Discover more from Learning by Proxy with Vivek Srinivasan
Pitfalls of a new idea
What are the reasons new ideas fail even before they take root?
When you come up with a new idea, there are many things that can contribute to your failure but there are certain things that are baked into our thinking that can cause us to fail.
Curse of Knowledge
Many times when you come up with a new idea, you will find that have been very close to the idea in question. This makes you highly knowledgeable but at the same time can make you oversee what others cannot see.
If you have ever seen the inside of a commercial airline cockpit, you would feel it would be impossible to remember what each dial does. Large Planes don’t have keys. If you know how to fly one you can leave with it. You need specialised knowledge to use it.
You may be intimate with what you are making; a customer is not.
You have to learn to be a good teacher before you can be a good entrepreneur if you are coming up with a new idea.
When you come up with a new idea, you tend to compare it with something that already exists out there to make it possible for people to understand what you are talking about. The thing you chose to compare with carries a weight of its own. This brings linguistic gravity.
When you say a submarine is an underwater car creates associations. It would be normal for someone to imagine a tube running on four wheels on the ocean floor. Underwater aeroplane, yeah but it does not need to take off and land like a plane.
There is no comparison and that is what makes the idea new. Using words/ideas that already exist to explain it makes it harder for your audience to understand it.
Getting good feedback is generally hard. If you ask anyone for feedback, decency demands that one is not very scathing. Unless you are personally invested, you don’t need to provide accurate feedback, you can just tell a white lie and move on.
People often will not tell you your product is shit, they will just not buy it.
A non-profit training tech talent was referred to the diversity officer because of an ad that featured an army veteran. The non-profit was training and providing qualified talent. They were not asking companies to hire him just because he was a veteran. The failure to get this point across resulted in them being referred to the diversity officer.
Getting the right feedback is dependent on asking the right people and explaining the right way.