Ok, so I love the idea of publishing myself on the web for all to see and interact with. I am an entertaining guy (3rd party objective review, I swear). Plus, I’m thoughtful. I listen, and most of all, I provide honest, frank feedback that you don’t normally get from polite people. Did I mention I’m often not polite? Sorry if having a voice in the 21st century is considered impolite. You know what? I’m not sorry. I care about what you’re saying to me, and I respect you enough to listen to your perspective and interact with you instead of just ignoring you like the other 500 million people out there on Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn/Skype/etc, who seem mostly interested in spamming my feeds with minutia, in a desperate attempt to compete with the twitterati social marketing status quo.
What I mean to say is I don’t like filtering myself when folks ask me for feedback. I like to give a pure, real, and instinctive reaction to whatever it is they share with me. Sometimes, I hurt people’s feelings, and I don’t like that, but pain, like failure, is a powerful motivator. If your shit sucks, I will tell you exactly that. The thing that separates me from the rest of Asshole America™ is that I actually care about your best interests. I want to help. That’s why I advertise myself as an open ear for all who care to share. That’s why I’m active in the developer community. I want to drive the status quo up by helping people help each other, and I love feeling like I’ve contributed something positive to someone’s life. So, when I tell you your shit sucks, it’s because it does, and I want to help you make it not suck. After all, sucky shit doesn’t make anyone any money (at least, not outside of Hollywood), and we all want to be at least comfortably rich.
Speaking of rich, I’m writing this post mostly in response to Allan Branch’s latest blog post. (I promise, I’ll make sense of that segue in a sec) Allan gets it. He’s real. I love listening to @stevenbristol and @allanbranch specifically because they’re real. They don’t filter. That’s such a rare trait, it’s like iridium. You could live your whole life and not encounter it, unless you’re really fortunate. I can count on one hand the number of people I’ve met in my 33yrs on this rock who could be described that way. They are my simultaneously best friends and my heroes, though they likely live in blissful ignorance of this fact. These people are the ones we need to listen to. These people are the ones we should call when we have doubts about our products, our services, and our strategies for succeeding in this increasingly competitive world. They are the ones who will give us real unfiltered feedback, because they genuinely care about pushing the quality average toward infinity, and they’re not afraid to tell you your entire business strategy that you’ve worked for 2yrs to perfect is bollocks and will sell to 15 people, all of whom are no more than 2 degrees of separation from you and your business partners. They’ve lived through a real world example, and they learned from their experience. And believe me, they are not shy about sharing what they’ve learned.
So, to all four of you who are reading this, I implore you to ask for feedback often. More importantly, ask someone you trust to give you an honest critique. If you feel like you have to ask them not to pull any punches, maybe you should ask someone else, like Steven Bristol or Allan Branch, or me, for that matter. At least then you know you’re getting a truly honest perspective from someone who only wants you to succeed. Well, that and they want you to tell your friends about their product, and they know if they entertain you enough while providing valuable feedback, they make more money too.
They say a rising tide floats all boats, but that just sounds like global warming to me… just kidding. Buy a Prius!