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New way of (not) asking for advice
Posted by Adriana Cronin-Lukas
Monday, July 19, 2004 @ 09:27 AM
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Seth Godin notes how asking people for advice about a new project may not be such a good idea. This realisation was sparked off by a piece on Jeff Bezos in Fast Company's cover piece this month:

My favorite part is when he talks about asking other people (experts, even) for their opinion about new projects. Inevitably, people say no. Don't do it. I don't like it. It'll fail. Don't bother.

When I think about every successful project (whether it's a book or a business or a website) the people I trust have always given me exceedingly bad advice. And more often than not, that advice is about being conservative. Or it involves focusing on things that will require a lot of work, rather than things that will make it remarkable.

I think he gets the incentive thing right too. Trying to make new and innnovative project a success means you have to get more things right before it works and potential for mistakes is huge compared to staying with tried and tested methods. I noticed that to many people competition means doing what others do but better. That is a valid understanding of competition but does not account for trying out entirely new ways of doing things. I guess that takes more than business acumen, it requires an attitude.

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