Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Devil's Advocate

This is a great term. I wish people would feel it more deeply when they succumb to the temptation of criticizing friends and colleagues who are trying to create something. Giving birth to a new idea has to be one of the most fragile psychological processes we go through as adults. When you talk to someone who is starting up, I encourage you to stretch your imagination to find those aspects of the venture which hold the most promise, and then to concentrate your attention and words in praise of that.

The devil will come, we need more angels.


Amitabh Jain said...

Interesting viewpoint. Sometimes the criticism can be brutal on a wanna-be entrepreneur, scaring him off before he even begins..

But, if the entrepreneur is not psychologically strong enough to defend his ideas in words, what will happen to him when the real action begins?

I feel:
1. An entrepreneur should be able to listen and withstand criticism of any kind (good/bad/harsh/positive/valid/invalid/etc).
2. He should be able to separate valid and invalid criticism.
3. He should be able to logically respond to and point out invalid criticism!
4. He should be able to understand and respond with a plan for the valid criticism.

Maybe then he has a good chance of success!


Roshan said...

Well said Freeman. I think this is something that all people who work at start-ups need to tell themselves- if you can't contribute positively, it's best to do something else.

It was good meeting you at the IITB event. Let me know when you finally manage to get off the ground.

J.R. said...

Its such a strange thing to jump into a conversation that begun months ago... forever ago...

Constructive Criticism is another great term. Knowing when to say Yes and how to say... "Instead of that, is this a better way to go?" or "Could it be this AND that?". How can we all learn to be better teachers? Its a wonder how ideas come to life!

This is an interesting thing to think about before going into a brain storm. Thank you.