Not all feedback is created equal. A lot of feedback is useless. This isn’t necessarily the fault of the person providing the feedback. Oftentimes it’s the fault of the person requesting it, because they don’t really understand why they’re asking for it in the first place.
Startup founders need to go out and validate what they’re doing before they build anything. Or they need to build a super simple minimum viable product and solicit feedback on that. But before that can take place, entrepreneurs need to understand why they’re collecting feedback and what they’re collecting it against.
Without a strong hypothesis and problem statement, there’s no reason to get feedback.
Asking a friend, “What do you think of my idea?” is almost completely useless.
Asking a friend (or someone else who isn’t as biased as your friend, “Do you have this problem, and how painful is it?” is a much more useful query.
Feedback is only valid if it’s anchored to something, and for startups that means having a strong hypothesis and problem statement. These things should be written down. The minute you can put your hypothesis to the test you have a much better opportunity to collect valid and meaningful feedback.
Startups need to solve problems. Problems need to be defined. Define the problem that you’re tackling (without focusing on the solution) and get feedback on that. Otherwise there’s a very good chance you’re collecting useless feedback, or worse, the feedback is actually damaging and pointing you in the wrong direction.