After presenting at a workshop, one of the delegates came to me to seek my opinion on an idea she has been holding dear in her heart for a while.
After guaranteeing her that I won’t steal her idea, she then opened up and narrated the idea to me.
After listening patiently for a while, I then give her my feedback, basically saying it is a good idea, but not a good business idea as it is, and I furnished reasons why, the idea was not solving a real problem, there may not be a market or potential for a market.
She nodded, but I could feel that she was not too thrilled with my feedback.
I then suggested that she tries the idea out using the lean approach and take it from there.
My feedback may be wrong, but then the best way to know for sure is if she implements the idea with a lean-startup approach.
Taking feedback is hard, maybe that’s why people don’t seek it in the first place.
As humans being we are hardwired to want to hear things that validate us.
However, every business is founded on an assumption.
We see a problem and propose a solution [maybe a new product or service], that we assume will be embraced with open arms.
Before long we have fallen headlong for our idea, often without challenging our assumptions.
Even with all the data in the world, it is not possible to know for sure how the people we hope to serve will respond until we give them the opportunity to do just that.
When we skip this step, we get caught in the trap of trying to show people why they can’t live without the thing we created.
Our ideas succeed when we do exactly the opposite.
Don’t fall in love with your idea without first giving those who will adopt it a chance to show you why it’s worth pursuing.
Seek honest feedback about your product, introspect, tweak and iterate and try again and so on and so forth.
Sometimes it is important to learn to see ideas from the eyes and perspectives of the customer, your solution is built for them.