Innovation Management: Data Beat Opinion

 

We base so much of the key business decisions on opinions rather than data and facts.

This is like playing with fire for businesses if they don’t become conscious of it.

Opinions are abstract and subjective. No matter how skilled or experienced the person is, you can not rely merely on opinions.

 

Once your idea is born, you will receive opinions about it, whether you ask for them or not. You can divide them into positive and negative opinions.

The only difference between positive and negative opinions is: You will most likely prefer to hear the positive ones.

What they both have in common is: You should ignore them all


 

Think about it this way: an opinion is something easy to produce and share probably without giving it a lot of thought.

In the context of business innovation and product development, talking with potential customers and asking about their opinion is worthless.

A customer by offering their opinion has no money nor time to lose. No skin in the game! 

 

Now, ask the same people that they said they like your idea to pay 10.000€ for the business idea upfront so we can turn it into a product and I promise, the reactions you’ll be getting will be very different.

 

What we’d like to ponder upon is that just because you get great feedback for your idea, does not mean those same people will end up using your product. What you should pay attention to is, what they actually do. You can capture what a customer does in terms of certain metrics like conversion rate, retention rate, click-through rate, confusion rate, time to perform a task.

These are irrefutable, unbiased metrics upon which you can inform your key business decisions. 

 

To summarize this paragraph in a single sentence: Opinions are not data – not at all, not even close. Opinions could change in a heartbeat. A set of data reflects on a true snapshot of a phenomenon in a certain time frame.


 

DATA WILL ALWAYS BEAT OPINIONS

– even the opinions of C-Levels and even the highest-paid person. 

 

Let me get even more clear: When I am talking about data, I am talking about Your Own Data (YODA). Not the data someone else collected for a similar idea.

 

We prefer hard facts – hard in the sense of solid. To us, hard facts come in the form of objective data.

Opinions may be easier to take and more satisfying to hear. But what’s harder to take than solid facts is failure. Do not get me wrong – failure is great, just not at any point of a project.

 

Fail as much as you can in the beginning when there’s NO functioning product and NO running business, so there won’t be one massive undoable failure that you didn’t see coming once you and your team have used up all of your resources: time and money.


 

Failure is the keyword that brings me to my next point: Experimentation. Experimenting with your idea takes you to the data you need. The solid one – your own data.

You will fake it to see if it can stand the chance of succeeding in a market – By ‘it’ I am referring to your idea, your business.

 

We believe in building a version of your product that is very close to reality, without taking up a lot of money or time and exposing it to an audience to see what happens. We’re talking about a maximum of 3 days. Yes, 3 days. And yes. Just 3 days.

 

Remember when I told you to pay attention to what people actually do? This will get you there.

 

Even more so: You will be able to collect your own data and have the freedom to fail and learn in quick cycles of experimentation until you receive affirmative signals from the market on one of your ideas in the form of a high engagement rate by your potential customers.

In this way, you’d work on the ideas validated by the market data. You’re confident and you can already project your annual revenue and marketing budget for the chosen business idea.

 

When it comes to building a business and investing precious resources: your own data is the only truth.


 

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