Let’s start this post by defining who is included in the categorization of “ordinary people.”
If you are an entrepreneur, ordinary people includes: everybody.
Yes, even other entrepreneurs.
In your universe, in your corner of industry, with your product, your market opportunity, and your vision— you have superpowers. You have the vision and you are the expert. Everybody else is ordinary compared to you when it comes to your vision.
So here’s what you need to learn quickly about these other people… the ordinaries: They have inferior imaginations compared to you. I continue relearning this lesson daily.
You spend your days telling people what you’re building, how you’re building it and why you’re building it. You draw it on whiteboards and bar napkins. You use multiple metaphors. You mix the metaphors. You layer the metaphors. You even tell personal stories to build up the vision. But still, people never imagine the vision as clear as it is in your head.
That is, until you show them something. Give them something to play with. Or walk them through a demo of something in action. Even if it is mocked up screen shots or a clickable prototype. This is the only true way to describe a product to someone and make it “click.” This is why we work so hard to win “Demos” with customers. We don’t win slide presentations or meetings, we win the opportunity to show off a product or results.
This week, I learned this truth yet again. With Voxa Alerts invites going out and users getting their hands on it, I see the lightbulbs going off. I’m getting notes with compliments and praises about how brilliant our idea is. Of course, I want to respond and say “Yeah duh. I’ve been telling you this idea for 6 months now.” But instead, I’m getting more value out of the “Cool. Now that you’ve seen it, what else do you think it could do?”
And that’s how you help ordinary people work through their lack of imagination.