Dan Hough

You must take the bad with the good

Published 11 March 2013 in Austin, TX, USA

Something that I’ve re-learned (which I already knew) at SxSW is that I am very good at talking to people as long as I am in the right mood.

I am a very polarised character - I am either hugely excited about something or massively down about it. All it can take is someone validating my idea with a “Wow, this needs to happen!” to make me feel better about it.

I met two people this week who are very well-respected in their fields. They are both powerful, well-loved and in-demand for their time, thoughts and opinions. They are both inspirational characters.

One of them loved my idea, and pretty much echoed it as I spoke. The other one thought it was terrible.

Thus began the emotional rollercoaster that has been the South by South-West festival.

Sharing the idea with other people is key - because you’re going to get all kinds of feedback from different people about different things. A lot of people think Instagram is great - I’m not so keen about it. Many people think that it would be great for Google Glass to be a ubiquitous feature of everyday life but loads think that it’s the end of socialising as we know it, in the worst possible way.

My point is that it’s important to take the bad with the good and to learn how to deal with that negative feedback. Listen to it, take it in, and channel it into improving your idea. Channel that feedback into a place where it can actually make your idea more rock-solid so that next time you come across somebody ready to give negative feedback, they won’t - they’ll love it.

I have learned a whole lot more from SxSW so far. Maybe I’ll write a summary when it’s over.

Heckle me on Twitter @basicallydan.