The helpfulness of criticism
I took a meeting with a VC the other day about my startup, "eBay for digital objects meets the social graph." There were a lot of negatives. Here's how I received the news.
I took a meeting with a VC the other day about my startup, "eBay for digital objects meets the social graph."* There were a lot of negatives.
This reminded me of Clayton Jacobson's words to the audience at a test screening:
Don't tell me what's right with the film. I can't do anything with a compliment. If you love the film that's great, but if you just say you love it, it stays that way.
(Clayton directed the hilarious Aussie mockumentary Kenny (about a guy who works for a portable restroom company). If you like toilet humor, Kenny is on Netflix.
My own philosophy couldn't be put more eloquently. I said to the VC that he needn't worry, everything was taken on board as valid criticism and without which there can be no improvement.
* Writing this note in 2017, on reflection there weren't any positives, including how the idea was pitched. Where I should have taken the business, and intuitively knew it but didn't see the go-to-market clearly enough, was to do this.