MailChimp, one of the well known names in e-mail marketing wanted to up its eCommerce game. Did they hold a summit, spam folks with surveys or hire an expert in the space? Nope, they took a far more straightforward approach: they opened a web store themselves.
You can check out the store here.
It's the brilliant treat the problem like an experiment approach to problem solving that's not about success or failure, but about collecting data. Does the store crash and burn? Well there you go, now you know first hand the frustrations of life in the digital marketplace.
Naturally, the team at MailChimp will need to remember that their data set is a so called N of 1, so they shouldn't read too much into any specific aspect of their experiment. But I'm willing to bet that they learn far more by trying than they would be sitting passively on the sidelines.
Bottom line: want to understand something? Just Do It!
Update: You can read about the evolution of the store here.