Optimizing the Experiment Factory

Building a framework for learning from past experiments.

A few weeks ago I introduced the idea of the Experiment Factory as an analogy between a biotech research program and a physical factory.

Like any analogy, it has some flaws.

But it’s worth exploring exactly what the two do and don’t have in common.

Physical factories have linear processes that produce the exact same physical object over and over.

Experiment factories have non-linear processes that produce novel ideas, data and knowledge with each iteration.

But these non-linear processes are typically made of linear pieces that are mixed and matched in different ways.

And while the outputs are unique, the processes typically fall into templates with consistently repeated elements.

So there seems to be enough to this analogy to make it worth exploring further.

And as I explore it, I’ll keep writing about it.

Stay tuned!