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Attention founders: Here’s how you respond to an unfair post about your company (pandodaily.com)
133 points by guiambros 1695 days ago | hide | past | web | 15 comments | favorite

I'd like to point out that this is NOT an isolated incident for Ben. I've replied to the MailChimp newsletter before with my thoughts or questions and on multiple occasions have gotten a response back from Ben within an hour or two with a thoughtful, specific response to my email. I also sent a rant to him after we had some trouble with MailChimp and he apologized and worked to make it right within a day.

The lesson you should take away from Ben isn't how to respond to unfair post - it's that you should be always open to communication (positive or negative) and that you should respond as a polite, respectful human, not as a "company" voice.

As a result of my interactions with Ben and his incredible product, I'm a loyal MailChimp user and regularly recommend them to people looking to setup newsletters for their companies.

Agreed. With a great product, you'll think even better things about the company. If you have a buggy, not-so-great product, more can be forgiven. Lesson: always have great communication regardless.

Ben is one of few modern day startup founders who actually give a damn and take the time to respond to customer queries. We live in a society where the startup industry is overpopulated by pretentious Harvard drop-outs who think they have some kind of sense of entitlement and are revolutionaries. It's refreshing to see Ben is anything but a decent, humble and respectable guy who finds the time to write a well-thought out response to even the toughest of critics.

I tend to use Campaign Monitor for emails, but this makes me want to try Mailchimp because I've never fully given it a chance and the fact the company is being run by a decent guy makes me even more motivated to do so.

"pretentious Harvard drop-outs"

I have no idea who you're talking about. Could you please elaborate? :)

Reminds me of some of the advice in "How to Make Friends and Influence People"; a very good book for teaching people how to deal with difficult situations (like criticism of things you're close to).

A really good job there, he doesn't put down others at all, he just plays his strengths. Quite respectable.

It has been my experience that technology is full of naysayers who have strong opinions (it matters not if those opinions are based on actual experience). You are doing it wrong... I would do it with ABC.... I would write that in XYZ. No one uses that database anymore... etc. You should expect to be contradicted and told you are wrong by a lot of people. I always listen to them and try to learn why they think that because a few of them have insight, but the majority just want to tell you how they would do if they were you. You should expect this sort of thing. It's going to happen a lot.

Why the fuck does he use the work "fuck" only to censor it afterwards? You either use it completely or not at all.

It's possible it was uncensored in the original message, then censored when it was published to a broader audience.

But why use it at all? Casual swearing has very few positive benefits, especially since the rest of the email was well-written and expletive-free.

For the same reason it tends to get used in Alternate Rock? A way to say, "we both know we're hipper than the average dude, and can use this word to shock Joe Q Public while just adding an inside emphasis for us cool dudes who won't over react to a four character word". Or that could be me overinterpreting :-)

Agreed. In the categories of words I'd rather not see in a such an email, but for completely different reasons, I nominate "reinvent". It needs to be taken out the back, shot and served as the main course to a VC dinner.

nice example of how to respond factually and with grace

I agree that Ben's response is excellent, but I want to focus on the other half of the interaction for a second. Ben needed to send that email because Paul wrote something ridiculous. As Ben gently pointed out, Paul did not actually know what MailChimp (and, presumably, ExactTarget) are doing lately. From the post, it sounds like he fielded a pitch call and basically published what he heard. Sadly that does not seem unusual on tech blogs these days, although I'm surprised Paul fell prey to it.

I'm so thankful that my parents taught me rationalism and manners. So many of these types of things are just common sense to me. Pay attention in your technical writing class and don't be an arrogant hothead.

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