Give startups feedback

I enjoy trying out new products online and getting to know some recent startups. Back when I was working with the guys from whitesmith.co at unplu.gg, this would be a daily routine. I would check out new startups, new companies, and if their product was appealing to me, I’d try to get an invite/account, as I’m sure most of you do as well.

It really gets me going when I see someone going places with their own projects and specially if it’s a good and well executed idea. That feeling of “How the hell I didn’t think about it” or “Jesus, finally someone created THIS!” it’s what I love most.

I believe that one good thing that came out of this whole startup trend (let’s face it, it is a trend) is the fact that makes people aware of their capabilities and how getting together with people with complementary skills makes them powerful and able to create something new. This awareness and the constant search of new apps, products, businesses, is generating a lot of new ideas. Granted, most of them useless. But still, the fact of being apparently useless or stupid or even something that you believe that will never make it is what makes the startup world so interesting. You never know what will pick up. Sometimes there’s a gap in the market, and you create a product for that need, but sometimes people will create a product that finds a need people weren’t really aware of. But this would be a total different post.

Regarding feedback, shortly after they launched, I tried both icebergs and dunked, and after a couple of minutes using these apps, I left both an email with some feedback. These were small things and details that would bother me as an user, or just ideas that I’d like to see implemented, because I, as a user, know exactly what I’m looking for or what I’m expecting when using an app. More often than not, the developers or the people involved in these projects have been working for such a long time and so deeply in them, that it’s hard to see the product as whole, and they end up seeing the product as several features and bugfixes and commits on github. So a new look and new opinions, even if simple, are really great.

I felt this exact same way when working in unplugg, and when I asked for feedback, I was often surprised by some awesome and so obvious suggestions I was given, but I wasn’t able to think of them myself, given how deep I was into developing and not thinking about the product as a whole. I was lost in the details, and forgot to zoom out to see the whole.

So if you can, leave some feedback. Even if you think it’s a simple idea or a basic tip, it will probably make a huge difference to the team working in it, and won’t take you more than a couple of minutes.