The Role of Feedback

When you’re doing creative projects, it’s important to get feedback along the way.  Feedback helps you change course if necessary.  It helps you align your creative projects with what people want.  It shows you ways you can improve.  It gives you ideas.  It can give you inspiration.  Constructive feedback helps everyone.

Constructive feedback fosters alignment between what people engaged with your creative work want and what you can provide which then allows things to flow.  It’s hard to get into a flow in isolation.

My first blog,, was mentioned on ESPN’s First Take, ESPN Radio, and in Sports Illustrated Magazine here.  It’s an archive of people getting dunked on.   In the early days it was pretty much lost in the vast ocean of sports blogs.  It was a ghost town, but the feedback is what kept me going.  I was an active member on one forum, and I’d put the link in my signature and every now and then someone would send me messages saying “nice blog!” or “cool site” or “this is sick!” (meaning they liked it).  I also got feedback that people wanted the blogs arranged by the person who got dunked on as well as the person who did the dunking.  I didn’t know how to implement it back then, but I probably could and would now.

With that blog, once I started putting more efforts into marketing and reaching out to people to exchange links, it started to rank super high in the search engines (#2 for the word “dunked” behind Wikipedia).  Then I started getting a different type of feedback.  People started linking to my site…a lot.  That feedback meant a lot to me.  These were people who knew nothing about me, but that thought the content was valuable enough to share with other people.  I’d see links everywhere, to the point where it pretty much was normal.

One of the biggest eye-openers was when I built an email list for another project.  The feedback there was great!  I built the email list up to 3700 people, and I would just email them asking them what they wanted to see and some ideas.  They were lots of written responses all anonymous and pretty in depth.  I sent out a vote and lots of people voted.  It made things so much easier.  I had more direction and I didn’t feel like I was creating in a vacuum.  I didn’t feel like what I was creating would fall flat because they told me what they wanted.

People will tell you what they want – just ask.  Or look at what they’re buying already.  That’s a clear indicator of what they want.  You can even look at reviews on what people are buying and see the objections people have.  If you see a common objection that you can address – bam there you go.

There are times where people don’t know what they want.  If you can give people something they don’t even know they want but that would be awesome for them?  omg you’ve hit gold.  To me, this was the iPhone when it came out.  It wasn’t like anything else before it.

There is feedback everywhere.  You just have to look for it.

If you want more feedback give it.  It’s been said that you get what you give.  Give lots of feedback to other people’s creative projects and you’ll find that energy returns back to you.

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