JP is leaving Dresdner Kleinwort and the crowds are lining the route, some throwing flowers and some throwing broken bottles…anyhow reminded me of one of my favorite (among many) Kathy Sierra posts on the “physics of passion”:
The most popular and well-loved companies, products, and causes have the strongest opponents.
You’ll know when you get there, because the buzz goes from pleasant to polarized. Moderate, reasoned reviews and comments are replaced with stronger language and more colorful adjectives on both sides. Those who speak out against you will be referred to as “brave” or “having the balls” (see the comments on Scriven’s review) for daring to criticize. They’re hailed as the smart ones who finally call the emporer on his buck-nakedness.
Should you ignore the detractors? Diss them as nothing but evidence of your success? Should you just wave them off with a “just jealous” remark? Absolutely not. Somewhere in their complaints there are probably some good clues for things you can work on. But if you start trying to please them all or even worse, turn them into fans, that could mean death. Death by mediocrity, as you cater to everybody and inspire nobody.
It is physically impossible to have everyone love what you do. And the more people do love it, the more likely it is that you’ll have an equal and opposite negative reaction. X = -Y the physics of passion.
Anyhow good luck JP, I’ve enjoyed working with you and I have no fear that you’ll be able to stay well clear of the zone of mediocrity, even if that means ducking a few bits of flying detritus. Then again, don’t drink too much of your own kool-aid, otherwise you really will end up looking (and acting) like this:
…and that can’t be good…