I Don't Need Your Feedback

Written by Azat Mardan

I was at a conference and some guy told me after a quick chat “I’ll give you my feedback on Node University”. No, I don’t need your feedback. I don’t even know if you are my target audience. 👊

Sometimes we assume all feedback is good. The more the better. Bring it on! This is especially true if you’ve been feedback starved which usually means you didn’t have enough users or no one really cared. Ugh.

Let’s put aside Lean Startup, most of feedback is garbage because the person who is giving it:

  • Not a customer 💰: They are NOT paying you money and most likely never will, therefore they are NOT your target audience. Of course, first you must have a paid product or a service. You can replace paying with actively engaging.
  • Not a majority 💯: Minority which means you should NOT cater to their needs — use 80/20 rule.
  • Not an expert 🎓: They don’t know what’s best. It’s your job to be on the cutting-edge of innovation and bring the goodies to the user. It’s not the user’s job to know about the new stuff. (Think Ford and horses.)

The downsides of listening to too much wrong feedback is a feature creep, fashion-driven development and lack of innovation. For example, most of my negative reviews on Amazon are written by people who never read the books’ introductions and most of them never finished reading the books either. Ignore.

Feedback is proliferating. Uber ride? Leave your feedback. Hotel stay? Fill out a survey. Meal in a restaurant? Comment on Yelp. Listened to a conference talk? Fill a survey. Watched an online course? Leave stars. Read a book? Write a review… But we know so little about the background of those reviewers! Be careful who you are listening to, because you are missing on other opportunities… use some feedback filter like the one I listed above.