Practicing 10,000 Hours

I wrote about the idea that practicing 10,000 hours on purpose and with instruction is a path to mastery. The idea is that hard work can beat out talent.

The founder of Amazon Jeff Bezos offers a variation on the theme. He differs with the idea that 10,000 hours of practice is the key. He thinks experimenting 10,000 times will yield amazing results.

According to Bezos, while 10,000 hours of practice can help you refine skills and gain insight through repetition, experiments build knowledge and introduce improvement faster.

Experiments use the scientific method. You form a hypothesis. You design an experiment to test the hypothesis. You evaluate the results. You do it all again.

Each experiment generates more knowledge. It leads you to a new experiment. More learning follows.

Bezos maintains the more experiments you do, the faster you learn. The more learning that takes place, the faster innovation takes hold.

Practice may work when you are learning how to throw, shot or hit. Experimentation works when you are trying to gain an edge in the business world.