Startup Secret No. 7: Your friend, the naysayer

Or, why Rafe doesn't feel so bad about telling entrepreneurs their product sucks.

"F*** the accolades. Seek the criticism."

--Brendan Baker on Quora

Man, you startup wonks are a crass bunch. But this is as good advice as yesterday's F-bomb payload .

Brendan's Quora post is a must-read for entrepreneurs. Go. It's quick.

It is emotionally hard to seek critics, and harder still to listen. Step one is to believe in yourself even more than you believe in your idea. Only after you have achieved that state of being can you extract value from criticism without being affected by the bitter emotional pill it may be inside.

It should also help the pill go down easier when you remember this (also from Brendan's post): honest criticism is a show of respect.

Finally, since "most VC meetings don't result in money," as Brendan says, you have to ask yourself what other value you can get from those meetings. Smart criticism? That's a lot of value.

Which brings up another point: don't pitch your favorite investor first. Warm up on some others. Get the criticism. Toughen up, refine your pitch, and only then go to one you think is your funding soul mate.


Startup Secrets is based on personal interviews with people building companies and from their blog posts and news stories. Subscribe to Startup Secrets on Twitter or come back to Rafe's Radar every day for a new one. See all the Startup Secrets.

 

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