There's often a difference between how we think things are going and how they actually are. This is a blind spot. It's easy to see this in others but harder to observe in ourselves. So it follows that others can likely see things in us that we might have missed.
If your goal is to just create Art for the sake of it, then it's probably OK to keep going, building upon what you've been doing. But if you want to serve the market, or bring value to an audience, then it's probably worth getting a read on what your audience actually thinks about your work.
You can do this by getting feedback. Feedback can help you become aware of your blind spots and realize things that might not have been super obvious, especially since we tend to be attached to our creations and be biased toward their strengths.
Whatever product or service you are building. It's worth integrating some kind of direct feedback mechanism, either through a short survey, providing a support email, or asking people to leave an honest review. Then take action on whatever the market is telling you to improve.
You don't have to change directions entirely if you have an internal vision for the product. It's simply about becoming aware of your blind spots and improving them. I.e., the things going one way in your perception but coming across as something else entirely to others.
If, on the other hand, you are in business solely to serve the market and make a profit, then yes, you might want to use the feedback to pivot into the direction the market wants you to go.
Instagram started as a check-in app called Burbn. The solo founder used analytics to find that users were more interested in using the photo-sharing feature rather than checking in. Based on this, he decided to pivot, hire a few people and serve the market entirely. Two years later, they were acquired for $1 Billion. Now that's what I call a hypersonic home run. Yup, serving the market at scale while generating network effects can lead to explosive growth (but watch out for the explosive server costs if you are building something like this).
And on the other end, if you are a musician wanting to play classical piano for your own fulfillment, but the market says you should go electronic, then you might not want to pivot. Why would you care what the market says if you are just creating Art? Well, you can still get valuable feedback to improve your craft. Maybe you missed something the audience caught, like how it made them feel. Your goal could have been to make people happy, but perhaps it just made them hangry instead. Or perhaps you think your work just isn’t good enough, but in reality, it fills people with joy. That's a blind spot, which you can't know unless you ask.
Interestingly, I realized I've been writing this newsletter for a while now as well. But I haven't gotten too much feedback other than likes and occasional email replies in response to certain posts. This means I likely have a bunch of blind spots on how the content is performing. Sometimes, I can't help but wonder if anyone is even really reading these posts. But, without feedback, one can only wonder…
So, I looked into a few solutions and found a simple plug-in that allows me to gather anonymous feedback.
If you don't mind and have a few seconds, it would be super helpful if you could provide me with some feedback on Startup Flyby below. It could be anything— the things you like, the things you don't like, things you want more off, less off, favorite posts, or just anything you wanted to let me know.
As mentioned, it's all anonymous. So if you don't enter your name or email, I'll only see the message and the rating you chose. But feel free to add your name or email if you'd like or want me to respond.
Thanks a bunch! This will be much, much, much appreciated :)
Please help me improve! How do you like Startup Flyby?
With your anonymous feedback, I can improve the newsletter.
From now on, I'll integrate this into every post to better understand how the content is performing.