That’s not for you…

At 40, I still only shave twice weekly and spend about $10-12 annually on razor blades. Why would anyone want the hassle of managing a subscription service for such a small, infrequent purchase? Harry’s and Dollar Shave Club generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.

The worst part of playing my Nintendo as a kid was patiently waiting for my turn to kill bad guys and save the princess. Why would anyone ever want a gaming service where their turn never comes? Amazon bought Twitch, a service that live streams people playing video games, for nearly a billion dollars.

Sadly, I have plenty of other examples. Twenty years ago, I couldn’t imagine that anyone would ever click the paid links on Google instead of the organic ones. And, I never would have expected that over 150,000 people would write unpaid research reports on Wikipedia – and do it anonymously.

Aside from realizing that the world clearly doesn’t revolve solely around my needs and that I’d make a terrible venture capitalist, the lesson here is that sample sizes of one are inherently dangerous for decision-making and understanding consumer behavior. Just because you don’t have the need or wouldn’t take the action, doesn’t mean a sizable market isn’t out there.

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