You know what sucks? Failing. Being wrong. Telling people you failed.
You know what sucks more? Wasting a bunch of time and money on something that can’t be a business.
One of the biggest pieces of customer development advice I give is to try prove yourself wrong. Try to invalidate your hypotheses and assumptions.
When you hear something that validates your hypotheses, second guess your interviewee. Dig deeper. Make them prove it. Make it clear that it’s ok for people to tell you your idea sucks.
When you try to prove yourself wrong, you are less-likely to get biased responses. You are less likely to get “false-validation” that could send you down a path of wasted time and money.
As an entrepreneur or intrapraneur, you probably have a big vision for your new startup. You want to bring it to life and accomplish your goals. Maybe you’ve told your teammates, friends, and/or family about it. You don’t want to have to go back and tell them you ended up being wrong.
However, failing fast is a success because it gives you more time and money to spend on better opportunities. It’s better to fail fast than slow, because it gives you more time and money to spend on opportunities that can help you accomplish your goals and that you can brag to your friends, family, and teammates about.
There are plenty of opportunities out there for all of us. The far scarcer resources are time and money. Don’t waste those.
To motivate yourself to “fail,” remind yourself of how much it would suck to spend a bunch of time and money on something no one wants.
Invalidating an idea through customer development should not be considered a failure, it should be considered a success.