Avoid the elusive truth.
Imagine you are distilling top-quality rum in your garage during your free time. You mastered the recipe. Your five-year oak-aged rum is blowing friends and family off their feet. They are fighting to get hold of your unique bottled premium product, handcrafted rum.
And then, that same group of family and friends, and a few new ones, start planting the seed that you should leave your day job to focus on your fantastic product. Soon, you fell in love with the idea.
What about the market? After all, you should also fall in love with the market because they keep the boat floating. But that’s easy. The fact is you already identified the need, everybody that loves high-end crafted rum at a reasonable price.
Although, who doesn’t love a high-quality product at the right price? You made the perfect hypothesis about your product and the market, but there is no way you can prove it wrong. Furthermore, you will gain no knowledge by testing this assumption. And then, the uptake is not there.
On the other hand, you may hit your target by narrowing your ideal market to a specific age group, price range, geographical area, income, and behavior. If it is not working for you, change some parameters, test, and measure again. See if you can prove your hypothesis wrong. Repeat until you find the sweet spot.
The point is to find those early adopters from which you can grow without fooling yourself.
Bottom line: You can’t learn when you are always right. You only understand through trying different ways and making mistakes. So beware, you are on the wrong road if you can’t prove your assumptions wrong.