Mathematical Modeling

Introduction — the basic concept.

It’s 1975. My college roommate, one James Hoff, is a math genius. I’d always been able to do math and had steadily taken math courses until, in an existential crisis midway through my freshman year in college, I stopped. From there on it was only the occasionally required stats course for me.

Mathematical Modeling —Even Simple Examples Aren’t Simple

Let’s take Hoff’s model of the model and use it with an example that’s simple…way simple…and examine the model: 1 + 1 = 2

Ok, so?

I’m going to be doing a little mentoring on Lean Startup methods. A key component of that is hardening a verbal description of the business’s value proposition into meaningful metrics that allow hypothesis testing…basically employing our most effective learning engine, science, to more quickly evolve a business. I thought it might be helpful to step back and take a close look at metrics themselves.


I decided a year or so back that if I was going to write, I might as well seek readers. I’m replacing my old system (spam everyone I know who might be interested) with a mailing list. You can sign up for that below. I’ll let you know when I publish something.



Berkeley Backpacking Biz Lifer, System Builder, Coder, Community Organizer, Music and Evolutionary Biology Geek. Sign up and my projects at

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