When you are just starting out, and your idea seems a bit odd to people you know it is critical to get honest feedback from people you do not know. Our friends and family love us and so it’s often hard for them to tell us exactly what’s on their minds. Sometimes they are very encouraging even if our idea is disastrously dumb. Sometimes they tear our idea down just because it’s wild and woolly and they kinda don’t get it and secretly they don’t want us to leave town. And exactly what they think doesn’t really matter. Well it matters in the sense that we love them and their feelings are important to us. But what really matters is what the big world thinks.
When you need to ask the big world, take a look at Wondermill Webworks with their mighty little Google Maps mashup ask500people, a site that let’s you do instant market research for your mad scheme.
To use ask500people you simply ask a question. Format the possible responses (multiple choice, essay, yes/no.) Then let your question loose into the wide world. And the wide world starts answering. As people answer, you can see their markers pop up on the map instantly; Fargo says NO!, Calcutta says YES!, Winnipeg says YES! Albany another YES! Poughkipsee says Meh., and Vladivostok thinks you are a gigantic cretin!
As the answers roll in your heart rises and sinks.
They like me! They REALLY LIKE ME!!!
Ask500People - Instant market research
I’m running about 80/20 positive at the time of this blog. A banner day! I know I’m onto something. I know I can make this a go! I know I can keep tweeking to my hearts content and get the jam and the cake – the instant feedback! It’s kind of like how I imagine it feels to be a budding comic, and to be killing for your first time. Addictive.
I can quit anytime I want.
Here are my questions:
Would you consider sharing your yard to grow fruit and vegetables with friends and neighbors to save money and the planet?
Would you find this site useful? with a link to hyperlocavore.
They also have tools that allow you to target your questions to the entrepreneurial community in a focused manner. Test a logo, or a tagline, a business idea through targeting a community willing to give you honest realtime answers. I’m heading over to see what else the good people at Wondermill are doing these days. As far as I can tell their products are full of awesome.