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How to Know When to Give Up On Your Idea

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PedroG

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I'm listening to Scott Adams' "How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big" and I really liked his way of deciding whether a project is worth continuing with or not.

He says very rarely does a project start out as a complete failure and end up being a huge success.

Usually, an idea with great potential will instead start out as a small success that then becomes a bigger success.

His point is that if your product is any good, you should--even when you're starting out--be able to find a small group of people that are excited enough by it that they actually take action; in most cases that action being voting with their wallets.

Saying "that's a great idea" isn't action and does not count.

This really resonated with me because sometimes I go back and forth on whether or not I should continue with my current project or try something else. But the fact that I've had that small success even from the very beginning, serves as confirmation that it can become a much bigger success.

Even if most people hate your product, have you found a small group that loves it enough to continually take action?

Or have you been at this thing for a while and have yet to find even that small group of excited customers?

Did your idea start out as a small success or has it been a failure from the start?

Scott Adams: How to Know When to Quit | TIME.com
 

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Last edited:

Lord Business

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I'm listening to Scott Adams' "How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big" and I really liked his way of deciding whether a project is worth continuing with or not.

He says very rarely does a project start out as a complete failure and end up being a huge success.

Usually, an idea with great potential will instead start out as a small success that then becomes a bigger success.

His point is that if your idea is any good, you should--even when you're starting out--be able to find a small group of people that are excited enough by it that they actually take action; in most cases that action being voting with their wallets.

Saying "that's a great idea" isn't action and does not count.

This really resonated with me because sometimes I go back and forth on whether or not I should continue with my current project or try something else. But the fact that I've had that small success even from the very beginning, serves as confirmation that it can become a much bigger success.

Even if most people hate your product, have you found a small group that loves it enough to continually take action?

Or have you been at this thing for a while and have yet to find even that small group of excited customers?

Did your idea start out as a small success or has it been a failure from the start?

Scott Adams: How to Know When to Quit | TIME.com
I think there a 2 different things confused here:
1. The idea and demand itself
2. The execution

If the fault lies in the idea part - no need for the product, test run results close to 0%
If the fault lies in the execution - constant demand for the product, but somehow you won't get to them

Oversimplified, but I think you can't mix those. A shitty execution can ruin the most amazing idea and vice versa.

Me myself - I'm in the testing stage right now. I've executed good, now it's time to see a response. I'm totally ready for both kind of reactions and have certain proactive reactions to both:
1. Total failure - drop the project
2. Closer to failure - get feedback - if possible pivot - test again
3. Closer to success - get feedback - if needed, pivot - if needed test again
4. Total success - get feedback - expand
 
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OP
PedroG

PedroG

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I'm using the terms "idea" and "product" interchangeably here, so let me clarify.

An idea for a product that does X is just an idea. A specific product created that does X in a very specific way, with features that are important to customers, and is very easy to use, is part of the execution of that idea.

So I would include the product itself in the Execution category, and of course the marketing and branding efforts go under this as well.

The simple questions I mention in the OP are for evaluating the potential of your product.

Of course, in order to determine whether your project is worth continuing with or not, you have to put it in the hands of enough people to get some sort of feedback.

Adams' point is that if your product is any good, you should be able to find a small number of people that are excited about it, even in the beginning.
 

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