Harry Potter owes its first publishing to an 8-year-old. Nigel Newton, CEO of Bloomsbury Publishing, didn’t read through the first manuscript of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone himself. He brought it home and gave it to his 8-year-old daughter, Alice, to read. She read the first chapter and came away glowing.
“Dad, this is so much better than anything else.”
It didn’t just stop there. Alice nagged her dad for months wanting to see what was next.
It seems so obvious to talk about it after the fact, but testing something out is the best way to gauge how it will land in the market. Picking a children’s book? Give it to a child to read and see what they think.
This is why anyone starting an idea with their focus being to get rich has a harder time gaining traction with their product compared to someone who genuinely loves solving the problem they are working on. Knowing what you’re doing will make the world a better place and solving an interesting problem will make you a better maker. You will be able to focus on the problem and how customers react.
Nigel obviously loves his work and reading. He’s raising a daughter who wants to read. He wasn’t only thinking about making money quick. Enlisting your 8-year-old for help is now how you make money quickly. But it is how you love the journey of testing out books to find the next endearing story (which Harry Potter definitely has become).