If you’re more courageous than most people, your courage can give you a serious advantage because it cuts down on competition. One reason public speaking pays so well is that so many people are afraid of it, so it’s not as competitive as other fields. So if you’re willing to go where others are afraid to go, most of your would-be competitors will surrender those markets to you.
So to summarise the ideas in this chapter, idea selection has a lot to do with risk tolerance. The less risk tolerant you are, the more you’ll want to rely on market research and assessing demand to guide your decisions. As your risk tolerance increases, you can afford to take on projects that rely more heavily on going with the flow of inspiration, but even in those cases, you may still choose to validate them with a little market research to give you enough confidence to get moving.
If you’re going to go through the trouble of creating something of value to share with people, I think it’s reasonable to do at least a modest amount of market research to get a general sense of what you can expect income-wise, even if income generation is just one concern among many.
What if you can’t come up with any ideas at all? Try ordering a quad shot latte — that should get a few ideas flowing.
What are some of the pitfalls of market research, such as getting bogged down in thinking about your odds of success instead of actually placing bets on the choicest opportunities.