Has anybody given you the wrong directions and wasted your time?
Whenever we put out our work into the world, people can offer us feedback. Some feedback is useful, but not all of it. In fact, most of it is noise. How do we make the distinction?
A good friend of mine runs a startup that optimizes transport routes. He mentioned how his conversations go with people who do not have a background in route optimization. They often suggestions that seem insightful, but are tangential to what his customers need. Going down the road they suggest could mean building features that customers do not use – a waste of precious time and resources.
The best feedback comes from a specific set of people. A business needs to focus on its most valuable customers. As individuals, we ought to listen to our friends and mentors – people who understand us, care for us, and want us to succeed. Every other feedback doesn’t matter as much. The best of products have 1-star reviews on Amazon and a handful of people howling at them. Sadly, that product wasn’t for them, and for the same reason, their feedback ought to be ignored.
When we need to get somewhere, we have one optimal route, but a multitude of sub-optimal ones. The people whose directions we follow can make all the difference.