Don't get too attached (and be ready to pivot)

turn arroundIt is in the primal human nature to develop attachments. We get attached with people we live with and with things that we own. The closer the relationship is, the stronger is the attachment.  But the things we are most strongly attached to are the ones that we create. Parents are most attached to their children, artists are strongly attached to their creations and coders are attached with their code. But sometimes we are so overly attached that it starts doing us harm. We close our eyes towards the negatives in our creations and blindly defend them no matter what the truth is. We are not open to criticism and that could be dangerous. Although this is true for almost all aspects of life since “Entrepreneur” is the language that I speak best so I will take its example only.

An idea is born in your mind. You play around with it for some time in your mind and things start making sense to you. You get in the flow of things and this idea starts to seem like a good idea. By this point you have started falling in love with your idea. You are confident that it would work (sell) and anyone who says otherwise is a naysayer. This is where things could start to take the negative turn. You become so attached with your idea that you are not willing to take any kind of criticism. Positive or Negative. You forget that it is important to validate your idea before going any further.  An idea which has not been validated is like a ticking time bomb with no display. It can blow up in your face while you were hoping that it would never go off.

Now lets assume you resist getting attached to the idea. You validate the idea with a lot of market research and input from experts and once you are satisfied you get along on building it. Now this is a slippery slope too. Since you have done your homework you are now even more inclined to not accept any flaws in your product. The workflow that you define is the best possible according to you and you have an explanation for anyone who recommends anything else. Once the product is built this attachment is at its peak. You have worked very hard to build your product and you think this is the best. You expect it to be a success and hope for this success to be instant. But in some cases things do not work out the way you had expected. The product is not received as well as you had hoped for. Your app is not being downloaded and people are not signing up for your SAAS product. Even at this point we are so attached to the product that we do not want to accept that there could be something wrong/missing in the product. We are not willing to accept our flaws and even less open to pivoting. I know it is hard to see the idea that you created, nurtured and then converted into reality not become a success but this is how things are and one needs to be willing to accept the flaws and be open to make amends. If Edison got attached to every single design that he created he would never have reached the working bulb.

As they say one should hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Always be open to the idea that whatever you are doing might not necessarily turn the way you expect. Be ready to accept flaws and make amends. Pivot if necessary. And if all else fails, be ready to quit. You cannot come up with a winning idea if you stay attached to a losing cause.

good idea
Comic Source : Abstruse Goose

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I have helped many startups in building their products and I would be happy to have a chat with you about your idea. Catch me on twitter at @akhilrex