Monday, December 28, 2009

You Care Too Much What Other People Think

Saw a clip on Better Off Ted that's a good reminder that sometimes it really doesn't matter what other people think of an idea you have.

The best feedback is the time when a customer pulls out their wallet and pays for whatever your idea is.

That's why the goal should be getting something in the hands of your potential customers with a price tag on it very quickly.

There's a lot of great examples of listening to your intuition instead of just relying on what customers tell you is a good idea from people like Steve Jobs and Henry Ford. Here's one I saw recently in Barbarians to Bureaucrats by Lawrence M. Miller. He writes about how McDonalds started out their drive ins with car hops bringing food to their customers. These drive ins were doing extremely well, but then they decided to throw that away and make it even better. Dick McDonald one of the original founders said,  "the carhops were slow. We'd say to ourselves that there had to be a faster way. The cars were jamming up the lot. Customers weren't demanding it, but our intuition told us that they would like speed."

They made a keen observation of how their world could be better and they went with it instead of relying on everyone else around them to reinforce their ego. This decision of theirs increased their sales by 40% and obviously was part of history in revolutionizing fast food.

We're big believers obviosuly in asking your customers and your employees for their thoughts and predictions on all sorts of things. But often as an innovator, it's your job to listen for the root cause behind feedback you get rather than react to it literally.

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