Zug’s Laws of Creative Feedback

Let’s practice kindness as we spur one another on in making things people love.


I’ve been doing creative work as my core livelihood since 1994, which is like 231 internet years (1 temporal year = 11 internet years, because everyone knows the internet turns things up to 11).

In doing creative work, I give and receive a ton of feedback.

Sometimes in the necessary rush of making and shipping things, it’s easy to take “it’s not there yet” feedback the wrong way — which is a very effective means to poison a project or a team.

With that in mind, I figured it’d be helpful to write down some important touchpoints to keep in mind when having these sorts of conversations.

Without further ado, I give you a shitty first draft of…

Zug’s laws of creative feedback

  1. Making things people love is hard.
  2. When we work to make things together, you will hear a lot of “it’s not there yet” from me.
  3. “It’s not there yet” is NOT code for “you suck + should be fired + never allowed to procreate”
  4. It is not possible for me to say “it’s not there yet” out of anything other than deep gratitude — that you’ve chosen the ass kicking work of birthing “awesome” into the universe is humbling.

Let’s be kind as we spur one another in our making.

NOTE: The original version of this post originally appeared on the Bootstrapper Studios blog.