"Hey hotshot. How about less blogging and more work on your darn company?"
They used to really get to me.
However, once I looked past the snarkyness of his delivery, I had to admit his question was valid. And I've now had the conversation with other entrepreneurs who wonder if they should do more blogging on their startup blog or stick to product updates. This post is my answer.
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Keep up the good work. I've always loved your blog and candor. If I'm ever in the position to recruit a specific person - I plan on doing a love letter presentation based blog post begging them to join me : )
- Your brand and your blog are not representing your company, the traffic literally doesn't know or care what you do they're just there for the HN porn.
- If you do a venn diagram of HN users and people who need pretty much anything there is going to be a tiny, tiny overlap that shouldn't be confused for your market unless you've failed at all other lead generation and customer acquisition channels.
- HN is for discussing interesting things, there's nothing interesting about being the victim of yours and others on-going attempts to capture a market in the least efficient way you can imagine.
Insofar as the HN community remains interested in discussing startup related topics, this personal candor/honesty about when things aren't going well is completely under-discussed; it happens all the time that things aren't going well (actually it's what mostly happens) but usually the only times you learn about it are in a post-mortem or a takedown piece. A founder whose currently building his company and willing to discuss these things is extremely rare and valuable to other founders and would-be founders (I on occasion give talks at my alma-mater and I try very hard to portray the unglamorous side of things. The audience always appreciates it).
I think i would choose not to read any replies, responses or discussions on something i'd published. I promise the irony of me writing this comment is not lost on me :-)
Any positive comments are likely too positive and just people wanting you to feel good - which is very nice of them but ultimately could work against you.
Similarly negative comments are likely too negative to be realistically worthwhile.
I dare say there's some signal in all the noise but i bet there's more signal in just surrounding yourself with high quality people day to day.
Ergo, read comments on other peoples submissions and participate in those discussions instead.