The Emperor Has No Users

I saw a quote this morning that got me thinking:

“It is better to be hated for what you are than loved for what you are not.”
― André Gide

I thought of Oo Nwoye's comment on the Digital Drift podcast on criticism. He said that he prefers honest criticism to fake praises. I almost gave him a virtual high five for that statement.

African techies have to leave the praise singing for the traditional praise singers and musicians as it serves no purpose in tech. Not one website or app in the world is powered by praise of sycophants but by honest users who have a need.

Seth Godin mentioned in his last blog post: "I don't take pitches to be on my blog, and no one can pay me to endorse them. I don't directly own private or public equity in companies I write about, except for, which I founded, and use because I like what we built, not because I'm trying to persuade you to use it."

We need to develop a culture of giving and taking honest criticism for this young African tech ecosystem to grow and thrive. Brutal honesty is not hatred, it is "feedback". We must learn to take the good, the bad and the ugly as we mature.
7 responses
So I read this blog post in the morning but didn't have the opportunity to comment - Posterous for Mobile sucks.

Thanks so much for a very good post. Some of my best feedback has been from Oo Nwoye, a guy who isn't afraid to call bullshit. You yourself have been very good in that respect.

I think introspection is also a problem - if you lie to yourself, you will lie to others. We've got to learn to be able to say "eff it, this isn't working!" Or, "this is truly brilliant!!" or "I have no idea what in God's name I'm doing". and ask our friends. Tim Akinbo has also been a fantastic sounding board so...

Thanks a lot for the feedback Seyi Taylor. I think there are two primary reasons our local entrepreneurs crave the praise of sycophant:

1. Lack of courage or self confidence to face the truth and

2. Fear of failure.

I remember a famous quote from Mark Twain: " To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and self confidence"

We have to accept what that we don't know everything and remain ignorant always. While being ignorant we must not allow fear or pride to prevent us from seeking valid feedback.

A lot of people praise also others to their face and criticize them in secret. Those type of people are worse than the scum of the earth.

" A lot of people praise also others to their face and criticize them in secret. Those type of people are worse than the scum of the earth. "

For companies to succeed, there must be an ecosystem that:
- tolerates (even celebrates) failure
- collaborates like hell
- gives a lot of feedback

I think. Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone |
Feedback ke?

Nigerians have a word for that: "hating"

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