A few months ago Anne Clelland asked me how an aspiring entrepreneur might tell when it's time to quit, when the handwriting on the wall has reached billboard proportions.
"How, indeed?" I replied via her blog. "What if they stop too soon? What if they continue, for apparently valid, but faulty reasons?" [Read more at Handshake 2.0.]
Here's a related question, connected to one of the most common entrepreneurial mistakes. "Is my enthusiasm clouding my judgment?"
Unfortunately, I regularly meet people for whom the answer to that question is a resounding "YES!"
Inventors really love their inventions. In fact, they often love them so much that they cannot recognize apathetic responses from their intended buyers. It's not just that they don't believe negative feedback. They cannot process it at all. Their beliefs are so strong that they exclude from consideration any and all information that might generate doubt.
A Market is an identifiable population of individuals or organizations that shares some compelling situation - a need or want. Yes, it's that simple. A population with a situation.
The MOXIE-blinded inventor sees a population where none exists, or a situation that is anything but compelling.
That's why Mentors are one of the Four Fundmental Factors common to successful entrepreneurs. Honest Mentors can/should improve clarity of vision for the over-enthusiastic inventor.
So, if you are the inventor, find yourself a mentor who is not MOXIE-blind.
If you meet an entrepreneur on the street, check for MOXIE goggles. If they are in evidence, smash them!