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Play the numbers

I’m sure many of you read Seth Godin’s blog from time to time; there aren’t many writers who make me nod my head in agreement as often as he does. A recent short post called Alienating the 2% hit the nail squarely on the head. If we produce work we’re proud of, we almost expect praise, and certainly don’t treat it as seriously as we do criticism. But people are much more likely to be moved to criticise than to praise. For every bit of negative feedback you get, how much unspoken approval is out there? As much? Five times as much? Fifty times as much? I’d suggest it’s quite often the latter. What’s more, the person who doesn’t like what you’ve done may not be especially qualified to say so. Before you admit defeat after a single piece of criticism (which we’re often inclined to do), make sure you survey the whole market and get the opinion of the silent majority.

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