Most ideas fail — Here’s why
Coca Cola. Google. McDonald’s.
3 well-known successful companies.
Did you know that they’ve also been involved in BIG market failures?
In the 1980's,
Coca-Cola launched a “New Coke” that involved a lot of market research and publicity efforts.
A terrible failure.
The company had to rush back to offering the original formulation.
Google failed miserably with their Glasses.
Same for McDonald’s with their McLobster or McPizza.
You may have never heard about their failures.
And that’s normal.
Nobody is shouting on the roofs that they’ve failed.
But here’s the thing:
Those companies employ the most brilliant marketing minds.
Why do even competent people fail?
Look what Alberto Savoia (a guy who led the development and launch of the original Google AdWords!) says about failure and competence :
“I used to think that failure is the result of incompetence or inexperience at one or more points during the execution of a new product.
Unfortunately, competence in execution is not an antidote to failure.
That’s a hard pill to swallow, but swallow it you must.
If you operate under the delusion that experience and competence in a given field or market insulate you from the Law of Market Failure, not only will you still fail, but your hubris will be punished by your failing in an even bigger and more painful way.”
So if being competent is not an antidote to failure,
what should we do?
I found an answer in an old book from 1923 written by one of the most famous’ marketing minds in modern history:
Here’s what he says:
“Almost any questions can be answered, cheaply, quickly, and finally, by a test campaign.
And that’s the way to answer them — not by arguments around a table.”
— Claude Hopkins
We love arguments.
We love thinking.
Because thinking is free, and there is no pain involved.
We, as entrepreneurs, tend to think that we know the market.
All of us do.
Because our thinking blinds us.
We think that we know — but we don’t.
That’s why we skip the most crucial part of any product launch:
I see it all the time.
With my clients.
But also with myself!
How many creators THINK that they have a great course idea?
They put all their efforts into creating their course,
and then look at the harsh truth:
Nobody buys the course.
Then they buy endless marketing programs to find the “magic bullet” to fix their mistake.
The same goes for creators who know they have to share great things with the world…
But never validate their niche and positioning.
Having this in mind,
it remembers me what another famous copywriter — Dan Kennedy — said in his book “The Ultimate Internet Entrepreneur” :
“Market first, product second.
Get this formula backward and, more often than not, you’ll either be DOA (dead on arrival)”
It means that the solutions to the problems that we as entrepreneurs are supposed to create do not come from our imagination — but from our market.
But most of the time, we have it backward.
So at that point, here are the assumptions that we can make:
1- Competences does not prevent failure
2- The only way to validate an idea is to test it in the market
3- The market will tell you what you need to create (not your imagination!)
So with those right assumptions in mind…
Stop making hypothesis in your head.
Go out there and start getting real market feedback.
If you’d like my help,
feel free to reach out : email@example.com
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