Why Should Founders Deal With Critics in a Positive Manner Emotions get involved and entrepreneurs often end up writing off those critics

By Sanchita Dash

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


For any entrepreneur just starting up, validation of their idea is the first step towards building the business. The entrepreneur reaches out to a lot of people asking for opinions, while some work in their favour, there are many that don't. Turning criticism into constructive criticism is a quality that an entrepreneur should possess to grow his/her business.

But not many entrepreneurs know how to take criticism in the right stride be it from mentors or consumers. Emotions get involved and they often end up writing off those critics, which could have even worked in their favour.

Entrepreneur India spoke to entrepreneurs who have been there done that, to get tips on how to deal with critics and take it on a positive note.

Critics Help You Shape the Product

While getting your idea validated, it is important to keep an open mind and accept the pointers that come your way, at least to give a second thought to them. Ayyapa Nagubandi, founder, Broadcast Wearables, actually credits 50 per cent of his product's growth today to the critics that came their way. When they first built the LED t-shirts, they took the product to various people to get their inputs. They initially had the idea of having white t-shirts with white LEDs. "People asked us to go for darker colours so that the LED stands out. So it worked in our favour. First-time entrepreneurs don't have the experience it takes to take criticism in a positive way. But you should keep in mind that this could help you shape the product for the better," he said.

Customer is King, Even as Critics

Whether it is a B2B start-up or a B2C start-up, the end user will help you involve better policies if you listen to the client, believe entrepreneurs. It is important to sort out the valid and relevant feedback from the lot, believes Sandeep Manoharan, Director, Rupeeseed, which is a B2B2C start-up. "If the same negative feedback comes from across all your clients, it means something is seriously wrong. Take it in a positive manner and understand how your clients feel about the solutions you provide," he said.

When it comes to a B2C start-up, it's a whole different ballgame. Given that some consumers even with petty issues could reach out to you with negative feedback, it is important to still listen to them all and evaluate which ones you should act upon.

Mentors are Well-wishers

From a strategy point of view, mentors often come back with a lot of changes that they believe the entrepreneur should incorporate. "You should remember they are talking with data and have a lot of experience," said Manoharan.

He also believes that if the feedback is unreasonable and not matching with your company's philosophy, you could always refuse to go ahead with it. But the same critic could help you walk into an uncharted territory, so you should give them due weightage believes Manoharan. "Between co-founders too, unless there's a debate things won't move, so take criticism seriously," he said.

Sanchita Dash

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

In the business of news for 5 years now. Making my way across India thanks to my career. A media graduate from Symbiosis, Pune, I have earlier worked with Deccan Chronicle (South India's leading English daily), T-Hub (India's largest incubator) and Anthill Ventures (a speed-scaling platform). 

Stories, movies and PJs are my thing. 

If you hear 'The Office' opening score randomly, don't worry it's just my phone ringing. 


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