Better than a great idea is an okay idea plus listening to your market plus flexibility

March 10, 2015 by Joshua
in Creativity, Entrepreneurship, Leadership

[This post is part of a series on principles to create ideas people want to help you with and creating a helpful, supportive community around you. If you don’t see a Table of Contents to the left, click here to view that series, where you’ll get more value than reading just this post.]

The most common reason I hear from people who want to start projects or companies but don’t for why they don’t is that they haven’t come up with a great idea.

I’ve written about this common myth of entrepreneurship. People look at successful companies and project based around products or services that people love. They assume someone came up with the idea, acted on it, and success followed. Rarely does it happen that way, if ever.

More often, the founder’s idea is okay, but the person or team developing it listens to what users and potential users say and watch what they do. Then they react flexibly and develop the product or service to meet their demand.

This perspective—that you can turn an okay idea into a great one—rather than the great idea myth, frees you from feeling you need perfection before knowing what you’re doing. It puts responsibility on you to act with skill instead of hoping you get lucky, but that responsibility gives you power. You have to work, but you can enjoy the work.

The trick is knowing how to listen to your market and improve the idea. Yesterday’s post told us the importance of skills that you can learn, not innate traits. The skills to listen and improve are an example of skills you can learn (for example through the exercises in the second online course I’m developing).

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