On idea validation and receiving feedback

Understanding the motivation behind people’s responses

I’ve been thinking a lot about idea validation and how to parse the feedback you get when building a side project as I gear up to launch my latest side project.

I’ve come to a realization over the past week. It’s come from talking to two different types of people in trying to validate my side project idea and trying to get feedback.
I started to see patterns in the responses I would get. Professional types i.e. people who do marketing for a living would tell me one thing, while the people who were my target audience would tell me another.

when getting feedback on a project or product you should be very wary of the people you ask and the kind of responses you get.

The most valuable feedback you get will be from people who are actually in your target audience. You should always take feedback with a critical view and try to understand what the motivation is behind a response you get. For example family and friends are likely to want to sugar coat their response because they want to be supportive. But that’s pretty obvious.

What’s more tricky is getting feedback from your peers or people who do what you do for a living. Because they are like you, their feedback is likely to be very detailed and specific. However, it is common for people who are your peers to view your product/project from a professional perspective instead of from a consumer perspective.

To a front end web developer, your basic ass website might be painful to look at. But to a regular consumer ‘basic’ is just seen as simple and clean.

TL:DR, When doing idea validation, figure out who your target audience is. When looking for feedback focus on finding and talking to these people.

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