Appreciating Criticism

I pitched Peer-to-Peer Postal to a VC today. It was painful.

At this point, I have not yet put much thought into the business side of my company. Unfortunately, that’s all he asked about. I was only prepared to answer all the technical implementation questions that he didn’t ask.

When I didn’t have the answers, I panicked. I felt like a Protestant in the Spanish Inquisition. I insisted that I had already thought about those critical questions, and dismissed them as irrelevant.

We both knew I was full of crap. I just wanted him to stop asking me hard questions. My wishes were quickly granted and he stopped talking to me altogether.

The thing is, I knew this guy wasn’t out to attack me. He would have gained nothing from crushing my dreams. I chose to back myself into a corner and go on the defensive anyway. Why? Because I’m stupid and insecure.

Even if he wasn’t interested in my company — and he clearly wasn’t after I began spouting nonsense -– At least it would have been a good opportunity to have someone point out my company’s weaknesses so that I could work on them.

Criticism is far more valuable than approval. If I wanted somebody to verbally fellate my ego, I would go pitch my company to a courteous waiter. But that wouldn’t help me one bit.

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