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You should change your idea when you (a) have new one you're convinced is better, and (b) it won't cost too much to switch to it (e.g. because it overlaps a lot with your current idea).

Harder to say when to quit. I suppose you quit when you can't take it anymore. Which means deciding that depends less on the product than on you.

I don't think it's a good idea to just quit if you have a new idea that you think is better. I say this from experience. A few months back I was convinced that we should drop our iPhone apps because we weren't passionate about them. We weren't making that good of money on them either. I was really passionate about a book sharing website (shower idea that you wrote about) and I wanted to devote my efforts to it.

Fast forward to now, had I have made that move, it would have literally cost me thousands - as the apps are really gaining traction. I blogged about the book sharing website twice and it seemed to generate little interest.

My criteria would be: a) If you aren't getting ANY traction in a predetermined period b) when you talk/write/tweet/blog/speak about your idea or product and very little seem interested, it might be time to quit or pivot. My 2 cents.

Change your standard for being convinced that another idea is better, and pg's heuristic would have worked in your situation.

PG, what would you do if you already had a profitable, slowly growing product that was based on a mediocre idea, and two new ideas:

  A good idea with low diversification costs
  A great idea with high diversification costs
I say diversification costs, primarily time and focus, instead of switching costs because the first product will still be maintained and grown, not abandoned.

Depends on your goals. If you just want to make a good living with the least stress, change nothing. If you're more ambitious, try the great idea.

Also (c) when your idea isn't working out.

We're undergoing a massive internal change that's pretty much akin to starting an entirely new business within a business, simply because what we're doing has less potential growth than what we're looking at doing, which is new (which is rare in our industry).


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