Many people think that the first entrepreneurship lesson is to
ask for feedback. Here is why you should ask… but not listen to
it. At least not in the way you think.
This episode of Marketing in Minutes was recorded with the
In this episode of Marketing in Minutes, you will learn:
- Why feedback is not the same as data
- Why you should always listen to the data – but not to
All in under 10 minutes!
More information on this entrepreneurship lesson
Below are some links with more information about today’s
The full story of
Airbnb can be found on Wikipedia.
Here is the full transcript of this episode.
Entrepreneurship Lesson: Why to ignore feedback!
As an entrepreneur, one of the first pieces of advice you
always get is to ask for feedback. And that’s great advice –
as long as it’s not misunderstood.
Because it’s equally important not to care what others think.
Sometimes it’s better not to listen.
I’m Jonathan Gebauer and this is Marketing in Minutes.
You are listening to Marketing in Minutes by The Social Ms –
the podcast that gives you everything you need to know about one
marketing topic per episode.
I’m Jonathan Gebauer and today, let’s talk about why you
shouldn’t care what others think.
This episode of Marketing in Minutes is difficult – because
it’s easy to misunderstand what I’m talking about. So I need to
So I will start with this – never ignore the data you get.
But when you are asking for other people for feedback, often,
what you get isn’t real data. It’s just a feeling – or maybe
even fear that keeps people from trying out new things.
And as an entrepreneur, it’s your job to overcome that
Let me illustrate that point with one famous quote about
said faster horses.
This quote by Henry Ford illustrates perfectly what today’s
episode of Marketing in Minutes is about. It illustrates why you
should ask people what they want, but also why you shouldn’t care
what they want.
Henry Ford made the automobile popular.
And the automobile became popular because there was a need for
faster and more versatile transportation.
The transportation methods of the time were based on using
horses – so naturally faster horses would solve the problem –
but, well, it’s really impossible to come up with a better horse,
that you can mass produce. Horses have natural limitations.
A radical solution to the problem like the completely new
automobile, on the other hand, had to overcome a lot of fear.
To illustrate that: When the automobile was invented, it was
instantly met with laws in the UK and the US that required massive
safety precautions – including the requirement of a person
walking in front of it waving a red flag as a warning.
That’s how scared people are when faced with new solutions –
even if that solution could solve their greatest problem.
As an entrepreneur today, you are still facing the same problem.
The best solutions are always radical – and presenting a radical
solution always creates fear.
The greatest success stories of companies changing the world are
always met with a certain amount skepticism.
Let’s look at a more modern example.
One of the biggest startup success stories of recent times
I guess you’ve heard of it – it’s a platform that allows
you to offer your flat or house for rent to travelers – as an
alternative to hotel rooms.
And when the founders first started their business, nobody
believed in them. As a modern startup, they needed to raise money
– but they couldn’t find investors because the initial reaction
to their solution was always: “I would never use this!”
They had to hustle for their first 30.000 Dollars of capital by
repackaging cornflakes into election-themed boxes and selling
during the 2008 presidential election.
This, in turn, got them noticed by venture capitalists – who
still didn’t believe in the concept, but started to believe in
Today, Airbnb is worth more than 30 Billion Dollars.
If the founders hadn’t chosen to ignore the feedback – it
would not exist at all.
Now, ignoring feedback is one thing – but you have to be
really careful that what you do is still based on data.
AirBnB founders still had data points in their head that showed
that their concept was valid. Among other things they could see
that people were already doing what they allowed them to do on
other platforms like Craigslist.
Even if they ignored the feedback, they still examined the
And that’s what you have to do as well.
But mistaking peoples’ personal fears and opinions for data is
a mistake that can cost you your business opportunity.
I hope you liked today’s episode of Marketing in Minutes. If
you like the show please subscribe on Apple Podcasts, or wherever
you get your podcasts from.
For more information on today’s topic, check out the show
notes – which you can find at blog.thesocialms.com/MiM-31 –
And for a complete marketing strategy that allows you to grow
your business by generating free traffic, leads, and sales, check
out our book, The Social Traffic Code.
I’m Jonathan Gebauer, and you’ve been listening to Marketing
That’s all for today, take care, bye!
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Entrepreneurship Lesson: Why you should NOT listen to Feedback – Podcast Episode – The Social Ms