The only person I know of who successfully told people what they needed was Steve Jobs. For the 99.9999% of the rest of us trying to launch a business or new product, stop what you’re doing and get feedback from people if you haven’t already.

For years, I thought about why I failed at some ventures. After learning this recently from a good buddy and fellow entrepreneur, it was clear I wasn’t doing this. But once I started, it was a game changer because it forced me to pause and reevaluate strategies.

I never did this because I didn’t want to hear my baby was ugly. I thought I knew what people wanted. It cost me tens of thousands of dollars over the years because I neglected to do this. When you’re a Practical Innovator, those mistakes could translate to not being able to take your family on vacation or something more drastic.

You have to step out of your comfort zone of people telling you what you’re doing is amazing. Maybe it is or maybe you’re blinded by being in a vacuum. If it’s really that amazing, then people you don’t know will tell you it is and that’s what counts.This is not a silver bullet, but doing this and keeping an open mind about feedback will help you avoid going down roads that lead to nowhere.

Here’s what my buddy shared with me from a friend of his that was funded by GaryVee for her digital marketing business:

Sounds simple right? It’s not because ego and stubbornness can get in the way, but don’t let it. This is how you move forward the right way. Then watch what happens.

  1. Ask people what they think. Then listen. Make sure you’re asking people in your target market that you don’t know because they will give you the best feedback.
  2. Find the pattern. Are people telling you similar things? You can identify a pattern after 3-5 people. Not 30. But listen!!!
  3. Watch people’s expressions when they’re using your website, app or product. See their reactions. Do not try and rationalize them liking something when they don’t. This is phenomenal for you.
  4. When people are using your product, ask them pain points. How does this help you? How does this make your life better? Is this interesting enough to come back to visit? Do you think your friends would like it? Do not ask misleading questions.
  5. Find the pattern of everything again.

These should be live conversations.