PILOT PURGATORY

What is a pilot?

A pilot is a trial run or test for a larger role out of a product or business.

Why are conducting pilots important for innovation?

A pilot represents the opportunity to learn about how all the elements of a business work together before exposing it to the pressure of serving the entire market. It is typically the last stage in the incubation phase of innovation before scaling.

What is an example of a successful pilot?

The athletic clothing retailer Lulu Lemon scaled its business by using temporary ‘pop-up’ stores to test local market demand for their products. This helped them select store sites and develop launch plans.

How does a pilot differ from a business experiment?

A business experiment tests the most critical assumptions in a business model through the cheapest, lowest fidelity approach. This is low functionality approach is very different from a pilot in which the full operation of the business is being tested.

What is pilot purgatory?

Pilot purgatory refers to the difficulty of moving a business pilot, or incubated business, to scale, most often because the leaders or sponsors responsible lack the capacity to act and commit to the investment required.

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