Give The People What They Want

You know the hardest part about being an entrepreneur?

Listening to people and giving them what they want (especially when they don’t know what they want).

Which people am I talking about?

I’m referring to the users you’re asking to believe in your product or service, the customers you’re asking to give up their hard-earned money, and the partners you’re asking to help make your idea a reality.

In the long road to taking an idea from concept to execution, there are too many detours along the way that can steer you in the wrong direction. Time and time again, some of the largest detours are self-made.

We think we know what people want. We think we know the best solution to their problems. But in reality, we are just as clueless as they are. The only difference is we have the audacity to think we can do something about it.

If this is the case, how do we create a solution that will actually be useful?

Get out there, ask them face-to-face, and observe while they tackle the problem we are trying to solve. A lot of successful entrepreneurs say there is no substitution for pounding the pavement and talking to people. This may be easier in some cases than others.

If we are creating a better alternative for internal networking at a company, how would we observe the problem in action? Would we sit behind employees and take notes as they talk with other coworkers?

Ideally, yes. However, this may not always be an option (plus it’s a little creepy and probably grounds for being asked to leave the building).

In this case, our best option would be to talk to the employee outside of the work place and gain as much perspective as possible. Use a little empathy to ask them about their typical workday; specific tasks they have to complete, risks and obstacles they deal with, and outcomes they are hoping for.

It may not be as effective as the real thing, but it is undoubtedly the next best thing.

Do you agree? How else can we give people what they want? Continue the conversation below or reach out on Twitter at @williamfrazr.

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