Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Whether you're a theoretical physicist or an entrepreneur, the journey is still the same.

Creating something new is never easy and it's easy to become myopic in the name of holding to our original vision. But in doing this, sometimes we ignore astounding reasons why we need to pivot our vision in order to succeed. As with any new idea, the general public is going to have an opinion about it; some feedback is constructive and some is straight garbage that should be tossed out without a second thought. If you are consistently receiving the same constructive feedback from a variety of sources--it may be time to modify your original idea.

This can be scary and may cause you to feel like a sellout or a failure. So many of us have been there! In preparation for this topic, I put out one inquiry for "companies that had to pivot in order to succeed" and literally received hundreds of responses. Here's one great example:

Hyungsoo Kim, Founder and CEO of eone Timepieces, became passionate about creating a watch for the visually impaired, after sitting next to a blind classmate at MIT who often had to ask what time it was. Most watches of this kind embarrassed the user by speaking the time--drawing attention to their disability. It's also not extremely conducive if you're in a place that requires quiet!

Kim came up with a brilliant technology that allows the user to tell the time by touching the watch (if you're a fellow tech-lover, feel free to read more here). But through test groups, he found time and again that his visually impaired demographic didn't want a watch specifically for the blind: they wanted to wear the stylish timepieces everyone else was wearing. Using this information, he tested the product on sighted users. Marketing it as a "watch for the blind" wasn't working for anyone.

So he took a different angle--selling it to the audience as a high fashion, "innovative, tactile timepiece that would help them tell time without having to look down at their wrist at inopportune moments." The response? Sheer enthusiasm from both the sighted and non-sighted audience.

If you feel like you've hit a wall with your own business and your product is not being adopted in the way it should be--you might need to open yourself up to taking it another direction. There is no shame in this! Take the feedback you've received, be thankful for it, take some time, and find a way to creatively use it to your advantage. Don't throw marketing dollars away on a product that isn't just right yet. Listen to Albert Einstein and don't give into insane behavior!

Published on: Feb 25, 2015