Feedback mechanism: operating instructions

redazione / 15 May 2015

By the end of the 1st year of my Management Master, I was President of a Junior Enterprise, a consultancy company managed by students. During that time a classmate, Flavio Nappi, showed me his business idea: he wanted to stage a regatta open to students and Alumni of our University. It was devised as a way to help networking and strengthen our Business School brand.

I turned down the idea because I thought it wasn’t scalable. Today the ESCP Regatta has reached its 5th edition, with more than 500 participants attending this event, honored as the main extra curricular activity of our prestigious Business School. All of this wouldn’t have happened if that young visionary guy had listened to my feedback.

As I pointed out in this previous post, feedback is a great learning opportunities, it is crucial for your idea and that’s why the first advice to a potential start-upper is always to start pitching business idea as soon as possible in order to collect information, advice and business model validation.

Dealing with feedback is however a tough exercise, one that every startupper has to deal with and eventually overcome. As a general rule keep in mind that feedback is never to be taken personally. It is very important to pay attention to whoever provides you with feedback. Feedback providers can indeed be brutally misleading: here are a few reasons why:

  • Family and friends love you, but they are not your clients.I know that your family and your friends are the first ones that are going to listen your ideas. It could be just a matter of proximity, them being the closest brains you can share your thoughts with, or maybe it is because you love them and you respect their ideas. Whatever the reason, you should be careful about their point of view. You should try to gauge how competent they are in that specific industry and, even more important, you should ask yourself why they are giving you those feedback. It is plain common sense to be aware that feedback coming from your family and your friends are most likely biased by years and years of tight relations.
  • Scholarly written essays work and distributed is led in a few arrangements of structures and types. This article gives a short rundown of the full range of basic and scholastic composition and records the class of scholarly written highessay com/ work. It doesn’t cover the assortment of basic methodologies that can be connected when one expounds on a subject. Then again, as Harwood and Hadley (2004) and Hyland (2004) have pointed out, the measure of variety that exists between diverse controls may imply that we can’t allude to a solitary scholarly proficiency.
  • Your clients could lack of imagination.What you need is a market for your product or service. So do not waste your time: test your idea now by getting feedback from experts, marketers and most of all from your potential clients; it’s them the ones that are going to give you the key of success. At the same time do not relay on your client too much for feedback, quoting Steve Jobs: “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them”. A focus group can be misleading, so try to get a prototype or some mockup of your product as soon as you can and, if possible, have a go at selling it. Don’t be discourage by the first results, try to get as much information as you can and remember that consumers have limited power of imagination, quoting Henry Ford: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses”.
  • Investors can be very shortsighted.I have to say that the art of predicting the future is a really hard job and no one has a working formula for that. But this doesn’t stop me to do one of my favorite activities: reading quotes about people that have given completely wrong forecasts about technologies. You can enjoy a nice collection here. Just to give an example, this is the estimation of printers market done by IBM to the founder of Xerox: “The world potential market for copying machines is 5000 at most”. This point to prove that investors are able to unbelievably foolish evaluations.

Luckily, sometimes mine and other feedback are better than the regatta one!

In my next post I am going to consider possible alternatives as to when a business idea really sucks and – thanks to feedback mechanism – the entrepreneur is able to see it.

Written by Simone Cimminelli