Feedback Receptivity

In class this week, my students and I discussed elements of the "Entrepreneurial Mindset". Since you didn't pay your tuition, I'm not going to give it all away to you for free, but I will share with you one element--feedback seeker--that is particularly relevant given an experience that I had with a budding entrepreneur this week.

On August 30, Jeff Gawronski, founder of, sent me an email to announce the launch of his new website that highlights newly-invented products from independent inventors. The concept seemed plausible to me, so I checked it out. The way it works is that each day, two new products are poised in competition to see which will sell the most. While I appreciated his focus on generating sales--that's important folks!--for these products, I thought another feedback tool could be used to assess interest in each of the competing products. So, I sent him an email with an idea of adding a voting mechanism for each day's product. Not only would that provide his users (and inventors) with feedback about which product seems more useful, it would also add an element of stickiness to his website.
Jeff responded to my email with a nice note of acknowledgement and appreciation and we both went our merry way. Please keep in mind that I've never met him and we've only communicated over email during our, albeit, short relationship.
Just this week, I came across his original email reply. Naturally, this prompted me to see how his site was making it. I was pleasantly surprised to see that he now prominently includes a Daily Yak Poll to gauge interest from that portion of his audience that is currently non-purchasing, yet interested.
Here is an excerpt of Jeff's email after I mentioned to him that I'd noticed the Daily Yak Poll:
We love advice and took to what you requested and found it's what people wanted to see. An addition to making it the poll was simple and effective. Any more ideas and keep them coming...
The lesson I'm hoping to convey here to you, my reader, is that one element of the Entrepreneurial Mindset is to be receptive to feedback. For one to be receptive to feedback, feedback must first be at least encouraged or elicited. To me, Jeff Gawronski is a great example of an entrepreneur with a teachable spirit. While he's committed to his idea of what his company should be all about, he's not above listening to other ideas when they're presented to him.
Well done, Jeff! Best wishes to you and

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