So are there customers here or not?

You’ve probably heard this one before, but like a lot of good stories, it bears repeating.

Two sales people from an American shoe company visit Aboriginal Australia. One reports back, somewhat despondently, “There is no market here…nobody wears shoes.” The other reports back, excitedly, “There are tons of customers here…nobody wears shoes! Send inventory immediately!”

Both could be proven right based on their interpretation of data. A key difference between success and failure is often going to be VISION, which is why even though “big data” and all these other tools sound so great, there will never be anything that replaces entrepreneurial instinct and enthusiasm.

The artist cannot look to others to validate his efforts or his calling. If you don’t believe me, ask Van Gogh, who produced masterpiece after masterpiece and never found a buyer in his whole life. The artist must operate territorially. He must do his work for its own sake.” – Steven Pressfield, The War of Art