Crowdsourcing opinions

There’s a common belief that it’s generally a good idea to get as much feedback as possible on your ideas before you do anything about them.

I think this belief is highly flawed, here’s why:

Let’s say you have an idea around building financial independence and let’s then conservatively estimate that at least 95% of people aren’t wealthy and an even greater amount don’t have financial freedom.

This means that over 95% of the opinions you source on your idea could be essentially worthless.

Even worse, the more you receive opinions on your idea and the more you change it based upon this feedback, the more general and average to the group it becomes.

The only person’s opinion (besides your own) that you should value in this example, is someone who has actually created financial freedom for themselves… and even then, their perspective will be wildly different to yours, their opinion biased and their model will be personal to them.

In short, nobody knows you and your idea as well as you do. So own it.

That’s not to say that every idea will work, of course they won’t… but every single idea will have detractors – and if you open it up to enough people you’re sure to find them.

A lack of faith in your idea, even from one person, can be crippling – sometimes it’s best to just plough on ahead… as long as your conviction is strong and other conditions are favourable.

An idea needs a champion, someone who will keep going through good times and bad, even when nobody else gets it – otherwise, it will just fall away.

Have you ever been in a “brainstorming” meeting with 4 or more people? If so, you’ve probably noticed that these meetings usually spend a long time going round in circles and the most common result is a watered-down, mashed up version of the best ideas that everyone kind of agrees on and nobody hates.

Not something that’s going to change the world… those ideas are usually thought of by one or two people, three at most – not by committee.

In a group setting, it’s hard to fully explain your ideas, the rest of the group doesn’t have your understanding or background of the idea and only get a two-minute version. One or more people will usually misunderstand and dismiss it.

Once a couple of ideas have been dismissed then people become afraid to reveal their best ideas for fear of being shot down, it becomes much easier and therefore much more likely to reach a consensus. An average of the whole.

The problem is – it’s outliers that move the needle, not average.

The best ideas are the ones that 2 of the 6 people in the meeting love and everyone else hates, not the ones that everyone thinks are OK.

There is a caveat to all this though. Once your idea is established and you get into the details of exactly how it will run, it can absolutely be valuable to get (the right) feedback (from the right kind of people)… but that in itself is a big topic which is probably for another time.

For the big ideas, trust yourself and your gut – you are the only person who fully understands it.

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An SEO Consultant based in Mansfield Woodhouse, United Kingdom. I'm obsessed with SEO at the moment, but I also love talking about and interpreting marketing in general, productivity and entrepreneurship.

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