Diary of a Start-Up: "Why Didn't We Think of That?!"; Why you should seek input on your Startup businessDecember 17th, 2009 | Small Business | 4 Comments »
There’s an old saying that goes something like this: The only way to end up on the same side of a war as the Italians is by switching sides twice. I bring this up because this post may seem to contradict a previous posting (the one advising when to shut up about your business). As we have promoted KikScore among friends and through social media, we’ve gathered a lot of feedback. Some good and some really good. We’ve found that we’re not alone in our experience. The more you get feedback, the better your business planning and product can be.
This is not to say that you should seek input from everyone you meet and change your product willy-nilly. Instead, when seeking input look for advice from someone that knows your industry and, when you receive the feedback, take it with a grain of salt — knowing that you’ve spent a lot of time on your business, but are open to making improvements with valuable input. Sounds easy enough…but why the hell did I feel like a complete dolt the other day? Let me explain:
My partner, Raj, and I were talking about KikScore with a good friend, who is very familiar with the Internet and ecommerce space (Let’s call him “Internet Sam”). Sam liked our service and gave very solid advice on tweaking the current business model. Then he suggested a potential channel for KikScore that is large and perfect for our service (I can’t get into that now…see, I’m not completely disregarding the advice about shutting up). Raj and I sat silently, slack-jawed, completely stunned that Sam, who has thought about our business for 5 minutes, could think of an application that we hadn’t in 2 years. We called each other later and my exact words were “I feel really stupid”.
But is it stupidity? Isn’t that the point of seeking some one’s advice and input — the hope of valuable insight that you wouldn’t gain easily on your own? I’ll let these questions remain rhetorical, because I really don’t want to know the honest answer. Oh hell, if you want to answer them, go ahead.