There are always going to be people who tell you what you CAN’T do. There are always going to be reasons to stop, to give in or to "do as you are told". Sometimes even your loyal customers will also tell you not to proceed with your idea.

Russell Davies points us to a summary of "feedback" about the launch of Apple’s iPod. One piece of feedback stated:

I for one am disappointed and think that apple is making a mistake by trying to get into this market.

This just adds fuel to my post about focus groups. Here, Apple’s customers were telling or retelling brand stories from the recent past. The customers were considering the iPod not as a revolution in the way that we consume and engage with music, but as the descendent of Apple’s Newton — it was the next chapter in a narrative of failure.

So where did Apple go right? They saw the opportunity as one of disconnection. They were not reading the Apple Story — they were reading the story of the music industry and could see the potential for disruption and reinvigoration. They would have needed a whole swarm of product evangelists to keep the project humming along … but at least they would have been humming the same tune!

I say, believe in your own good ideas. Even the one’s that bite you will teach you a lesson. And the ideas that win, win big.

S.