An experiment is something you do to test whether an assumption is true or not. The results maybe positive or negative. Either way you learn from the experiment. To conduct good experiments you have to be indifferent to the outcome. Don’t take things personal if an experiment fails.
So over time we have come to the realization that what you usually believe you know about your customers and the market are merely educated guesses. Talking and engaging with your customers will enable you to turn these assumptions/guesses into facts and as such will help you create better products, services and businesses in general.
The way we have developed products at our cottage factory is through experiments. We conduct very cheap small scale experiments to test whether a product might be viable. We test for ease of production, profitability, raw material availability, market availability, product/market fit, etc. Once the minimum viable product meets this criteria, we then gradually scale up as the market picks up.
The way to grow and scale a cottage factory is to conduct many experiments. Most will fail but a few will surprise you and succeed.
(In this picture: experiments on a new possible product underway at our cottage factory).