Many people think that the first entrepreneurship lesson is to ask for feedback. Here is why you should ask… but not listen to it. At least not in the way you think.
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In this episode of Marketing in Minutes, you will learn:
- Why feedback is not the same as data
- Why you should always listen to the data – but not to feedback
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More information on this entrepreneurship lesson
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The full story of Airbnb can be found on Wikipedia.
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Here is the full transcript of this episode.
Entrepreneurship Lesson: Why to ignore feedback!
Because it’s equally important not to care what others think. Sometimes it’s better not to listen.
I’m Jonathan Gebauer and this is Marketing in Minutes.
You are listening to Marketing in Minutes by The Social Ms – the podcast that gives you everything you need to know about one marketing topic per episode.
I’m Jonathan Gebauer and today, let’s talk about why you shouldn’t care what others think.
This episode of Marketing in Minutes is difficult – because it’s easy to misunderstand what I’m talking about. So I need to be careful.
So I will start with this – never ignore the data you get.
But when you are asking for other people for feedback, often, what you get isn’t real data. It’s just a feeling – or maybe even fear that keeps people from trying out new things.
And as an entrepreneur, it’s your job to overcome that fear
Let me illustrate that point with one famous quote about entrepreneurship.
This quote by Henry Ford illustrates perfectly what today’s episode of Marketing in Minutes is about. It illustrates why you should ask people what they want, but also why you shouldn’t care what they want.
Henry Ford made the automobile popular.
And the automobile became popular because there was a need for faster and more versatile transportation.
The transportation methods of the time were based on using horses – so naturally faster horses would solve the problem – but, well, it’s really impossible to come up with a better horse, that you can mass produce. Horses have natural limitations.
A radical solution to the problem like the completely new automobile, on the other hand, had to overcome a lot of fear.
To illustrate that: When the automobile was invented, it was instantly met with laws in the UK and the US that required massive safety precautions – including the requirement of a person walking in front of it waving a red flag as a warning.
That’s how scared people are when faced with new solutions – even if that solution could solve their greatest problem.
As an entrepreneur today, you are still facing the same problem. The best solutions are always radical – and presenting a radical solution always creates fear.
The greatest success stories of companies changing the world are always met with a certain amount skepticism.
Let’s look at a more modern example.
One of the biggest startup success stories of recent times Airbnb.
I guess you’ve heard of it – it’s a platform that allows you to offer your flat or house for rent to travelers – as an alternative to hotel rooms.
And when the founders first started their business, nobody believed in them. As a modern startup, they needed to raise money – but they couldn’t find investors because the initial reaction to their solution was always: “I would never use this!”
They had to hustle for their first 30.000 Dollars of capital by repackaging cornflakes into election-themed boxes and selling during the 2008 presidential election.
This, in turn, got them noticed by venture capitalists – who still didn’t believe in the concept, but started to believe in the founders.
Today, Airbnb is worth more than 30 Billion Dollars.
If the founders hadn’t chosen to ignore the feedback – it would not exist at all.
Now, ignoring feedback is one thing – but you have to be really careful that what you do is still based on data.
AirBnB founders still had data points in their head that showed that their concept was valid. Among other things they could see that people were already doing what they allowed them to do on other platforms like Craigslist.
Even if they ignored the feedback, they still examined the data.
And that’s what you have to do as well.
But mistaking peoples’ personal fears and opinions for data is a mistake that can cost you your business opportunity.
I hope you liked today’s episode of Marketing in Minutes. If you like the show please subscribe on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts from.
For more information on today’s topic, check out the show notes – which you can find at blog.thesocialms.com/MiM-31 – that’s blog.thesocialms.com/MiM-31.
And for a complete marketing strategy that allows you to grow your business by generating free traffic, leads, and sales, check out our book, The Social Traffic Code.
I’m Jonathan Gebauer, and you’ve been listening to Marketing in Minutes.
That’s all for today, take care, bye!