Have you ever worked with someone who did not respond to new information? We’ve all seen some variation of this in our careers.
Whether it’s an unwillingness to embrace new technology, a refusal to acknowledge customer or client feedback, or just a lack of creative solutions, we know what happens in this ever-changing world to people who can not change their habits or adjust their business strategy in response to what is actually going on in the world around them.
Every great tech company has gone through iterations in its product, and has made adjustments to their business strategy as circumstances changed or as they learned more about what would happen to their ideas when they got into the hands of the public.
In fact, when users dream up a different use for what you’ve created, something you never imagined, it’s one of the greatest feelings there is. You never really know what will happen with a product or an idea when it gets out into the wild.
This philosophy is even more important during initial development. Your idea may be useful for more than you originally thought it was, or it may have a completely different application with some tweaks. So test. Test it on your friends, test it on focus groups, test it with kids and with people who dislike technology. Find the toughest crowd you can, and pay attention to their experience.
Changing your startup idea to make it more flexible, or to make it useful to customers you had not originally considered is a key ingredient in successful technology development, and also in attracting partners and financial backers.
You have to have vision, yes. But a big part of vision is resourcefulness. Early prototypes, exposed to heavy testing and modified based on real data produce strong products with long-term profit potential.
Partners sometimes need to change, as well. If your backers don’t permit any deviation whatsoever from the first back-of-the-envelope concept, you may need better backers.