Research Report #17:
Learning to Be an Entrepreneur Requires
Using the Scientific Method
Scientific Method Lesson Plan – for Entrepreneurs
The interest in and teaching of entrepreneurship is booming. Global competition
demands more American entrepreneurs, and people want the self-fulfillment
and prosperity that comes from being a successful leader in our creative economy.
Entrepreneurs are noted for having certain personal attributes, such as:
An entrepreneur deals in problems and ideas for we are in the conceptual
age. He or she may be:
An adapter or imitator – finds and uses existing ideas more effectively
An innovator – applies existing ideas with ingenuity and perhaps creativity.
Creative – invents or creates new ideas, concepts, systems, methods,
or variation of these.
Knowingly or unknowingly, the main guide that entrepreneurs follow is the
same method used by scientists for centuries. It is the basic guide to the
way we originate, refine, extend, and apply knowledge in all fields. It is
a complete method of problem solving and decision making for all fields that
includes problem origination, prevention, solution, and challenge of solution.
This method or guide for scientific method activities has many names. It
can just as well be called the complete method of problem solving and decision
making (SM-14). Entrepreneurs use it for their original entry into entrepreneurship
and throughout complex problem solving and decision making activities in this
Suggestions for Entrepreneurs Using Scientific Method
Step or Stage 1 – Curious Observation. Be alert. Think and observe.
Seek problems, ideas, and opportunities. What is needed? A better way? Application
for something new? People dissatisfied?
Step or Stage 2 – Is There a Problem?State the problem as a question.
Define carefully. What is the purpose?
Step or Stage 3 – Goals and Planning. List your preliminary goals,
sub-goals, and plans. Consider time, budget, criteria.
Step or Stage 4 – Search, Explore, and Gather the Evidence. Search
everywhere. Read a variety of publications. Ask questions. Use the internet.
Visit new and used bookstores, libraries. Watch for leads, clues, hints. Use
sketches, models, etc. Enlist group support.
Step or Stage 5 – Generate Creative and Logical Alternative Solutions.
While you are searching, think about new ways, new tools, new methods. Visualize,
brainstorm, experiment. Be progressive. Think reflectively and imaginatively.
List all logical alternative solutions.
Step or Stage 6 – Evaluate the Evidence. Study or chart your tentative
solutions. Get advice, test, experiment, control variables. Use math, artificial
Step or Stage 7 – Make the Educated Guess (Hypothesis). You should
again review and redefine your problem. Then choose the best of your tentative
solutions. Now you have a working hypothesis.
Step or Stage 8 – Challenge the Hypothesis. Hold on! Better do a little
testing, experimenting, thinking. Try to falsify your own solution, not just
support it. Predict results.
Step or Stage 9 – Reach a Conclusion. At this stage, you have reached
a conclusion that is likely to be correct.
Step or Stage 10 – Suspend Judgment. Retain an open mind. Avoid bias.
Continue to be a little skeptical.
Step or Stage 11 – Take Action. Go ahead now and apply all your entrepreneurial
skills to gain acceptance. Work hard, develop communication skills, study
risks, look backward and forward.
Ingredient 12 – Creative, Non-logical, Logical, and Technical Methods
Ingredient 13 – Procedural Principles and Theories
Ingredient 14 – Attributes and Thinking Skills
These supporting ingredients are necessary to use the first 11 stages. You
should teach and use them as part of the SM-14 formula.
If time is short or the problem is less complex, use SM-4, which consists
of Steps or Stages 2, 5, 6, and 8.
Be sure to visit my other websites: www.problemsolving.net and