should you create for yourself or others?

In building a business, creativity, product management by Jay Clouse

In conversations with creators, one philosophical question frequently comes up.

Should you create for yourself or for others?

It would be amazing if you could say “both” with confidence, but it’s not that easy.  While a ton of iconic work is made out of the pure interests of the artist, successful products and businesses are most frequently created from understanding of a type of person and the problem they face.

And so as an entrepreneur (and former product manager) I’m constantly struggling with this question. Should I make this thing because I want to, or should I validate the idea with a target audience first?

There are tradeoffs.

By creating something based on feedback, you are more likely to be able to monetize the work immediately. But you sacrifice some of your creative freedom.

By creating something purely out of your own interest, you risk the project falling on deaf ears. All the time and money invested to make it a reality could go to waste.

Of course, that’s assuming you care about monetizing the work.

Where do you fall?


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