The Fear of Bad Reviews

There’s an erroneous comment on my book page on Amazon which is negatively impacting my sales.

The person obviously misread the book, if even opened it up at all.  

I originally ignored the rating.  And then I responded to the feedback with some comments.  And after it itched me some more, I researched the Internet to see if it was possible to get rid of a false review.  

Apparently you can’t delete false reviews, nor will Amazon take them down upon request.  

But at least I stumbled upon some practical reminders about creating and publishing art.

If you fear negative reviews, you shouldn’t publish.

And this one:  

Anyone that creates a piece of art, in any medium (painting, sculpture, music, film, the written word), and decides to put their art out on display for all the world to see, has to take the good with the bad. Some people might love it, some people might hate it, some people might feel indifferent toward it, but they are all entitled to their opinions.

Everyone has their own perspective, their own bias, their own attention, and is responsible for their own actions.  

I refuse to let the fear of criticism prevent me from publishing again.  My second book will be out next month.  Bring it. 

Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

Some advice from Jeff Bezos

He said people who were right a lot of the timewere people who often changed their minds. He doesn’t think consistency of thought is a particularly positive trait. It’s perfectly healthy — encouraged, even — to have an idea tomorrow that contradicted your idea today.

Most people say that you should make a decision and stick with it.  What they don’t say is how long.  There’s always new factors that come into play.  Maybe you learned something the next day that tweaks your opinion slightly or completely reverses your position.  

Flip flopping is not necessarily a bad thing if you can back it up with your gut and experience.  

The most important thing is to decide and then deduce.  Unfortunately, sometimes you don’t know if you’re wrong until after you take the action.  In some instances, such failure can have consequences, such as Tim Cook’s outing of Scott Forstall who messed up Apple’s maps and Siri launches.  

Forstall mistakenly believed that he could replace a good product (Google Maps) with a shoddy one and grow it quickly as user data came in. It turns out people can quickly assess quality and convenience and complain about it loudly on the Internet.  

If you do change your mind often, make sure you do it on decisions that don’t have a massive impact.  Or simply delay that decision until you’ve done more market research.  Even Steve Jobs was wrong a lot but he gave himself time to reflect until he felt more confident about a decision. 

Creativity Productivity & Work

Maira Kalman on walking

I walk everywhere in the city. Any city. You see everything you need to see for a lifetime. Every emotion. Every condition. Every fashion. Every glory.

Wonderful things happen when your brain is empty.

Maira Kalman

‘More of More’

Variety works and keeps customers coming back only if the base is good, the choices are aplenty and equal in taste, and the experience is memorable.

This is the case for Valencia, a small Venezuelan restaurant in Norwalk, CT.  

They’ve mastered the art of the empanada, offering endless choices of fill ins including my favorites queso with chicken, guacemole, or melon.  You can even make a chocolate-banana empanada.

The prices per empanada are $2 – $4, enough to get two or maybe even three if you’re really hungry.  

Valencia has mastered the product long-tail, the benefit of unlimited choice that meets any niche taste. Eating there is the food equivalent of, endless array of products at reasonable prices and awesome and swift customer service you don’t forget.  

Had Valencia and Amazon just had one niche product, a slow customer experience, and a boring environment people would forget it and move on to find something else.

Valencia and Amazon are unique in that instead of selling less of more, they actually sell ‘more of more.’  A company can afford to expand its variety in a mass of niche desires.  There’s something for everybody.


Doing It Better

I suspect we’re going to see more startups chop off pieces of big companies like Amazon and Facebook and become dominant in specialty areas.

Wayfair is in the online housewares business.  Instagram was in the social-mobile photography business.

Both companies are lean, focused, and simply do that one thing better than the hegemons.


Social Shopping (In-Store)

Foursquare and Shazam give people a reason to go to and stay in stores. It doesn’t matter if you’re redeeming a digital coupon for checking in or unlocking exclusive content, either way you’re experiencing the store.

But adding Facebook Likes to clothing items takes the store experience up a notch.

The online and physical worlds are getting more intertwined so much so that they’re becoming mirror images of each other. Earlier this week I wrote about bringing the concept of pinning in store. If I can like a piece of clothing on Facebook and see it in store I should be able to pin the same clothing item to my bag, ‘Pin to bag.’

The in store API should also tell me which of my friends bought or recommend the same items.

Ironically Facebook commerce (F-Commerce) may come to fruition in store, not on Facebook itself. This will finally give Facebook reason to really push its social currency.

The social store is just around the corner in the physical world, strengthening brick and mortar. Maybe that’s why Amazon is opening up stores after all.

Source: via Wells on Pinterest