The two review technique

As you work on your project (your presentation, your plan, your speech, your recipe, your…) imagine that it’s the sort of thing that could be reviewed on Amazon.
Now, write (actually write down) two different reviews:
First, a 5 star review, a review by someone who gets it, who is moved, who is eager to applaud your guts and vision.
And then, a 1 star review, an angry screed, not from the usual flyby troll, but from someone who actually experienced your work and hated it.
Okay, you’ve got two reviews, here’s the question:
Are you working to make it more likely that the 5 star reviews are more intense, more numerous and more truthful than ever, or…
Are you working to minimize the number of 1 star reviews?
Very hard to obsess about both, since they tend to happen together.
The thing is, if you work to minimize criticism, you have surrendered the beauty and greatness of what you’ve set out to build
.”
Seth Godin
. I’ve shamelessly borrowed Seth’s entire post (from here) on this occasion because the whole post is required for context.

If you’ve ever worked in a large organisation that has been trying to gather OSS requirements and gain consensus, you will almost definitely be able to relate to Seth’s blog won’t you?

To avoid criticism, your 100 requirements become 1000. Your 20 page design document becomes 200.

The key factor is 10x. You want to, need to, make it 10x less complex rather than 10x more comprehensive. To do this, you need to know what is truly important.

Easier said than done. People and personalities are involved after all. It requires great foresight from the entire team but it’s also likely that there will be vocal critics. Expect this and plan for this before even starting the requirements gathering process.

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