The Socrates Method
The process of poking holes in an idea or an assumption - e.g. ‘there are many people in developing nations who want to be entrepreneurs, therefore they will buy my entrepreneur learning guides’ - is not new. Around 2500 years ago, the great Greek philosopher Socrates engaged with his fellow Greeks on a number of topics that affected them, so that they could get to the truth. They didn’t have Google back then, so this seemed like the best way of resolving arguments. The process went something like this:
Socrates’ friend proposes an idea, for example “Koeksisters should be sold online and delivered door to door”, which Socrates considers false and wants to interrogate.
Socrates proposes counter-ideas that his friend will agree on, for example “Koeksisters are tasty as hell” and “storing and delivering koeksisters is challenging”.
Socrates then argues, and his friend agrees, that his counter-ideas imply that the original idea, while appearing solid on first hearing, is not actually that strong.
Socrates thus shows that his friend’s idea needs a ton of work and rethinking in order for it to get past the challenges it faces.
The point here is not to destroy your confidence - it’s to blow apart the idea and pull it back in again. You have to be open to criticism and allow for course-correction, in order to foster a concept that can withstand interrogation.
Believe me, this is really important when it comes to the phase of getting investment for your business.