I was reading an article on FatherGeek.com about the things to consider before sending your game to a reviewer and one of the tips was, “The reviewer is not your friend.” In a way he’s right. Reviewers aren’t bad people but their “job” is to provide an honest critique of a product – good or bad. I personally don’t write bad reviews – instead a product I don’t care for doesn’t get a review at all but there are reviewers who will rip a game to shreds if they don’t like it.
Inventors and designers always put a bit of themselves in everything they do, but we have to learn to let go. Sure our ideas are our “babies” but babies grow up and eventually you have to kick them out of the nest. It doesn’t mean you don’t still love them, but they have to learn to fly or you have to start thinking about plan B. (And actually I’d say start thinking about plan B when the baby is still in the nest… but that’s because I know that not every idea of mine can be a rock star idea.)
In our industry it isn’t just the reviewers who may tell us our “baby” is ugly – inventor relations folks, buyers – all sorts of people are required to give their honest opinion. Honesty can hurt but it hurts more when you take it personally. At some point all inventors and designers need to realize that the criticism isn’t personal, it’s business. You’re not ugly, stupid or bad – but your idea might be. Not every idea is a gem. Sure one man’s trash can be another man’s treasure, but more likely you’re going to get multiple “pass” responses before you find the one who is looking for that particular flavor of “treasure.” But it’s okay; there are plenty of sayings about how failure is somehow intertwined with the path to success. So buck up, cut the emotional cord and move on with another idea. Because if you’ve got one idea, you’ve certainly got two.