Validating as a Leadership Skill, Part 2 of 6
Validation Prevents Entrepreneurial Blindness
Entrepreneurial blindness is falling in love with one’s assumptions so deeply that there is no room for reality.
This is a story that we tell ourselves. We don’t listen to others with an open mind…we look for someone to agree and argue with those who don’t agree
We have a great idea. This idea will make people’s lives better. This idea might even change the world. It’s very important to us and we are so committed to it that we resist the naysayers and critics. We will not let them steal our dream at any cost!
However, it’s important to not lose touch with reality. If we have a product, we need to conduct a test to see if people will actually buy it, if we’ve priced it correctly, and if the product is in the best form to introduce to the market.
There are several steps between idea and launch. Validation is imperative. It’s especially important if there’s an equity raise in the plan. Validation saves money, time, and relationships, reducing the risk in effective leadership. Constant failure is not cost effective. Testing is learning. Small failures are ways to validate at low risk and a chance to learn.
Failure is a learning experience only if it’s treated as such. As I mentioned in part 1 of this series, Thomas Edison had many unsuccessful attempts in the process of inventing the light bulb. His tenacity allowed him to succeed. He declared bankruptcy 11 times and didn’t sleep (he took cat naps). He learned from his failures. Do you have the time and money to fail 9,999 times?
Effective leaders validate assumptions.
Validating as a Leadership Skill Series:
Part 1 Validation is Critical
Part 2 Validation Prevents Entrepreneurial Blindness
Part 3 Validation Is Asking the Right Questions
Part 4 Validation Is Learning from the Data
Part 5 Validation Is Checking the Right Data
Part 6 Validation Is Starting with the Minimum Viable Test
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(c) 2015 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.