They said you were mad. They said it couldn’t be done. You’ll show them! You’ll show them all! Most entrepreneurs have a streak of Dr. Frankenstein in them – you have to have conviction to bring something completely new to life. You have to be willing to take risks, to trust your gut, and to go to great (and sometimes unusual) lengths to get things done. You also have to be resilient. Your early experiments may fail, you might struggle to find funding, and you will almost certainly face a litany of questions about why you’re doing what you do.
All of these are vital qualities for the innovator who hopes to catch lightning in a bottle. Dr. Frankenstein certainly did – his scientific accomplishments were far beyond anything the world had ever seen – but one critical mistake means his discovery will always be overshadowed in our imaginations by the monster he unleashed. By tuning out his critics, Dr. Frankenstein also ignored valuable insights that could have improved his creation and prepared him for the PR challenge of bringing an unholy amalgamation of dead bodies to life.
When people criticise your project it’s easy to dismiss them as haters, but very often there are valid concerns underlying their words. Are there dangers you’re downplaying? Will your customers have a gut reaction that puts them off the product? Is the solution you’ve come up with really fit for purpose? Good critics will help you navigate these issues constructively, and engaging with them early in development might save you from bad-faith critics further down the road (the kind with torches and pitchforks).
Need balanced, constructive criticism from a trustworthy source? Get in touch with SIE’s senior business advisors. Or if you have a great concept just waiting for a jolt of energy, enter it in our Fresh Ideas Competition. You could win funding, business support and expert feedback. Bring your creation to life!