You are all wrong, your idea will fail! When should you trust this kind of advice?

It was a while back, when together with another 7 co-founders we decided to set up the Impact Hub Madrid, one of the first co-working spaces in Spain.

Many told us then “you are crazy, your idea will fail: in Spain no one likes to share an office, co-working will never work in Spain!” On hindsight they were wrong and we were right (thousands of co-working spaces are doing very well thank you in Spain today)

But how do you know when you should listen to that kind of advice and when should you ignore it?

A simple rule:
1. if EVERYONE tells you you are wrong, well perhaps the time has not yet come for your Inovation?
2. If the majority tells you you are wrong, then check who is telling you that your innovation might work? Is it just friends and subordinates who want to make you happy?
This is where you need to be smart about a first validation of your innovation. Go for a manageable (you don’t have that much time to go to market) group but also a very diverse group, who can give you their feedback on a number of levels : financial, good ideas, comms, community building experience and how this might work or not.
People from different sectors, can not only bring you feedback to your original idea but also create super useful rich insights into opportunities you might not have heard of.

Whatever you do : do NOT, EVER, hide from everyone your innovation “in case they copy it”. It is much better to know now that your idea can be easily copied and work now at making it unique and. difficult to replicate, then to find out it can easily be copied when you already invested millions in money + time + resources.

Try an AI “feedback box” as a better way to predict outcomes and remain useful.

Some might remember that feedback box filled (hopefully) with pieces of paper where your team or your customers could post anonymous suggestions / feedback to make anything better.

Why don’t you create a business or App to avoid the very ineffective writing on paper, then reading all inputs, then trying to make sense of them, cluster them etc?

Imagine an AI algorithm that scans your team’s Slack or even just a specific #feedback channel. Then clustered ideas / suggestions, found the most frequent or most “liked” and then created “why don’t we …” suggestions?

Add to this the opportunity to have your entire army of stakeholders bet on which new product / service is most likely to succeed? You will find that they are right in their prediction more often than the “management team” who had the idea to put to market that product / service. Why? Because there is much more cumulative knowledge of the reality of what surrounds the company in people more close to the action than there is in the few people “at the top”.

These are the kinds of AI solutions that many of the most advanced companies are already implementing.

So what is YOUR way of collecting feedback, predictions to remain agile and relevant and the best possible version of your organization?