, but you need to see the weaknesses of your theory.
5. If no one can refute your conclusion, then you, probably found a solution
Note the word probably. This is very important.
Always leave room for new information. Sometimes we reject even the centuries-old theory of the world. Do not take your conclusion as the truth in the last resort, in time everything can change.
It is not necessary to accept wishful thinking. Never ignore the counterarguments. Try to be as objective as possible. Think not as you think. Include critical thinking. And then you will have a chance to solve any problem the way no one has managed to do it before.
And the world around you will be transformed!