1) People like to criticise for the sake of critising, there's never gonna be a scenario where you don't have haters unless nobody likes or uses your product/company.
2) People are often irrational and emotional, there's only so much you can do with logic and reason when one just wants to vent and shout.
3) People don't understand that you have to make compromises to be able to run your service/product/company and those compromises mean you can't please the entirety 100% of uses cases they come up with. As far as they are concerned your product/company should do everything all the time at no cost.
By all means, don't ignore criticism and the haters, but keep a level head and understand that it won't always take you somewhere to argue about it.
His pro-activity will answer 80% of the critics, and he can calmly ignore the other 20%, having done due diligence.
The discussion with almost anybody on the internet should address the most wider audience as a target.
People learn from discussions tremendously. At the very least, it entertains them.
[Oi downvoters, legitimate question and cheeky check to see if they did have all the answers! Would it help if I called it "the dumbest thing ever"?]
You actively researched your points of criticism which was a great plan.
"Your product sucks!"
... could mean
"Your product is not optimized for my low powered device and I received a subpar, if rare, experience because of it! Please optimize for my device in the future and I will happily become a recurring customer and tell my friends about it!"
EDIT: \n, wording
Sometimes respecting your customer is realizing they shouldn't be your customer, for the benefit of both of you.
This assumes the process of "research" can accurately depict not only ALL of the customer's needs and requirements but also their emotional and physical state, put simply you're suggesting research and "understanding" can accurately place your perception of the world 1:1 with their perception of the world.
I agree with your point though that some customers are "beyond saving". However the idea from $BIG_COMPANY_X that "I know the problem domain so well and the customers don't know whats best for them!" seems endemic in tech (i.e. Google Plus) and leads to inferior products smelling of our own bull shit.
Customer feedback is important. Communication is important. Sometimes we think we are sufficiently communicating when we are not. Sometimes we think we have sufficiently "researched" and we have not.
Most of the time you understand what their criticism is despite the foul language. So just respond to them as if they had made the nicest comment ever.
It's surprising how fast people go from rage to sage in these matters.
Although, to undercut that point, if you're prepping for pitches, I can see the value, for sure.
But what I'm still not seeing is why bother trying to anticipate beforehand.
But I always forget there's a lot of people that well, went outside a lot in their teens and only talked to their friends on AIM/Facebook/texting, so they take rude comments personally. So yeah, I agree with Sam. Ignore them. Unless they're personally harassing you, stalking you, etc. (or opposite, giving helpful criticism), it's just words that mean nothing.
You, yourself, have spent a lot of time online and been exposed to a lot of nasty behavior, and you don't find that a lot of rude comments bother you.
From this, you conclude that those years "desensitized" you.
Other equally valid hypotheses are that you were less sensitive to such comments in the first place; the reason you hung around, and kept on interacting in the kind of places that make such rude comments, while other people may have just spent time with their meatspace friends, is that you were less sensitive than some other people who saw nasty comments, got bothered by them, and stopped hanging out in such forums.
Or another ones is that those comments you say you are desensitized to are just things that you don't care about that much. OK, so some anon was rude to you about a throwaway comment on an imageboard. Big deal. But you might react differently when people in a community you trust or which might be influential, and which you want to value your work, actually say negative things about something that you have put a lot of your life into, but have had doubts about whether it's really the right thing for you to be doing.
The list goes on. There are a lot of possible conclusions that can be drawn from "spent a lot of time on the internet and exposed to online abuse in youth, now finds self not particularly sensitive to online rudeness." Taking from that that some people might take offense at things because they haven't had such experiences is a big leap.
Through this stance, a Usenet participant could make the most of an uncensored, unregulated medium while keeping his/her blood pressure under control.
Someone's name was attached to this philosophy, but I can't remember whose it was. Does anyone else recall? People would add it to their signature lines ("I follow xxxx" or something like that), perhaps to save other posters the trouble of trying to be artificially nice to them, or to warn other posters that their stereotypical Usenet flames were wasted on them.
> By declaring commitment to Crocker's rules, one authorizes other debaters to optimize their messages for information, even when this entails that emotional feelings will be disregarded. This means that you have accepted full responsibility for the operation of your own mind, so that if you're offended, it's your own fault.
> In contrast to radical honesty, Crocker's rules encourage being tactful with anyone who hasn't specifically accepted them. This follows the general principle of being "liberal in what you accept and conservative in what you send".
One thing I can say it has affected me is I tend not to get into arguments over subjects I don't care about - online and off. Years of arguing online about inane subjects and logging in the next day to see your opponent's views have gone unchanged makes you realize how much time and energy you waste getting mad at things on the internet - there are far for effective ways to change the world.
Even though I've spent probably entire years of my life reading comments, I am of the camp that most comments aren't even worth the silicon they are stored on. However, there are a lot of diamonds in the ash.
I understand, however, that this experience might be much different on non-anonymous/social platforms like Twitter and Facebook where it may seem like the attacks are personal, but I'm not popular enough to have this experience.
I also learned how to call out attempts to shift the goal posts of an argument. How to find the underlying thread of an argument. How to avoid being drawn into putting in more energy in than a person I'm arguing with.
I think all feedback is helpful. (Engaging with the people who provide the feedback, however, can be more trouble than it's worth. You have to know when to let go.)
We launched stdlib  two weeks ago and while we saw a lot of positive reactions, there was a very vocal minority who lashed back against our "marketing speak" and lack of things like SLAs. This quickly devolved into tearing apart the product itself, with someone going as far as to say if the commercial venture is successful, we will ruin the lives of thousands of developers (!!).
The response was actually tremendously valuable --- our marketing material sucks for a developer tool. It doesn't describe what the product does well enough. Heck, it still doesn't because we've been iterating on features more than messaging.
It was easy to instantly jump to the defensive, and I think I did to begin with, but I'm learning that adversarial comments are actually just a really straightforward question disguised as incredulity. "What's your value prop?" Some people might not get it right away, some never will. But my goal, personally, is to reduce the amount of people that ask that question. :)
For one, there's truth in the saying "Users don't give a sh*t about your vision". They're as self-serving as anyone, and they want to know what good your thing does for them. It's great folly to not tell them once they have reached your site and are ready to listen.
Second, "marketing speak“ is feel-good fluff, designed to obfuscate meaning, just like political speak. You're doing something technical, don't use marketing speak. Talk facts, talk applications, talk guides and tutorials. This leads to two great outcomes. One is that the people you're trying to reach understand exactly what you're saying. Two, you don't have to feel smarmy saying it.
Then, try to see your messaging as another component of your overall project. Imagine you have some kickass servers crunching numbers, but your load balancer is an arduino running on potato batteries. No bueno. Now you don't have to make everything perfect, but your copy should do your project justice.
Also, focusing on features over "messaging“ seems like something I'd do if I didn't know how to do marketing and wanted to avoid the topic altogether. Make sure you're not neglecting critical areas because you're uncomfortable with them. If lack of confidence/knowledge is an issue, I'd recommend picking up a copy of Claude Hopkins "Scientific Advertising". It's only 80 pages, there's pdfs of it floating around on-line, and I think it gets the principles down nicely.
+ still smothered in annoying marketing speak.
It looks like a great idea, and we've been waiting for years for someone to do this. 'Serverless servcies' is a big deal.
That said - there's too little information regarding how it works. For server side stuff, we need to know how many transactions it's going to handle, how often - so things like cpu+memory - or some way to measure it ... are going to be important.
Also, the people criticizing your product may very well be right. There were plenty of times when I did not place enough weight on some criticisms, and they were in fact right. Take criticisms seriously, it is too easy to get tunnel vision and convince yourself you are making all the right choices.
About 90% of the critical comments on startups are things that occur to people within literally the first few minutes of thinking about them. If that long.
Those comments are at best valueless, and perhaps even of negative value, both to the startup and to the wider community. Probably even to the commenters themselves.
The people involved in the company, the founders, the employees, the investors, they all have brains of their own and those same problems occurred to them in about the same amount of time. There's no real insight there, no true value added. Nearly all of your initial reactions as an outsider is a known-known, so where's the value?
What is useful, at least to the commenter, and likely the community, and maybe even the company itself is taking the next step- What would make what you think is an issue not a problem? How can it be solved? How can it be avoided altogether?
That's where the actual insight comes in, not in spotting the problems that are obvious to everyone in 60 seconds.
This morning I went through the list of YC Demo Day companies from yesterday and made notes about my initial reactions to each. What I thought was cool, what I thought was likely to be a problem, what I didn't get at all. Probably pretty much the same reactions everyone else had.
And over the next whatever period of time, I'm going to think about why they could work, or what it would take to make them work, or what their "real plan" is. Just as a way to keep my brain active beyond kneejerk responses. For me, that's infinitely more useful than whatever immediate dismissal comes to mind.
I know of companies that pay salaries to full-time community managers. If you can't justify dedicating a person to it full-time, or don't have the expertise in house, why not contract it out?
* Not necessarily true, who filters for the filterers?
I agree that this is the worst startup idea ever.
On that note I'm surprised nobody's using the YouTube API to do some Akismet-like auto-filtering already.
[For StupidFilter, w]e've gathered a fairly large (225K+ comments) database of comments, primarily from Youtube, that ever-inspiring font of stupidity. We've implemented a web-based comment ranking system to seed our stupidity corpus and that's proceeding nicely.
Apparently it's now in beta...
This must be the saddest AI ever, though. Or at least the most pessimistic about humanity, being trained on YouTube comments...
Keep the most hateful stuff out, provide useful / insightful criticism and commentary.
I think this is the larger point, hovering in the background of of the article, at least from YC's standpoint: have we stuffed so much capital into Silicon Valley (and that mode of entrepreneurship) that we have exhausted it? Are we now cargo-culting?
I tend to think so, but then I'm that sort of person.
Right now, the ad-supported portion of the industry in the US is more than half Google and Facebook, and that fraction is increasing. Everybody else is being squeezed out.
I wonder if the day will come when people with backgrounds in ad-based companies will have trouble getting jobs. They'll be seen as not having a proper "the customer is always right" attitude.
As someone that has recently been converted to the ad-blocking side (actually mostly tracker-blocking but that tends to kill ads too), there's no way I would want to invest in a new ad-supported business.
I don't know which I'd classify myself as. I've been part of several successful startups, but I'll still make negative comments about harebrained ideas or Silicon Valley's sense of self-importance and general overvaluation
I think that's what Sam is getting at here--not that the comments are necessarily worthless or wrong, just that they aren't generally going to offer much that can actionably help you and could very well get you down.
There's no revolution without incremental innovation.
We don't see many innovative products nowadays but it's not like there is absolutely no innovation going on. As long as there's even a small bit of advancement in technology going on, someday it will all come together and change everything once it reaches critical point.
Also keep in mind many things don't look like they're revolutionary when you're a contemporary.
There could be any number of reasons for that.
Perhaps there's a mismatch beteween public (techy) expectations of YCombinator and its current goals? eg, perhaps the public and press all expect start-ups to be totally original and adventurous but actually what gets investor funding might be a little more conservative following a predictable pattern. Or perhaps as YCombinator has grown and the process has become practiced, the focused impact it can have on individual start-ups is lower -- ie, there may be a little more "going through the process" and a little less "being put through the fire" than in the early days. Or perhaps it's just that as there's more coverage of tech innovation, people are now more likely to have heard of the idea before demo day (there's always other start-ups in similar spaces, but previously the public didn't know that).
But all those possible reasons are speculation.
So many of the comments are then about lame ideas.
Over time, it seems like the feedback for early stage startups on HN has become progressively more gratuitously negative.
In some cases, armchair critics have valid points, but I've gradually adopted this rule of thumb: Unless I'd give a naysayer's argument a >90% chance of coming to fruition, I probably just need to ignore it and address it when it actually shows up in the business (as feedback from, say, real customers). An armchair critic with a story about why I'm going to crash and burn with, say, 60% probability just isn't worth worrying about, because hard work and elbow grease can chip away at that 60% pretty quickly when the time comes.
There's a term for discussion in an internet medium trending toward this the longer it's popular. The name is slipping my mind right now.
I stopped reading them and just contribute anyways. Just because everyone can have an opinion doesn't mean you have to read all of them.
The later stage investors don't.
No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.
Obviously he meant well at that time.
But one never knows how a startup or an idea would do unless you try. Comments often can be like peanut gallery. Has little or no value depending on the situation.
With all seriousness, I've gone through this experience. Working hard day and night and then having a bunch of hate reviews on the internet, and really awkward and weird ones on the App Store.
My general rule: if they make a solid argument, take it into consideration (this is the hardest thing to do due to personal biases); if the comment is without substance, I just brush it off and walk away. If it's a continues comment (without substance) then I ask if we're the root cause of this perception, or it's general market perception that leads to them.
Initially it was felt anonymity would lets one speak their mind and bring real honesty and value to a discussion but it has only unleashed an unrelenting wave of rudeness and negativity that is tedious and derails every discussion. It's possible to to be honest without anonymity but requires more effort, maturity and eloquence on the individuals part. Perhaps these barriers are needed for meaningful discussion.
A useful discussion can be had when the incentive for showboating is removed, and there is a need for informed criticism to be backed by some level of reason and logic so the discussion is de-personalized.
Voting does the exact opposite, It makes discussion personal, puts the focus back on the individual and incentivizes commentators to pass off personal opinion as widespread consensus, promotes what those vying for acceptance presume to be consensus, voting rings, and other shenanigans.
You can see all of this widespread on HN. Inspite of heavy moderation there is still a level of sniping that is frankly tiresome and far too many offhand and dismissive comments that add little to a discussion beyond trying to make the commentator look smart.
Being as how the vast majority of startups fail, money is on the pessimists, no?
But there's also the issue of the audience. When I'm walking down Spring Street in DTLA I usually (regrettably) ignore all the random comments, since I know the audience. But if I were participating in a staff meeting I called for, I'd engage every comment, and probably even prioritize the hateful ones, not that there are any.
I always love landing on Youtube videos with close to zero dislikes. They're usually fairly specific or niche, and so the audience got there by seeking it themselves. And they searched because they wanted to see something from that artist.
I find random acts of hatefulness result mostly from random traffic. And the upside of intentional hate is that at least you matter enough that they chose you as their target.
Two years ago I put a post right here on Show HN:
Most of the comments where negative ones, but as cmontella says, that give you the chance of think how to answer the criticism and anticipate, so after two years in the making this was the second post, with the second iteration resulted from the criticism received:
Allmost all the arguments against where answered , and the reception and final product was far better than the original.
So, use the critics and haters as the devil advocate, and use them to your advantage, far worst is not having anyone to care (even in a bad way) for what you are doing.
An interesting idea is to NEVER read the dumb internet comments. Just like professional baseball players are smart to not read reports/rumors, those with these kind of goals are smart not to get wrapped up in the bullshit of internet comments.
Ironically this good advice comes from an internet comment. :)
Want to be bitchy? Sure, just pay for it.
I've seen founders get caught up in their own ego about being an authority figure. By doing a startup and not investing in the S&P you are taking a contrarian view, so just own it.
I hope he's wrong: I wouldn't mind living in a future where low barriers to entry and strong competition meant that we looked back on companies like Apple how we look back on Standard Oil now.
For the incompetent commenter:
1) Blind criticism is cheaper than thoughtful feedback.
2) It makes the giver feel superior to the target of their criticism.
3) Cue the dopamine reward. Rinse and repeat.
For the malicious commenter:
1) They have a vested interest in discrediting the target. (Other accelerators -> YC, Other markets -> Silicon Valley, Competitors -> You, etc).
2) Negativity serves these interests.
3) Cue the (perceived) economic reward. Rinse and repeat.
Between all this, you'll find the occasional piece of genuinely thoughtful feedback. It's worth looking for, but you'll need to develop a rather thick skin if you want to wade through the muck and mire to find it.
To me, comments are the rare exception just like watching tv news.
So the advice is good. But the successful companies already have a very good "filter" already to not pay attention to unimportant people and words.
> A friend of mine likes to say "there are two kinds of people in the world--the people that build the future, and the people who write posts on the internet about why they'll fail".
> Most startups will fail, so you can say everything sucks and be right most of the time.
It seems to be personal taste whether these companies are of interest.
This industry for a very long time has churned out things that are obviously exciting, and at first glance you think "wow I connect with that".
That seems like hindsight bias. It's certainly not an accurate description of how people reacted to future successes in the past.
"If you want to do right, be an optimist. If you want to be right, be a pessimist."
It is much easier to be a pessimist and although they are right more often than not, that doesn't lead anywhere.
2) People despise being told they are wrong, especially from people they don't know.
I read comments on reddit and the *chans and tumblr. The comments is where the magic happens. It's where all of your best planning and PR spit-shine goes to shit and something unexpected occurs.
The problem is that certain Western cultures have raised a generation of people who think they can micromanage every single aspect of the creative process. Just to bridge the gap, imagine everything you, the reader of this comment, might know about science or programming or some arcane field of complex rules. Now imagine the capacity of your mind to have that knowledge. Now imagine a person with the same capacity, but none of your knowledge. What did they fill it up with?
Rules of brush strokes at certain humidity and temperature ranges for a certain chemical for a certain color of red oil, horse racing statistics from 1942, the amount of chocolate per day required to make their loved one's adopted child happy, the number of times a boss taps their pencil on a desk before they reach a conclusion, the amount of paper you have to buy per month to feed your new hobby in origami, the character development of a favorite D&D campaign out of several simultaneous D&D campaigns... the intensity of your capacity for your knowledge is just as equal as the intensity of their knowledge. They come up with their own rules and classifications and means in a way that makes sense to them and their internal consistency. They'll fill that space up with things you'll never know about.
Do you, creator of a product or maintainer of a company, ---REALLY--- think your willpower, mixed with the vast resources of other people's money, can truly steer the flow of this mass web of humanity intensity into an expression you desire? You're pissing in an ocean of piss and there's no splash-guard. You can micromanage your domain as much as you want because you can quantify those risks to some degree of predictability. You can't quantify or control the cacophony of mass human reaction when they are exposed to your presence. If "internet culture" is mean and stupid and evil and racist and sexist, you might as well yell at the sun for being too hot or water for being too wet. There is no "internet culture." There is only a convenient summary of your experiences to justify why the comments are wrong and you are right.
Maybe the problem isn't the comments. Maybe the problem is the expectation that other people should automatically like us, or at the least, be polite. Maybe the problem is that the medium itself makes the expression of intentions via subconscious behavior impossible, so when someone shitposts, you get hurt by it because, to you, you were very clear in your intentions. Maybe the problem is that you're trying to force the internet as a medium of communication instead of as an archive of data preservation and/or a national infrastructure failsafe in case of strategic nuclear targeting to telecommunications facilities. Do you treat your dishwasher like a piano because you love music?
The ancients knew they couldn't control the rivers, but they did know they could capture parts of it at important areas to maximize their desires.
If you're good at choosing role models, maybe. OTOH, the worst glurge I find is written by many of the most "popular" critics and reviewers.
I've been reading up on the Gartner Hype Cycle and methodology behind it. One article quoted another tech review company who openly admitted that his job was to be optimistic -- overly and unjustifiably optimistic -- out of necessity. IOW: these companies are not sources for impartial assessment.
I try to find voices which are independent, really don't care a rat's ass one way or the other about your concept in many cases, And their commentary should hit the same criteria as a good monitoring system: it should be specific, relevant, and actionable.
1. Not much.
2. The other terms for this are "impartial" and "disinterested". They're neither a vested fanboi nor a sworn hater.
You said there isn't much, but is there anything I can read about that would deepen my understanding?
And to the parent comment--I'm fine, thanks for the concern :)
I also felt some stress when busy, but that was less because there was a lot to do and more because I had someone who was expecting it to be done in an unreasonable amount of time.
The second time was different. I was working two more than full time jobs (academic and running startup that was taking off). I literally did nothing for a couple of years (2010 - 2012) but work, eat and sleep. At the time I didn't feel stressed (I was comparing how I felt with the early stress times), but I was under a lot of stress. I only realised when I quit my academic job.
 Noting General Electric, Jeffrey Immelt, Jack Welsh and the collapse of the financial system that led to getting rid of finance as a profit center.
Sometimes luck, throw of the the dice, et., seems to be an important part of the equation.
As to critism, I want it. It's free. It might be true? My only complaint is when it's in a walled off garden, or it's a obvious attempt at destroying someone/something, usually by a competitor?
The poor, and middle class have grown up with critism. They arn't used to it, but it's just there. I sometimes wonder if the next big tech boom will be ruled by this class. Probally--no, because money seems to stay with money. When you don't have access to this money, see it being thrown around, seemingly wasted, it's hard to hold back? But then again, I'm so wrong so many times, I have honestly considered being a contrarian. For instance, a stock/company looks rediculious--buy it.
"It sucks to have haters, but every founder who now runs a huge company faced this for a long time. Please don't let it get you down"
The point is that there will always be haters, so being discouraged by them or complaining isn't fruitful.
This seems to fit into the pattern where those who lead the transformation of people's social lives also seem to completely misunderstand that transformation. I'm thinking in particular of Mena Trott:
"Trott has an interesting golden rule that she would like to see bloggers adopt. “If you aren’t going to say something directly to someone’s face, than don’t use online as an opportunity to say it,” she says. “It is this sense of bravery that people get when they are anonymous that gives the blogosphere a bad reputation.” "
You seem to conflate "I read some internet discussion about a subject 10 years ago on some random blog all 100 people read" (most DHH fans) with "we've collectively settled that issue, and everybody who keeps wondering about it lives in the past".
Which is surprising, because those are 2 entirely different things. Might as well say: "Socrates had already discussed ethics in the 4th century BC. Everybody who has been discussing them afterwards lives in the past".
Likewise, I'm disappointed to see this post from Sam as it advocates ignoring the haters. "Don't let their lack of imagination hold you back" is terrible advice for people who want to find pain points for their product to improve. The assumption that all criticism is bad is, in my opinion, toxic to the startup ecosystem.
Re "The people who have said there is nothing new left to do in the world have been wrong every time.": I must admit I didn't spend terribly long reading the comments myself but again I don't recall 'everything has been done already' being the theme either, rather the companies are not doing anything new themselves.
He literally wrote:
"some criticism is useful, and that you should pay attention to"
Many entrepreneurs just classify anything contrarian as hate because it is easier/faster.
That's true, and finds its mirror image in the commenters who think there's no such thing as 'hate' and that posts like Sam's are only about not wanting criticism.
Criticism = constructive criticism
"This service sucks, I hope your company goes bankrupt" vs "This sucks, I tried to upload a pdf to the dooberywhatsit file storage service and it error out because the file had DRM on it and it couldn't read it. It should just store it as a standard file instead of rejecting it as an invalid PDF"
Example made up, I don't even know if pdfs have DRM aspects.
Generally the line is around the "Can I use this information to fix the problem (even if I don't want to)" mark.
He didn't say that all criticism is bad. From the article: "some criticism is useful, and that you should pay attention to, but that's not normally what gets people down"
(Also, it seems like you missed the point entirely.)
People like to talk about things? I don't know how to answer your question better than that.
Peach's success/failure, like that of all startups, is a valuable data point. As I said in the original article: the startup world is in dire need of cautionary tales as valuations inflate to absurd levels.
The reason I wrote an article on Peach in particular was that the hype was an outlier of weirdness and I wanted to take a closer look for my own curiosity.
From the music book "Effortless Mastery":
"If you weren’t so concerned about your level of playing, you’d hang in for as long as it took. It would be like a hobby.
That’s why this book stresses again and again developing a detachment to what you’re doing while you are doing it.
However, it is so easy to become discouraged.
All you need is one night when you didn’t play what you wanted to hear, and the ego says,
”Screw it! It’s not happening.”
Again and again, this needs to be said:
you probably cannot develop this level of patience if you are vain about your playing!"
Or I can change it for you guys:
"If you weren't so concerned about your personal image and more concern about changing the world,
you'd hang in for as long as it took"
Basically, whoever was "down" that you used as example, is a person who just hasn't found the passion on his project that he claims to have.
Why do people who claim to be "changing the world" go home cry over somebody, being "mean" to them? Is that how easy they get discouraged? Is like if Batman gave up after 1 time the joker made fun of him... Seeing this here, with a bunch of nerds that think they're better than anybody makes me sad. Cause I'm one of you, and I HATE being associated with egotistical people.
problem here my dear Sam is, most modern entrepreneurs have HUGE egos
...also smacks of egotism. The patronising tone in addressing Sam, and the condemnation of young/early-stage founders as egotistic, is absolutely egotistic itself.
Early-stage entrepreneurs always need time and life experience to tame their egos. The ones who do so (partly by heeding and internalising the advice that Sam is issuing in this post) are the ones who will succeed long term. The life stories of Jobs, Gates, Zuckerburg all demonstrate this.
Nobody is born with a perfectly balanced ego.
Someone with a truly balanced ego would exhibit great patience and compassion for those who still have the work ahead of them.
As for this:
I HATE being associated with egotistical people
People with balanced egos don't hate.
Buddhist, "detachment from emotions" is the thing, not "control of emotions" you cannot control something you're detached from.
Sam recommends hiding from the comments, I recommend to get rid of your ego so you're no longer affected by it.
Again, your mission is supposed to be bigger than yourself.
People are more reacting out of fear for their personal well-being and prosperity, and the survival of their company, than 'egos'.
(If that happened, I actually wanna see a link of it, would be fun to read that).
Should I continue?
All that said, you would've had a better post by talking about what content you think should've been in the email or by talking about why you found a simple "Folks, don't let the bastards get you down" to be insulting.
We detached this comment from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12347919 and marked it off-topic.
We will now argue incessantly in the comments section here about it.
EDIT: Folks, if you would like to explain why either of those sentences were correct or unsubstantiated by current events, by all means do so. Cowardly downvoting doesn't educate anybody else.
The most important principle on HN, though, is to make thoughtful comments. Thoughtful in both senses: civil and substantial.
The test for substance is a lot like it is for links. Does your comment teach us anything? There are two ways to do that: by pointing out some consideration that hadn't previously been mentioned, and by giving more information about the topic, perhaps from personal experience. Whereas comments like "LOL!" or worse still, "That's retarded!" teach us nothing.
We apply it very unevenly, and are harsher on the critical or humorous when it isn't insightful in some way. You gave a quick summary, but possibly not for the purpose of educating, but to be critical. That sets some people's downvote reflex off, I imagine.
Note: I didn't downvote you, and I'm sure I'm not opening your eyes to anything new, as you've been here longer than me. That said, you asked... :)
I don't know if this is because of people wanting to upvote the general propaganda of the startup ecosystem here, or because of a general attempt at reversing the trend of HN being perceived as overly critical--both are reasonable in their own way.
Your observation about the uneven application of the guidelines here by HN members is of course spot on.
Why did you feel the need to edit your comment and call people cowards for not valuing your input? Did you get your feelings hurt by some mean old downvotes? :)
That would ironically be the same feeling that people may have downvoted you for sarcastically dismissing.
Also: Please resist commenting about being downvoted. It never does any good, and it makes boring reading. https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html
I wonder why some of us get angry when we hear others being encouraged this way.
Were any of the founders of the mentioned startups so mentally weak that they gave a shit what anyone else said?
They may have all had haters but they definitely also had lovers.
In the article you refer to Jessica Livingston is talking about feedback from users. Those are very rarely the same people as the haters commenting on articles here and elsewhere.
That's a weakness to be overcome not a trait to be embraced.
HN users were early adopters of most of the mentioned successful startups but I would agree it's a very biased sample of users.
Embracing the fact that feeling this way is normal means you can and should brace yourself to overcome this "weakness".
It's interesting that you seem to agree with the essence of this post: Don't let random haters drag you down. Yet your comments come off as oddly negative, seemingly because you don't understand the "pain point" (you obviously would never get hurt by random commenters, but some in the target audience probably would).
Analogously, people hating on startups often don't (want to) understand the pain points addressed by the startups they're hating on either.
These people are trying something real for the first time in their lives and they should be taught to overcome the struggle not run from it or blame "haters" for being mean.
A lot of the criticism of startups coming out of the Valley, including YC (that they solve problems for the same small segment of society (Filld), or flippantly ignore technological or legal limits (Theranos, Zenefits)), is absolutely valid. I have yet to see this other mysterious form of "hating" materialize.