No one likes being wrong. It’s frustrating, demoralizing and irritating. Some people flat out refuse to be wrong … ever. You know the type, right?
Being wrong is so hard. But it can be so good too.
If you can accept being wrong (at least from time to time!), then you’re more likely to have success validating your startup ideas. It might not be the original idea you had, but keeping an open mind will guide you towards new and different ideas, different twists (sometimes very slight), new ways of thinking, and ultimately more opportunity.
Over the last few days, I’ve started validating a new startup idea. I’ve had two disappointing conversations and one semi-positive one. The conversations were disappointing because the people were disproving my hypotheses. But I’ve also had 3 “aha!” moments where people I spoke to (people I considered prospects) provided me with insight I just didn’t have before. Things where I slapped my forehead and said, “Right. That’s very true. I didn’t think about that.” My surveying of people has also improved as I get more comfortable talking to people, probing, asking the right questions, recognizing cues, etc. Practice makes perfect.
Being wrong sucks. But investing months of your life and thousands of dollars (or more!) into something that you haven’t properly validated sucks a ton more. Trust me. In some cases, I think people have to go through this experience before realizing the importance of validating and testing their ideas first, talking to prospects, exploring different angles, and staying out of pigeonholes. So get it out of your system. Go fall hopelessly in love with your idea. Go build something right away that you “absolutely know is going to work because it’s brilliant” and if or when it doesn’t pan out, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.