There is a brutal lesson when trying to get a company off the ground. If customers do not find your product compellingly attractive their response is simple; they do not buy it. It is a yes you did buy it versus no I did not. The latter often comes with many different reasons.
Great founders are willing to take a hard look. Not all ideas, no matter how compelling, logical, or convincing, work. Not everything is commercially viable. Recognizing the difference between what has potential and what does not is not as easy as it seems. Founders believe. Each is convicted that their idea can work. Usually they talk of the opportunity with a conditional “if” somewhere in the middle. The “if” revolves around getting the product to market with the right features and price point. Those with insight go on to talk of checkpoints where the consumer’s feedback is evaluated in context of predetermined targets. It all comes back to two questions. Did someone buy? Did enough people buy?
The market place reality is that eventually products that do not sell die. While the timing varies, eventually products without revenue disappear. As I struggle with ongoing evil battles, I realize that each is peddling an idea that fewer and fewer people are buying. I see collaboration trumping individual achievement. I see integrity dominating selfishness and deceit. The trends may be slow in emerging, but if one was for forecast the final outcome then old words ring true; “God-despisers have had it; God’s enemies are finished – stripped bare like vineyards at harvest time, vanished like smoke in thin air.” (Psalm 37.20)
It is easy to believe that our ideas are perfect. Life reminds me that I need to evaluate each against an external benchmark – sales is one, the impact on others is another. Does the idea lift people up and bring them together? If so, pursue it further. Is it consistent with community and compassion? If so, try a gentle embrace. Is peace and purpose present? You are holding on to a viable idea worth pursuing.