Videoconference: Advice for Establishing Research

As research grows its influence, organizations are increasingly aware that they need a research function. More and more of us are taking on the challenge of establishing a research practice as an organization’s first researcher. It’s a compelling challenge—it’s exciting to create something new without the baggage we’ve been saddled with elsewhere. But organizational change is hard. Among other things, first-researchers have to figure out how, piece by piece, to integrate research workflows into the organization’s current context.

In this monthly call we spoke with Dave Hora, who’s tried to make this work at six different places, with varying degrees of success. Dave walked us through three key aspects of bringing research into the organization: what we learn, the kind of work we take on, and the future-foundations we set. Whether you’re a first researcher or have considered becoming one, there is much to gain from Dave’s extensive experience. Even if you’re not interested in being a first researcher, there’s plenty to learn from the first researcher experience about growing research in an organization.

About our speaker:

Dave Hora is the Founder and Employee of the Month of Dave’s Research Company, an independent studio focused on research training and product strategy. He’s an experienced first-researcher, working as the first research hire at six companies including PlanGrid, Instacart, and ResearchGate. Dave began research work in San Francisco in 2010, and founded Dave’s Research Company in Porto, Portugal in 2020. He spent the last fall season on sabbatical as a winemaking intern with a Portuguese winemaker, and plans to produce a few barrels of high-quality, low-intervention wine next autumn.