Show, Don’t Tell

When pursuing an idea, one of the hardest steps is proving that someone actually wants it. This seems to be a huge pain point with freelancers or entrepreneurs who are starting out.

You could “pound the pavement” and ask everyone you meet whether or not they “like” your idea. As helpful as this might seem, you are most likely going to get subjective feedback (That’s a great idea!) from people you know (your mom), which won’t be helpful.

Instead, you could take time to research certain methods like the Lean Startup Co. or agencies like IDEO who help others prove ideas everyday. They have shared insights through countless books and articles that you can find online.

Instead, I’ll do you a favor and sum up what you would eventually find:

Show, don’t tell.

That’s great but still seemingly vague. What does this actually mean?

In other words, do what you can to bring your idea to life as soon as possible. No matter what your idea is, there are always first steps that you can take to give it life. Here are some ways to get started:

  • Are you creating an app? Do your best to create actual screenshots and upload them to your phone to show to others.
  • Writing a book? Write the first chapter and print it out with an actual cover to share with readers.
  • Working on a physical product? Create a simple one-page website that displays what it is, what it does, and how you can sign up for it.
  • Creating a service? Start by offering it one-on-one to individuals so you can create the best experience possible. Once you have worked out the kinks, start scaling and offering it digitally.

What do all of these have in common? They are considered MVPs (Minimum Viable Products), fancy words for a simple prototype. Except with this prototype, there is a complete experience to walk through for the user.

This is one of the quickest and most effective ways to learn if your idea has any value. Instead of wasting time, money, and effort on something no one wants, you have spent very little on each in order to learn quicker.


What are some ways that you’ve shown your idea? I’d love to hear your thoughts! You can leave a comment below, reach me on Twitter at @williamfrazr, or shoot me a message.

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