The CEO of a multi-million dollar public company asked a new entrepreneur for feedback on their software. The entrepreneur was excited to share their honest thoughts and suggested a fix to one of the features. The fix was implemented that same week.
Meanwhile, a smaller competitor was hiring employees in an attempt to expand. They reached out to candidates with the promise of a job, only to redirect them to an impersonal screening call. The recruiter recorded answers to questions without actually listening to any of the responses. The candidate ended the call by asking for feedback to better prepare for the next interview. The recruiter then shamed the candidate for demonstrating weakness, and disappeared without replying to any of the follow ups. The company struggled and ended up laying off 50% of its employees before being acquired for parts.
After experiencing the culture of each of these companies first hand, their fate doesn’t surprise me. The CEO is a reflection of a company that is successful because it values feedback and continuous improvement. On the other hand, a company that considers asking for feedback to be a weakness is bound to end up failing. True weakness is being afraid of rejection and constructive criticism that might lead to you having to change.
Ask for, and listen to, feedback.
Do you have any feedback about Hōjicha Co.? Please share your thoughts with me here.
Once your company will be worth billions, one mean-spirited email won’t matter. In fact, it will most likely never even reach you.
The story is different when you’re a team of five. Every single email, good or bad, is forwarded to you. While feedback is always welcome, some people don’t realize that sending an email full of hate isn’t very helpful. These people might even be your biggest ‘fans’, but they fail to realize how badly their careless email hurts. Furthermore, they fail to realize how their follow up tweet will hurt your chances to close your upcoming funding round.
The best solution is to kill them with kindness, and hope they move on to their next rant.
Don’t worry about launching your MVP without an email sign-in if you’re targeting Facebook users. Don’t delay your weekly blog post because you haven’t found the perfect image. Don’t leave out a call-to-action until you’ve hired a copywriter.
These type of people are always going to find something to complain about, make a big deal out of it, and say that you’re the worse. Haters gonna hate. The next time someone has a bad day and takes it out on you, remember that the only reason you have a missing feature is because you actually had the courage to launch something in the first place.
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