Balancing Gut Feelings Versus Data – In an Amazon Economy

It’s a classic story, the “crazy” inventor tinkering in his garage day in and day out, who suddenly becomes a household name. How many times have we heard this tale? Think back to some of the inventors such as Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, Goodyear and Blakely. All of them operated in a similar manner. They had one goal, trying to solve a problem that they were presented with. Not one hired a venture capital firm. To be fair, many of them wouldn’t even know what a venture capital firm is. If they did, they were driven by their desire to problem solve and not to make money.

In the mirage of social media and reality shows, people think that there is a data model that supports a business model. It has become commonplace that people start a company not out of the deep love of what drives them to wake up in the morning but based on a hunch or even an algorithm that suggest that there is money to be made.

Every company and every product is different and the demands for each product is different. But almost every inventor and first time entrepreneur develops something from the ground up through hard work, fueled by passion and persistence. These business owners follow their intuition and trust it. Even when others think that they are wasting their time, or even go as far as suggesting that it is a fool’s errand, they press on. If you are going to make waves, it is safe to assume not everyone will understand your why.

FACT: Investors only invest once the model is proven, the company has generated sales and realizes the opportunity can be grown with additional capital that typically entrepreneurs run out of over time. The reality is that in today’s dynamic marketplace, data is hard to come by for new sectors and products. Successful entrepreneurs rely on going with their gut initially, but quickly adapt as they get feedback.

That is the true secret to success.

Your gut only gets you so far and then you need to quickly transition to leveraging data and testing different gut instincts. You can only put so much energy towards an idea before you need to put it to work and let the public test it out. Eventually as you test concepts you start leveraging small groups of data.

This year we have invested in a number of tools that we can test and monitor ideas for your business and watch what your competitors are doing. We are excited to be able to offer our clients the chance to be able to test a more aggressive message or a more passive message.

Our vision for 2020 is for you to trust your gut, but to understand when start using data to support whether customers are understanding your message and what you need to tweak.