“A seed grows with no sound, but a tree falls with huge noise. Destruction has noise, but creation is quiet. This is the power of silence. Grow silently.” – unknown
When you’re doing meaningful work, forging new paths, and slowly evolving into everything you need to become, it’s worth doing so in the shadows.
It’s worth working in the silence, cutting out the noise and giving yourself an opportunity to hear the faint whispers of inspiration, creativity, and magic.
The faint whispers of greatness that lies within.
Validate your idea or work in the shadows until it’s ready to launch?
That said, everything I have learned through #agile courses, especially the Advanced Product Owner and Scrum with User Experience courses, teaches the value of getting validation and feedback early.
Sometimes, that is customers and product stakeholders, whilst at other times it is going to be the team you are working with. You are going to receive critical feedback that informs how you solve the most compelling problems or develop the most valuable solutions.
Feedback that could save you heaps in development costs. Save you hundreds, if not thousands of hours of time and effort.
So, how do you balance those two opposing ideas.
Whilst I do love the idea of guarding your work, guarding your spirit, and allowing yourself time to do the deep work, I also get the value of rapid feedback loops and iteration cycles.
I also understand the value of getting a potential customer to validate that the work is valuable, necessary, and worth paying money for.
It’s the last part that truly matters if you are looking to monetize your idea or work.
The literature, wisdom, and incredible insights from people who excel at product development is very clear.
You need to validate your idea as quickly and cost effectively as possible. Run a series of cheap experiments before you build prototypes.
Validating your ideas. Where to start?
There’s a great book from Alex Osterwalder called ‘Testing Business Ideas’ that will give you a whole host of experiments you can run to validate your product or idea, or you can invest in a course that will help you align your thinking and efforts in a way that delivers the highest returns on investment.
If you’re thinking of the latter, I can highly recommend the Professional Scrum with User Experience (PSU) course and the Advanced Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO-A) course to help you really drill down into what value is, how to create it effectively, and how you can place value at the very centre of your product development processes.
I did both the PSPO-A and the PSU course through John Coleman (X Agility) and can highly recommend the experience. John brings a world of knowledge, skills, and agile capabilities into each training session and is passionate about Agile.
- Advanced Professional Scrum Product Owner course
- Professional Scrum with User Experience (PSU) course
Disclaimer: John Coleman is my client. I’m not being paid to write this nor have I been asked to provide any endorsements for the course(s).
There’s a moment where people around you cannot understand why you won’t let an idea go.
A moment where other people simply can’t grasp your vision or understand how your product or service is going to compete against established brands and players.
Should you listen to them and abandon your idea?
This was an interesting learning curve for me a decade ago.
A friend of mine had an idea, had put tons of time and effort into his concept, and simply would not accept ‘no’ as an answer. I remember him letting me know that whilst he was grateful for feedback and appreciated honest advice, he was going to persist with his idea and bring it to life.
A decade later and his concept, business, and brand extensions around the concept are all thriving.
Because deep down in the place where words and logic don’t live, he simply KNEW that he was onto something and that it would take all his courage, creativity, and persistence to achieve.
He accepted that challenge and won.
So, my caveat to seeking validation of your idea is that listening to your own inner voice needs to be a part of the feedback that you’re evaluating.
As Henry Ford once said, ‘if I had asked people what they wanted, they would have asked for a faster horse.’
Sometimes, the original idea is what puts you on the path to something greater. Your initial idea may stumble and falter, and the courage you muster is what allows you to keep sensing your way through the darkness, adapt and respond to bring your idea to life.
Sometimes that journey teaches you how to become a powerful entrepreneur or product owner, and forces you to develop the skills, knowledge, and capabilities you need to truly succeed. Embrace that journey.
Deep down, you’re going to know if you’re stuck in quicksand or working your way through it.
So, embrace the path of seeking validation and feedback, but also carve time out in the silence so that you can hear the whispers that will guide you to greatness.
Sometimes, those whispers say no, not yet there’s still work to be done, whilst at other times you’re going to get the green light.
If there’s too much noise in your world, you’re not going to hear those whispers.