In my last post, I wrote about the importance of building a solid Advisory Board. An Advisory Board ensures that as your startup grows, you have a trusted set of mentors you can turn to for advice on shaping your business strategy.
And while it's important to take others' input into consideration, frankly, sometimes it can be just as important to ignore it.
Entrepreneurs are oftentimes bombarded with advice - some of it useful and some of it destructive. It can be disconcerting to hear feedback from people that don't understand your project or your vision. And it can be frustrating to face rejection from potential investors, partners, or customers.
Of course, comments that "That'll never work" can also become the motivation for even more determination. So in that spirit, here is a list of the some of advice that, thankfully, other smart folks ignored.
"Children just aren't interested in Witches and Wizards anymore." - Anonymous publishing executive to J.K. Rowling, 1996.
"Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?" - H. M. Warner, co-founder of Warner Bros. 1927.
"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." - Ken Olson, Founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977.
"We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out." - Decca Records executives rejecting the Beatles, 1962.
"You better get secretarial work or get married." - Emmeline Snively, Director, Blue Book Modelling Modelling Agency, to Marilyn Monroe in 1944.
"The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty, a fad." - The President of the Michigan Savings Bank advising Henry Ford's lawyer not to invest in the Ford Motor Co., 1903.
"I would say that this does not belong to the art which I am in the habit of considering music." - Alexandre Oulibicheff, reviewing Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Kipling, but you just don't know how to use the English language." - The San Francisco Examiner, rejecting a submission by Rudyard Kipling in 1889.
"The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys." - Sir William Preece, Chief Engineer, British Post Office, 1878.
"A cookie store is a bad idea. Besides, the market research reports say America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make." - Response to Debbi Fields' idea of starting Mrs. Fields' Cookies.
"The world potential market for copying machines is 5000 at most." - IBM, to the eventual founders of Xerox, saying the photocopier had no market large enough to justify production, 1959.
Sources. Post inspired by by Tim Andren's 17 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Shouldn't Listen to "Experts."