Our social media-driven world wants to measure success in likes. It rewards us with engagement and promotions. But aiming to please as many as possible leads to un-opinionated (i.e. boring) work.
If you want people to love your work, you have to be prepared for others to hate it. Taking a strong point of view divides those who "get" what you're doing from those who don't. Venturing someplace new demands that you take risks. If you haven't made any enemies, you're not venturing far enough.
The first app I ever made, Paper, is nearly universally loved. Now. At the time it was released, it tore audiences apart. There was a distinct line between those who understood the values and tradeoffs it embraced from those who didn't. For every creator who loved Paper's freeing simplicity, there was someone who slammed us for not having layers or brush size controls.
Our (Not Boring) Weather app was just nominated for the Apple Design Award. But rather than share more praise, I want to show you what it's really like and share some of the negative reactions we get.
Apple really should vet content by H*******
So like most people. I saw this app and went “Ohh! Free cool app”. Downloaded it without a second thought. I was treated to a promising and lovely commercial about the product when I opened it. Really hyped me up. Then I saw the price. Yes you heard me this app is It free. Well that’s not true. Downloading it is free. Using it needs a subscription. They want you to pay $15 to have a “cooler” calculator these words have rarely been spoken non sarcastically before. So no I think this is a bad product. But download it and see for yourself.
Hors de prix ! by P*******
Waste of time by l**********
Sorry, But the boring version is free, so im going to stick with that.
Money Grab by C******
Simplistic apps with a shiny UI.
by D*** B*** R*****
You will be BLASTED with an obnoxious ad the first time you open. Turn your volume down! It should have a seizure warning.
We all know it's pointless to try to please everyone. The nature of putting your work out into the cyber world ensures that you'll face negative reactions. It doesn't matter how likable you aim to make your work, you're guaranteed to hear from people who just really don't like what you're doing… or the way you talk about it… or the way you charge for it. So why not take a few risks? Make a few enemies.
It won't feel good, but you can learn to embrace it as a strong signal that you're onto something interesting. The real failure is not negativity but indifference.