Getting Feedback

The other day, the CEO and co-founder of AirBnB asked a question on Twitter.

He asked:

I thought it was really cool that the CEO of a multi-billion dollar company would take to twitter and ask the public what they wanted to see his company do next year.

A couple things to note that stand out:

  • This tweet got over 1.9k responses! That is a huge number. In that thread, listed out, was probably every single variation of what AirBnB could do over the next 5-10 years. It is up to their team to filter through that information and figure out which moves make the most sense.

That is the challenge that all entrepreneurs face, and it is highlighted in this example.

Ideas really are quite worthless. You just saw via Twitter that every random user could come up with an idea.

What really matters, and what AirBnB has done sooo well over the years, is the execution. Execution is the differentiator. Anyone can talk. Few people can do. Even fewer people can do at scale over a long period of time. And that is what makes the best founders operate.

  • Getting feedback is crucial. Brian Chesky is no stranger to receiving feedback. When you grow a company and get rejected as often he has ~ you hear the good and bad all of the time. The hardest part is sifting through the noise and finding what really matters.

As I said earlier, everyone loves giving you advice. But most advice is really not the best thing you should be doing. Few people have the perspective you need to really grow your company.

And when you are a small company ~ getting all this advice is so overwhelming. Could you imagine if you had a small startup and you took to Twitter and got 1500 ideas of what you should be doing with your product? What would you do?

  1. That would be a huge distraction. How could you focus on your core product when all of these enticing alternatives stand in the way? “We could do this…we could pivot to this…”
  2. You want feedback from diverse opinions. But what you really want is direct feedback from your users. You want to hear from them because their opinion is what really matters. Even after you do hear from your users, even your power users, you may not want to do everything they want.

Be super selective in which feedback you implement. You will have to say no 99% of the time. Why? Because as a founder, your time is everything.