Knowing When and Where to Seek Feedback on Your Ideas
Volume 96 - three minute read
July 27th, 2018
Sharing an idea is like passing around an ice cube in a room of people. When you first have the idea it’s a good size and it’s sturdy. It has potential and a lot of use cases for how to best take advantage of this new thought in your mind. You’ve built up the idea and let it freeze to a solid form, just big enough to be ready to start putting into action.
But then you take this “ice cube” and pass it around to others in this room so they can have a look. They give a couple thoughts on it, provide some critique and some feedback as to how it could possibly not be successful or be better. When they hand it off to the next person, it’s melted a tad and not as solid as it was at the start.
Finally, it gets to the last person before you in the room. Once they pass it off to you, the ice cube is almost nothing now. You didn’t have enough time to build it up enough to take the heat and thought of others and your lost as to what you can do with an ice cube this small now as it continues to melt in your hand.
Our latest and greatest idea is cherished and held close in our minds. We care for it and are passionate about the idea but when it comes time to put it into action, we sometimes think that the opinion of others can make or break our product/idea in an instant.
While the opinion and advice of others can be beneficial and keep us in check when we need it, knowing the time and place to ask for it is important. Your idea may still be “half-baked” and require some more thought on your end which is not a bad thing (it’s actually quite exciting in my experience). Presenting an idea to someone in this state can lead to less than ideal feedback, possibly because context is missing that you are still working on.
You may be familiar with the term MVP (Minimum Viable Product), where a product is built to have the absolute necessary features first and then built upon. I believe this can also be applicable when forming our ideas as well, say an MVI (Minimum Viable Idea) before you decide to share with others.
This MVI covers the absolutely necessary user flows and business models that to the best of your knowledge will make this idea successful. Even some iteration on how it would work in practice, benefit others, and play a part in the market competition you’d be up against.
In a more practical sense, even smaller more personal ideas can have an MVI applied to them—personal goals you have, fitness regimens, apartment layout changes, a new recipe you’re creating, etc.
Being able to find and pull out the most important parts of ideas that can make or break their success is a skill that is quite difficult to master. I honestly don’t think anyone has in every aspect of their life either. We’re constantly having to acknowledge and put ideas into play before we go ahead and share them with others. Over time smaller ideas and goals become easier to share and get opinions on while larger overarching ideas or even businesses remain what we strive for most of our lives.
Acknowledging and being able to find the correct times to get the correct advice is one way we can be better at this though. Like anything, it just takes a bit of patience, practice, and even a bit of failure before we begin to get better.
Designer that also codes, illustrates, writes weekly articles, and produces music. Hispanic. Pokémon Master.