You think your idea has tremendous potential and you are absolutely confident of your success. You know you have the right product, right team, right market everything is just perfect. There is no reason for you to be worried.
You might be thinking this way and so does 90% + entrepreneurs. When surveyed people about their driving skills to other people, 93% of people put themselves in top 50%. But if you go and ask everyone, each one is individually extremely confident - thats Confidence. Reality = A huge majority is wrong.
If you are an entrepreneur who is serious about building startup the most important thing you must do is be ‘Realistic’
This is no brainer, but what is interesting is that its hard to practice. Because the very agent responsible to help you with being realistic is corrupted. Here are few things I have learnt from the platoons.
Confirmation Bias: I first thought platoons was about helping teams solve their problem. But soon I realized that my job was to help them discover the problem. And in almost all cases its not a pleasant experience. I see entrepreneurs like people who support and appreciate their business / views and they tend to reject and hate views that are contradicting to their existing notion. This is confirmation bias - “the tendency to only pick evidence to support your viewpoint”
Bias Blind Spot: With some no matter what you do to try and highlight their challenges they will go around arguing but wouldn’t accept it even though entire room of people might agree on a point. This is Bias Blind spot = “a tendency to deny flaws in your own thinking.”
Its a good time to ask if you are suffering from this biases.
Alexander Pope wrote
“A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday,”
Here are few things we can do to try and overcome these bias (Since we can never be 100% sure).
its important to question yourself from time to time - The assumptions on which you are basing your decision, how can you verify them, What additional information you need to make a more balanced view point. Have you looked at example of similar models, similar business, similar segments.
Pick the exact opposite stand and start arguing with yourself. When in a debate with someone don’t think why you are right and the other person is wrong, consider that he is right and try to investigate why the person thinks that way - does he know something that I don’t. Dig deeper and ask more questions.
The last and my favorite is to create hypothesis that you have failed in next 6 months and what would be the reason for that. Most of us are going to fail but we can do something about it right now if we are open minded but you can’t dig a well when you are thirsty.
I see entrepreneurs trying to show strong points of their business when challenged with their weak spots. But its important to remember that in business your chain _(imagine chain with multiple links) _will break from its weakest link and not your strongest link.