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When I was younger, the shower was a great refuge. I could think about so many things and it was secluded and not prone to interruption. I would waste a lot of water on showers but I had lots of good ideas from from those sessions. With many siblings under one roof, we often collected different shampoos and conditioners.

As I’d look at the packages, I’d recall the ads for them and how glamorous they’d depict the lives of those who’d use their products. I’d read over the instructions on the package about how use of the product would lead to silky soft hair.

One of those shower sessions, I needed justification to stay and think. Looking at the packages of shampoos and conditioners that accumulated, I decided to experiment… what would happen if I used ALL of them at one time. Would I have the world’s softest hair?

I didn’t get the world’s softest hair. After two back to back shampoos and conditioners, there’s likely to be diminishing returns (or no returns). Of course, this experiment was only conducted once on one person and doesn’t take into account changing the order of the shampooing and conditioning. We’d probably need to repeat the experiment several thousand times to see if there are any correlations. Also, we’d need to compare before and after of hair samples to see the effect — and different types of hair.

We can quickly see how setting up tests can mushroom into tens of thousands of test runs, each requiring time and effort. The real question is how valuable is this information? Does it provide a competitive advantage? In many cases, the information gleaned should yield at least a double digital fold increase in value for it to be worthwhile.

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