Entrepreneurs Aren’t the Best At Evaluating Ideas

Quick, what’s an entrepreneur? In my mind it’s someone who’s optimistic, blissfully ignorant at times, can see around the corner, and gets results with limited resources. Now, entrepreneurs, especially successful entrepreneurs, are constantly asked by other budding entrepreneurs to hear their new idea so as to provide feedback. In reality, the budding entrepreneur wants validation and encouragement from the successful entrepreneur. Only, entrepreneurs aren’t the best at evaluating ideas.

You know who is good at evaluating ideas?

The potential customer.

That’s right, don’t get someone who isn’t in the field and doesn’t have the domain expertise to pontificate on the next great idea. Go straight to the source — the prospect. Spending time getting feedback from entrepreneurs is nice and all, especially because many entrepreneurs are a little crazy and excitable, but that’s not a good use of time. The next time an entrepreneur asks for feedback on his or her idea, ask them if you’re they’re ideal customer.

What else? What are your thoughts on entrepreneurs not being the best people to evaluate an idea?

6 thoughts on “Entrepreneurs Aren’t the Best At Evaluating Ideas

  1. David, completely true. I started believing in this.
    I have read somewhere that an Entrepreneur who is in the listening / learning mode has better chances of building a successful business. So, earlier, I used to bounce off my idea to everyone I met. I mean everyone – customer, friend, fellow entrepreneur, angel, VC, etc. But, I have slowly learnt that the true learning happens Only with the customer. He is the one who would help me iterate through various biz elements like problem, pricing, solution etc.

    I could seek help from other fellow entrepreneurs and investors about “How to do things”. Like “How to sell in a different country”. “How to hire a Marketing manager” etc. But, they would rarely have insights into the business model.

  2. Spot on, David. The customer’s the boss when you’re an entrepreneur. They’ll ultimately decide the success or failure of the product/service.

    Ask the target customer how they’d vote with their money. If other entrepreneurs are your target, then by all means, ask away. It’s like you wrote recently: “Go get five customers and then we’ll talk about funding.”

    Thanks for the insightful post!

  3. I have to agree with this too. I think Entrepreneurs have a strong enough vision and passion that they will work day and night to get their idea off the ground. They however need consumers to decide on exactly what they should be working on. Great blog, keep it up!

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