What the Kobayashi Maru teaches us about testing

In the world of Star Trek, every cadet in Starfleet Academy is required to take an infamous test known as the Kobayashi Maru. In this test a cadet must determine whether to risk their ship and crew to save a stranded ship located in non-federation space, or leave it to certain destruction.

“The test’s name is occasionally used among Star Trek fans or those familiar with the series to describe a no-win scenario or a solution that involves redefining the problem.” – Wikipedia.

It’s said that Captain Kirk went through the Kobayashi Maru twice, trying both available options, but he third time through the test he reprogrammed the simulation so that he could win. He redefined the problem. The only way he was able to accomplish this was through testing.

Digital marketing is full of Kobayashi Maru’s.

Without an iterative approach to testing, any of these potential changes carry the risk of being a no-win scenario in which time, customers and profit are all impacted.

What Kobayashi Maru’s are you facing and what kind of testing are you doing to ensure profitability?

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One Comment

  1. Posted November 6, 2013 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    I love the connection to Star Trek you’re drawing. In marketing there is no such thing as a “no-win scenario”, just a lack of creativity!