Confirmation Bias in Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs sometimes admit to having what is called “confirmation bias.” Basically, they have stopped searching beyond a certain point at which they have gathered enough information to confirm what they want to believe is true.

They might believe their product or service is needed in the marketplace and ask a few people to confirm that belief. They assume everyone wants or needs the product or service based only on the opinions of a few people.

The reality is that they might not have dug deep enough to completely understand if there really is a market for it, or if they stopped before completing their research on the market, based on their own bias.

We’re talking about this today because in the world of entrepreneurship educational, it is important for the facilitators and educators to understand that bias sometimes stops an entrepreneur from learning the next step or recognizing the next idea. In their mind, they have confirmed what they believed to be true — they have stopped learning.

As a facilitator and educator you need to make sure you explain that the entrepreneur must approach their education with an open mind. Many successful entrepreneurs have shared with us that their journey never stops as far as learning is concerned. It continues every day, whether it is learning from customers, learning from peers, other entrepreneurs, employees, or anyone else. They are always engaged in learning new things.

BEFORE YOU GO:

We see our blogs as opportunities for dialogue. Please share your thoughts as comments.

1. Keep an eye for your bias confirmation. 

2. Utilize your knowledge to better assess when you stopped listening.

3. What other tools have you used to ensure your bias does not override your learning of new things.

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Faris Alami is Founder and CEO of International Strategic Management, Inc. (ISM). He works internationally, presenting Exploring Entrepreneurship Workshops and other entrepreneurial ecosystem — related ventures.

Faris Alami