Branding 117 Respond Criticism

Published on September 21st, 2013 | by Jose Vasquez


Tips for Responding to Criticism in Startup Tech Companies

Criticism is never easy to take, but you have to be able to respond eloquently and effectively if you’re going to successfully defend your product and your brand’s reputation.

As an entrepreneur, you’re going to face a lot of criticism in a lot of different scenarios. Investors, team members, customers, and competitors will all have something negative or critical to say about your company or your approach. While you should always listen to constructive criticism, it’s important to understand that it’s a natural part of running any startup, and you should not take it personally.

However, no matter what type of criticism you receive or how you receive it, you should always make an effort to respond. Failing to respond can make it seem like you don’t care what others think of your business, and can make you seem oblivious to others’ opinions. It can be difficult, especially if the criticism is harsh, but these tips can help you make the most of the occasion:

  • Know your medium. Don’t respond to a critical tweet with a lengthy apology letter, and don’t respond to a formal question by an investor with a vague answer.
  • Respond quickly. The longer you let something linger, the less effective your response is going to be. NEVER ignore criticism.
  • Accept responsibility. If you did something wrong, admit to it. If someone has valid criticism, accept it. Be gracious and your customers will respect you greatly.
  • Take note. One voice may not be enough to warrant a full shift in your product positioning, but if you begin to see a pattern—take note and make some changes.
  • Focus on facts. Don’t hypothesize or speculate. Stick to what you know, and don’t make guesses. Guessing can make a bad situation far worse.
  • Be realistic. Don’t make wordy apologies or hefty promises. Be realistic and practical in your responses.
  • Be direct. Don’t beat around the bush with your response—tackle the issue head on and explain your perspective precisely.

Make sure to keep these points in mind whenever you respond to criticism, whether publicly or privately. The more calm and focused you can keep yourself, the better you’ll look and the more people will respect your company and your brand.

Related articles:

Culture Value in the World of Startup Tech Companies
5 Ways to Slow Down Time in Startup Tech Companies
6 Ways a Mentor Can Help Startup Tech Companies

photo credit: thivierr via photopin cc

About the Author

is a serial entrepreneur and tech specialist dedicated to helping startup tech companies grow and succeed. As the founder of Build. Brand. Blast., Jose has worked with dozens of enterprises to find direction, gain momentum, and achieve results.

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  • Meet Jose Vasquez

    Hey there! I’m Jose Vasquez, and I’ve spent my life helping startup technology companies get the direction and momentum they need to succeed. I started Build. Brand. Blast. as a resource for new entrepreneurs to learn the ropes of starting a business and the keys to building something that lasts.

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