Continuous Feedback

We have a portfolio company that will remain nameless that does something I want to call out as super awesome. Every board meeting, as homework after the meeting, they ask each board member to fill out a simple Google Form with two questions; three things we are doing well and three things we need to do better. They've been doing that every board meeting that I've been to.

They use this information as part of their continuous feedback loop to improve their management of the business and in turn improve the business. Based on their progress since our investment, I'd say it works pretty well.

This is one example of a larger theme I am noticing in our portfolio and the startup world at large. Companies are using simple web tools to get continuous feedback on their performance. They are using this kind of approach to do performance reviews of everyone in the organization, they are using this kind of approach to get feedback from their customers, and they are using this kind of approach to get feedback from their Board, investors, and advisors.

This makes a ton of sense. Startups are rapidly changing systems. If you use an annual review cycle, you aren't getting feedback at the same pace that you need to adapt and change the business. Doing this kind of thing continuously matches the frequency of the feedback loop with the frequency of the business.

I've written in the past about continuous deployment and how I have seen that work really well at some of our portfolio companies. Continuous feedback leverages many of the same principals and has many of the same advantages. If you haven't tried this approach, you might want to. From what I've seen, it works.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. Barabare

    Fred, the link is broken in your “Stop Censorship” image. There’s a trailing backslash that should not be there.

    1. fredwilson

      it works for me. what happens when you click on the image?

      1. Barabare

        Server not found. Remove the trailing backslash in the link; change:”http://americancensorship.org” to “http://americancensorship.org”Although now the actual site is throwing a “Heorku | No such app” error message. Perhaps they are being censored ūüôā (edit: now it’s back).By the way, I saw you interview Crowley at NYU last week. It was a really great talk. Thanks for coming!

        1. fredwilson

          ThanksWill work on the banner issue

    2. William Mougayar

      It works for me too. 

      1. Barabare

        I’m guessing you both use Chrome, which doesn’t seem to mind the malformed URL. Firefox chokes.

        1. William Mougayar

          Yes, Chrome for me. But I tried it on FF and it works too although the / appears on FF and not on Chrome.

          1. Barabare

            That’s because someone just fixed it. You are now seeing a forward slash (“/”), which is normal. It was originally a backslash (“”), which is not. Chrome seems to ignore both when it’s the last character in a URL.

          2. fredwilson

            That was the power of real time continuous feedback in action ūüôā

  2. William Mougayar

    So true. Continuous feedback goes hand in hand with the cultures of start-ups. All cycles are compressed. Rapid development, iterations, quick fixes, user voices, short release cycles, real-time metrics, etc. Start-ups are constantly throttling 2 states: fast and continuous.Annual review cycles should be banned.

    1. Robert Thuston

      Agreed. Annual review cycles should be banned… It’s such a worthless formality if it’s done once a year!

  3. Aaron Klein

    Wow. I LOVE this. I’m implementing this with my board starting at our next meeting. What an awesome set of questions to ask.And my “STOP CENSORSHIP” banner is up…let’s hope it makes a big splash in DC today.

    1. Rohan

      Same here ūüôā

  4. phineasb

    I could not agree more and have been using a simple web form to get feedback from entrepreneurs after every meeting. The aggregate data is great, but the constant stream of free form comments has been incredibly valuable as well. Collecting the data is the first step, but making it actionable and executing on the insight is where the value is added.Thanks for the nudge to publish the data. I’ll push it out this week and see how the web responds.

    1. fredwilson

      Wow. You are asking entrepreneurs to rate you after pitch meetings?That is badass and awesome.I need to do that

      1. William Mougayar

        Have you tried Rypple?

        1. fredwilson

          Too many features. Less is more in my book

          1. William Mougayar

            Ok. Send me the link to your simple form ūüôā

          2. karen_e

            I’d like to see the simple form, too.Never mind, I see it now in Google Docs. Cool!

          3. William Mougayar

            I can’t see that link. Where did you find it?

          4. Bradleyj31

            Well, the magic of Rypple is the continuous feedback loop. ¬†The key is to keep it lightweight and ongoing – not only does this approach keep people engaged and on track, but it can help create a coaching/participatory environment. ¬†Sure there are other features – but it’s up to you whether or not you use them.

          5. Matthew Kelly

            Another neat tool for this is qidiq Рit eliminates the issue of too many features and focuses directly on getting the feedback you need. You can check them out here: http://www.qidiq.com/

          6. William Mougayar

            That looks like a great service. Thanks.

      2. phineasb

        it has been really helpful. here is a link to the survey and my thoughts on ithttp://www.sneakerheadvc.co…any feedback on the questions i am asking/suggestions for other things to ask would be great

        1. ShanaC

          while I think the lines about whether you are badass awesome or #fail are fun to read, I wonder if it affects the neutrality of the survey.

          1. phineasb

            I wanted to put some personality in there, but can see your point.Phineas BarnesPrincipal, First Round Capital [email protected]<mailto:[email protected]> | @phineasb | sneakerheadvc.com<http: sneakerheadvc.com=””>

          2. Rohan

            I’m wondering as well – how frank can these guys be? Reputation etc

          3. ShanaC

            it is a tradeoff. Also your signature appears. (this is where I say test to find the right balance)

        2. leigh

          “was I on time” ¬†that is a great first question (and slightly unexpected which makes it even more powerful)

        3. fredwilson

          i left you a question in the comments to that post

      3. Rick Rasansky

        In following Phin’s use-case, I get invaluable real-time anonymous feedback from every investor group I pitch. To me, what’s really “badass and awesome”, is to allow real-time feedback to be easy and accessible (read: mobile) in any experiential situation. As an entrepreneur, I eat feedback for breakfast and do my best to learn from it. In full disclosure, I am founder of yorn.com a simple continuous real-time feedback platform that I started because traditional feedback loops are broken – and relevant and actionable feedback is hard to get. RTF needs are everywhere you look – and we are lucky to be seeing yorn being adopted because of its simplicity and relevance.

    2. William Mougayar

      You might want to look at Rypple. It’s a social feedback/performance App with lots of nifty features.

    3. Nonyatta

      Interesting idea, but how honest would they be, given that they’d be scared about burning bridges or being blacklisted?¬† It’s not really anonymizable because each meeting has only 1-3 entrepreneurs

      1. phineasb

        I send it out at the end of every week and i send it from my e-mail address so I am not trying to track open rates and delivery etc. The form is anonymous and the combination of weekly batches and the distribution of response times means I really cannot tell who the feedback is from unless they self identify.

  5. Ela Madej

    Great idea! In one of my companies (a consulting company, big Ruby on Rails dev house in Europe) we direct our clients to a Quora question asking what is it like working with us. This information is obviously public, we’re fully transparent and everyone can add their 2 cents. It’s been working way better than selected “references” on the website because people actually believe in it. That’s not only feedback for us but a reminder that we have to keep doing excellent job (or face criticism). We’re actually going to embed this Quora question to our new website so that everyone can know EXACTLY what’s the spectrum of opinions on working with us.¬†There’s a funny story behind it because that Quora thread was probably started by one of our competitors – ¬†someone created that question and the first answer was sth suggesting that we’ve being doing shi**y job. It has been immediately voted down by our customers and actually I believe this was the reason why they wrote REALLY nice reviews – ¬†they just felt that wasn’t right.

    1. fredwilson

      Thats great

      1. Ela Madej

        Thanks!

    2. Ashwin, Founder - ContractIQ

      We are researching on how best to harvest customer feedback and thought why not metricize the staid testimonials. We are applying it to IT outsourcing contexts and so far, we identified 5 different touch points for an outsourcing services buyer resulting it 33 data points.Now its going to be fun to make the service providers to sign up for this metrics movement and share it with customers.

      1. Donna Brewington White

        FaaS:  feedback-as-a-service ?

        1. Rick Rasansky

          Love that! In fact, that’s what we are building here at yorn.com and our customers are using us as such…

      2. Ela Madej

        Happy to hear how this evolves Ashwin!My only question is if this is not going to be too complex (i.e. if that wouldn’t require too big of a time investment from your¬†customers). Also – ¬†when people are given an open question like “What is it like working with us?” they focus on the things THEY find most important, sometimes some details you’d not consider important. Then again, you can add an open question to the metrics movement.¬†

    3. Francesca Krihely

      That is SO awesome! I love that idea. You turned a public forum into a truly positive place. Bravo. You probably don’t realize it, but that’s a true step in the right direction to building a community of clients. To that end, have you found that your clients converse with one another before/after consult?¬†Love it! I’m going to try and see if we can implement.¬†

      1. Ela Madej

        Thanks, well – they definitely speak with one another before. The projects usually take a few months & the budgets are relatively big… Good luck!

    4. Tom Labus

      Great move.Traditional references are worthless.

    5. testtest

      imo the power of the thread is that it’s not on your website.assets don’t have to be on your site. assets on your site don’t have to be owned by you.¬†and there’s a¬†prevailing trend of web¬†assets becoming more¬†mutable.¬†

      1. Ela Madej

        We don’t own Quora ūüėČ We’ll be just embedding the thread just as everyone’s embedding ex. recent tweets widget.

        1. testtest

          yes, i’ve seen embedding before.from a social proof stand point it’s stronger on a third party site. when it comes to marketing matters i don’t see much leverage in doing the same as other people.and i wasn’t trying to be¬†prescriptive;¬†essentially¬†i couldn’t care less wether you do it or not.¬†i’ll be doing it though.

          1. Ela Madej

            Haha – obviously you couldn’t care less if you’re¬†Niccol√≤ Machiavell!

          2. testtest

            keep this to yourself…i’m not really¬†Niccol√≤ Machiavelli

    6. JLM

      Love the program but I wonder if it would be effective and useful to go see a client or to talk directly w/ one.

      1. Ela Madej

        Well, that’s independent, you can still do that…

      2. Tom Labus

        They may even give you some new business!!

      3. Blsavini

        In my oppinion, person to person, speaks VOLUMES  about the core values of the person who takes the time to do so. I do not believe that ANYTHING can ever fully replace the value of sincere one on one.

    7. Robert Thuston

      Ela, that’s great.¬† Love the transparency theme here.¬† And the next step with bringing it to the website.

    8. leigh

      very cool.  

  6. SubstrateUndertow

    Combining a higher frequency of feedback samplingwith a matchinghigher frequency of mutually adaptive-responsebetween all sub-function nodesin a purpose-drivenpurpose-homingnetworkis the magicthat breaths volitious organic life characteristicsinto such systemsif and only ifthey can reach a critical speed and complexityof mutually adaptiveinter-nodal responsiveness

  7. Pete Griffiths

    Steve Blank is banging on about exactly this right now.

  8. Ben Mappen

    Awesome post Fred! ¬†This is one of the problems we’re trying to solve at leanlaunchlab.com. ¬†Real-time feedback from investors, advisors, and mentors is not just critical for improving management, but also iterating towards product-market fit!

  9. Jan Schultink

    One of my clients (large corporate) is studying an idea from a brainstorm further:¬†to make a simple iPhone app that allow you to press a button “I just gave feedback” and consolidates the results to create a “gamification” type of peer pressure among managers to get better at this.

    1. Anne Libby

      I’d love this if it matched the “I just gave feedback” button with an “I just received feedback,” asking the recipient of feedback to rate the value of the feedback given.If someone’s not yet skilled at giving feedback, the recipient might not even realize they received feedback!¬†¬†Great idea, hope your client has their Legal team incorporated to the design process.¬†

  10. Luis D Arbulu

    I’ve been using a similar method that works really well:On one-on-one direct meetings I ask 3 questions:- What am I doing well- What could I be doing better- What could I be doing more ofIn addition, I would ask 3-10 coworkers to fill in (anonymously) using Google forms or Surveymonkey a short eval with the same questions. That way you have 2 types of data points: direct and anonymous

    1. Robert Thuston

      I like the simplicity. Well done.

  11. Rohan

    What a fantastic application.¬†I do workshops every once in a while for university students and use Google Forms to prepare for it. eg:¬†http://bit.ly/lsekillerpres…¬†– This is to get a taste of what the audience is like and help tailor the content accordingly.For now, post workshop feedback is still done on paper so I can capture it immediately.But, Google Forms is definitely the way to go.. Thanks for sharing! :)(unusual time for a blog post :))

  12. Jules Maltz

    Fred – good post. I was wondering what do you think is the best way for venture investors to get real-time feedback from companies on how they (the VC) should improve? Venture investors are always great at giving feedback, but companies don’t often give it back to the VC (as many probably feel uncomfortable doing this). I’d like to incorporate something that doesn’t seem awkward and results in honest open communication. ¬†If others know ideas, I’d be interested too.UPDATE: just read the comment from Phin below. Seems like a good thing for pitch meetings. Maybe worth doing something for Board meetings too.

    1. Mark Essel

      VCs have an obvious dominant metric (returns) and a soft measure (rep/influence). The dominant metric is public as funds age, but the soft measure resists quantification. Generate strong returns and LPs oversubscribe (in my lay person’s understanding).PhineasB has a great handle on keeping in touch with the soft measure. It may even be useful in dealing the LP raise, although they may not embrace the feedback loop as willingly.

    2. fredwilson

      Big issue. VCs are put on a pedestal and are immune to criticism too often. But i do have relationships with entrepreneurs where i get open and honest feedback.I think we need to encourage this.

      1. Rohan

        Yeah. we need to call bullshit on you often around here to give you some practice.;-) haha

  13. Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

    And maybe you should give your portfolio CEOs a feedback form to fill out too. ūüėČ

    1. Mark Essel

      No doubt, I can see this as a helpful channel besides direct communication and it’s express purpose is constructive criticism.I’m surprise there isn’t more ongoing communication between ceo’s and boards. Old stigma of no news is good news?

      1. Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

        In many relationships, the hardest thing is saying how you really feel….

        1. Rohan

          ..and being very sensitive to how difficult it might be for the other person to take it.. ūüôā

          1. Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

            ūüôā

    2. fredwilson

      Totally

  14. Alison Sigmon

    Another spin on this promoted by the US Army and in a book called Building a Better Mousetrap is START, STOP, CONTINUE. It’s a great way to review process and report progress. It’s also simple and contained so reviews don’t turn into gripe sessions. Thanks for the post. Cheers¬†

  15. Capitalistic

    Good idea – I’ll ¬†implement this within our portfolio cos as well

  16. RichardF

    It’s amazing how many companies don’t want feedback, probably because they are afraid of what they will discover. ¬†Twitter has forced many companies to embrace feedback.

    1. fredwilson

      Yes indeed. I backed a company in 1999 called Planet Feedback that was a purpose built web app for companies and brands to get feedback via the web. It didnt really work and was merged into a”buzztracking” company that was ultimately bought by Nielsen.Eight years later a “toy” that let anyone tell the world what they had for lunch exploded and solved this problem without even tryingThere are so many lessons for me in that story

      1. Rohan

        Haha. Toy inspired by Clay Christensen I presume

        1. fredwilson

          yes and paul graham too. see RichardF above

      2. Aaron Klein

        And most people still don’t understand how much the 140-constraint supports the success of Twitter.Robert Scoble wrote a seemingly 5,000 word post today responding to Bill Gurley and TechCrunch saying “of course Facebook and Google+ are going to be better than Twitter for connecting you to information.”The fact that his post was so long was proof positive that he was dead wrong. The beauty of Twitter is that I can skim it very quickly to find out what’s going on. A lot tougher with FB or G+.

      3. Robert Thuston

        Wow, that’s kind of an amazing lesson

      4. RichardF

        Funnily enough I was reading Paul Graham’s Essays on my Kindle last night, I loaded them on ages ago and had forgotten about themAnyway this quote from his essay Organic Startup Ideas http://www.paulgraham.com/o… rings true with what you say about Twitter starting out as a toy:”Don’t be discouraged if what you produce initially is something other people dismiss as a toy. In fact, that’s a good sign. That’s probably why everyone else has been overlooking the idea. The first microcomputers were dismissed as toys. And the first planes, and the first cars. At this point, when someone comes to us with something that users like but that we could envision forum trolls dismissing as a toy, it makes us especially likely to invest.”

        1. William Mougayar

          It reminds me of this one:”Some see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” – Robert Kennedy

    2. William Mougayar

      Actually we use Twitter Favorites to pin down user feedback given to us on Twitter and we link that page from our website under About / Praize¬†https://twitter.com/#!/Eqen…

    3. Donna Brewington White

      Really good point, Richard. ¬†A client once “fired” me because I asked some questions based on what I was hearing through “the word on the street” — trying to determine if I could still represent the company with integrity. I guess I got my answer…and was reminded that leading a horse to water does not ensure that it will drink.That “word on the street” has become much more pervasive and accessible with the internet and, in particular, social media. ¬†I once wrote a post titled¬†“The Real Story” after discovering a huge discrepancy between the story a company shared about itself and the story being told by previous employees on social media sites and even the CEO’s own Twitter stream. That was when I began to realize just how much more transparent the world of business was becoming. And that is a good thing. I also wondered, at the time, does this company’s VC know about this?

      1. RichardF

        My favourite use of Twitter is to see what the system status is of various companies.¬†You can usually find out if a company has an issue way before the company will admit they have a problem by the tweets that it’s users send out.

        1. Donna Brewington White

          Figures I’d be looking for the narrative and you’d be looking for the facts. One of the reasons I like hanging out with tech types. You cut to the chase.

  17. Clif Kussmaul

    Another variation is the SII report:- Strengths – what is a strength, and WHY is it a strength?- Improvements – what could be improved, and WHY should it be improved?- Insights – what have we learned through this experience?An SII usually asks for 3 of each, and is designed to encourage reflection.I first learned about it as a way of reviewing guided inquiry learning activities,but I also use it to prompt discussion of readings in my courses.

  18. Carl Rahn Griffith

    Like all great ideas, brilliantly simple.

    1. Mark Essel

      I tend to appreciate the brilliantly simple over the brilliantly complex more as I age. I’m hoping that bias is wisdom ;), and not intellectual sloth.Growing and maintaining ideas after their birth requires a disciplined approach to removing all bloat. But what is bloat vs growth, brilliant folks figure it out with feedback and instincts.

      1. Carl J. Mistlebauer

        Mark, you have got to keep it a secret, but with age comes wisdom, and with wisdom comes the reality that simplicity is brilliance.Middle age is nothing more than sacrificing a desire for quantity for the desire for quality.Now, keep the secret! ¬†ūüôā

    2. Rohan

      Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication – Leonardo da Vinci:)

  19. Donna Brewington White

    I recently stole this quote by Robert Thuston (@bertrood:disqus) from the AVC comments for my Tumblr:”Feedback is the food of champions.”You can tell a lot by a person’s (or company’s) genuine desire for feedback. Among other things it’s a sign of courage. I wonder if courage is as much an ingredient of this portfolio company’s progress as the feedback received. ¬†You can also tell a lot about the person willing to give authentic feedback.

    1. Rohan

      Agree.Especially given feedback is something that insecurity cannot handle.. 

    2. JLM

      The key to effectively using feedback is to de-personalize it and make it about problem solving rather than personal performance.The manipulation of the dialogue is critical to getting peak performance out of anyone — coaxing that performance through clever communication.Instead of — “You did xxx…and you should have done yyy.”Try — “This problem merits being evaluated with these considerations…”Feedback is not effective for its own sake but rather how it changes the call to action and redirects efforts.

      1. Rohan

        Nice to see you back around these parts, JLM. ūüėĬ†Feels like it’s been a while..¬†

        1. JLM

          Sometimes I actually have nothing to say.  Not often but sometimes.

          1. CJ

            Sometimes it’s better to listen to the signal than speak and add to the noise. ¬†I love your comments and find them very insightful JLM and I think they are that way because you don’t talk when there is nothing to say.

          2. awaldstein

            So true.A good motto generally. I ascribe to it.

          3. Rohan

            And in that too.. I learn from you. :)Agree with¬†@mlloyd:disqus¬†ūüôā

      2. LE

        Agree. But¬† we also have a generation that is getting all jazzed up by war stories they read on the net. Things like the Steve Jobs legend(s) such as:”‚ÄúCan anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?‚ÄĚ”An employee responded, to which Jobs replied:‚ÄúSo why the fuck doesn‚Äôt it do that?‚ÄĚAnd of course Jobs was a master of the “daddy’s favorite child” school of management..

        1. JLM

          The legend of Jobs will only become more distorted and attractive w/ his passing.Like Ronald Reagan, who in my lifetime was described as an “amiable dunce”, who is now a candidate for Mount Rushmore.The use of profanity is an interesting study in communication and effective communication.

      3. Robert Thuston

        Also, using the word “because” is helpful…and being as specific as possible when identifying good and bad behaviors…

      4. Matthew Zadrozny

        Reminds me of an anecdote about Pixar, from Peter Sims’ Little Bets:”This is where plussing comes in. Instead of critizing the sketch or saying “no,” ¬†the director will build on the starting point by saying something like, “I like Woody’s eyes, and what if we…” Again, notice the use of the word and rather than a word that implies judgment, such as but.”http://books.google.com/boo…

    3. Robert Thuston

      : )

  20. Baptiste Picard

    Great post! I’m gonna implement that in my startup for all employees, partners and board members first. I think that it’s slightly more complicated to do that with clients and I see that as the next step.¬†We also tried self assessment few months ago on a weekly basis through google form, rating your own performance on 5 different criteria. I think it’s a powerful tool, that can be the basis of the performance evaluation but combining it with regular feedback from others makes a lot of sense to get a whole dynamic.

    1. Rohan

      Hello Monsieur Picard. :DNice to meet you here. ūüôā¬†

      1. Baptiste Picard

        Eheh! Not a regular yet, but definitely going in this direction with so much great food for thought here!

        1. Rohan

          Good to see you here, my friend. ūüôā¬†

  21. John Petersen

    One of my favorite quotes that I have hanging on my bedroom door that stares at me¬†every time¬†I leave my room:”A constant, never-ending commitment to consistently increase the quality of my business every single day would give me the power to dominate the markets of the world”The best and only way I have found to do this is through constant feedback. Great post Fred, thanks for sharing.

  22. Scott Barnett

    fabulous idea. ¬†Just curious, do you know what % of this companies board fills out the form each month? ¬†I’d love to assume 100%, but it would be nice to know. ¬†And do they share the aggregate results with the board?

    1. fredwilson

      I am pretty sure its 100%The founder is tough on his board

    2. Aaron Klein

      If your board members can’t answer two questions between board meetings, you’ve chosen the wrong board member.

      1. Scott Barnett

        Couldn’t agree more Aaron. But I bet you’d be surprised at the answer… or if you got the thoughtful insight that’s required to make these questions truly useful. I don’t think this is a 5 minute exercise, and if it is, why wasn’t it brought up in the board meeting itself?I made a habit of calling many of my board members after a meeting to ask this question… but it wasn’t all of them every time. I like this as a starting point, then following up with members on the phone. It’s not as simple as just getting the typed answers to these questions to really put the feedback to good use.

        1. Aaron Klein

          Why not during the board meeting? To let the board member digest the content and discussions in the meeting and perhaps give a better answer. Calls work if there is time. And you’re right, there’s always the risk they can’t find the 5 minutes to give an insightful answer‚Ķ ūüôā

  23. Anne Libby

    Any feedback system is just a tool.¬†¬† When a leader is not skilled enough, or brave enough, to offer/accept the truth, a tool that offers continuous feedback will be the same crutch that the old fashioned annual review can be.¬†¬†In getting things done, it’s not the tool that matters.¬†¬† It’s the underlying relationship.

  24. Wesley Verhoeve

    Iterate not just the product, but also the team! I also find that a continuous stream small adjustments explained to team members in a forward thinking manner that loops back to our mission works a lot better than a sit down twice a year to have that big scary conversation.

  25. JimHirshfield

    I’m late to this party. Did I oversleep? Fred, are you getting up at midnight now instead of 5am? ;-)Let me guess, you’re not in NYC.

    1. fredwilson

      Took the late aft flight back from SFOCouldnt sleep so i blogged

      1. Donna Brewington White

        Wondered how AVC was suddenly on my West Coast schedule…well my convoluted night owl schedule — but was also a good prompt to get my “Stop Censorship” banners up.I like when you mix it up a bit.

        1. Rohan

          It’s ironic he did that the day after I blogged about a learning on Dependability that I learnt from him however..¬†http://www.alearningaday.co…Hahaha ūüėÄ

        2. fredwilson

          mixing it up is hard for mei’m a routine driven individual

  26. Farhan Lalji

    That’s exactly the problem we saw with digital advertising. ¬†Campaigns run off different tools, networks, exchanges etc and then by the time you crunch through the data it’s out of date.Less features but steady data in as close to real time has to win over the long term.

    1. ShanaC

      So so agree.Actionable decisions fro  smaller pieces of data are so much more useful than dealing with more data, later.(though there is the risk of not having the right data, such is life)

      1. Mark Essel

        Thats’s why Farhan and his team will hit it out of the park, because they’ll figure out the right data.

    2. Tom Labus

      Steady data is great if not politically motivated. 

  27. Amy Bevilacqua

    I am preparing the agenda for the first board meeting of a start-up nonprofit that I helped found, and I just added this to our action items–seeking immediate feedback from our fledgling board after the meeting on how we can work well together. ¬†Slightly different twist–establishing a feedback loop to help establish a culture of a group starting to work together, but I think the tactic will be just as potent. ¬†God knows that the nonprofit sector isn’t naturally drawn to innovation and if immediate and frank feedback helps us iterate and evolve more quickly then we really will be doing something worthwhile.

    1. Aaron Klein

      Bravo. And yes, the nonprofit sector needs to do a lot more innovating because their presence is desperately needed with the challenges we have in front of us.

  28. Conrad Ross Schulman

    Transparency is in! It’s awesome and beneficial for everyone. USV and Fred Wilson epitomize transparency. They are the pack leaders.¬†Start-ups are changing faster than rapidly. The sentence “Startups are rapidly changing systems” can be replaced with¬†“If a start-up isn’t changing every 1 second, its not a start-up”As a young entrepreneur, I work at 300 mph. (thats fast!) I make more changes to my start-ups in 1 second than corporations do in years.¬†Below are some changes that happen in 1 second:I transformed a loyalty and rewards program into a social game (thanks Fred)I changed an education app to become social and incude users opinions.I built 6 mobile apps in 1 week, only to get all the apps rejected.I spent $5,000 on a new domain name, only to not use the name.¬†I changed the structure of my do it at home business to a real corporation.I read and understand 300+ patents in one night just to see if I can move forward with a new idea.If your not constantly changing and dedicating your full efforts to a business, its not worth it. A start-up is like a child, you gotta be there every second or else they cry.¬†

    1. Calvino Barkin

      300 mph is super-fast..whats your secret? 

      1. Conrad Ross Schulman

        Answer: Stay Hungry Stay Foolish..I have looked in the morning every morning and asked myself, if today were the last day of my life, would I wanna do what I am about to do today? And whenever the answer is ‘no’ too many days in a row, I know I need to change…Steve Jobs RIP¬†

        1. Robert Thuston

          I completely agree.¬† I’m learning everyday how to live more like this.. and this blog and community push it.

          1. Conrad Ross Schulman

            LETS GO!!!I’ll be up all night hacking the twitter and facebook api. What are the rest of you doing tonight?!Competition is healthy, let’s harness it in a positive way!

          2. Cliff S

            What u hacking? 

    2. Donna Brewington White

      “A start-up is like a child…”As someone who had a newborn and my first startup client at the same time, it deeply impressed me how much the founder and I had in common. ¬†Not to mention that both of us were up in the middle of the night — which is often when we connected. ¬†You are amazing, CRAD. ¬†I’m exhausted reading your comment. ¬†But you captured it.And that type of effort isn’t just keeping the baby from crying. You are keeping the baby alive. That requires pretty much constant attention.

      1. Conrad Ross Schulman

        Your absolutely right!! 

    3. Chimpwithcans

      Hi CRAD,Im really interested in your “loyalty and rewards program into a social game” comment. Can you divulge any details on how well it is working / whether you plan to offer the format to other companies?300 mph – don’t crash into me on the highway as i only¬†go at 120¬†ūüėČ

      1. Conrad Ross Schulman

        Its in the works..stay tuned!!¬†Your going 120 mph? Do you know “the little nash rambler”?”Hey buddy how can I get this car out of second gear”??!!!?!

  29. ShanaC

    I’m actually kind of curious why there aren’t more tools about getting continuous feedback for many many things.We talk about lifehacks and getting continuous feedback – and yet most of the tools out there don’t ping you to eat more of your veggies without lots of work.Or product building – things like automated growl responses from rails on passing a test should be standard out of the box behavior for not just code, but for making plastics.Wouldn’t it save money, save lives?

    1. Rohan

      I know of a friend who is working on something like this using QR codes. ūüôā So, I’m sure there’s stuff on the way..

    2. Mark Essel

      Here’s one example, @Tereza:disqus with Honestly Now. It’s all about timely desired feedback.

  30. William Mougayar

    Continuous feedback should also be given to politicians. They should be completely transparent with that.¬†I once saw the coolest About link for a company. It linked to their Wikipedia page. What better transparency than that, since Wikipedia is a totally neutral and crowdsource vetted. ¬†Politicians About links should point to feedback given to them. Just answers to the question “How am I doing?”.¬†

    1. Rohan

      That is a very cool idea. ūüôā

    2. LE

      “Politicians About links should point to feedback given to them. Just answers to the question “How am I doing?”.Not a fan of that. I would fear it would give to much power to the squeaky wheel. People will say positive things about politicians who do things and support things that benefit them which may not be the best thing for everyone. (And the opposite).Reminds me of what I used to say about salesman. A competitor that the salesman describes as a “nice guy” usually is someone who gives them orders that they will make a nice profit on. Someone who drives a hard bargain or makes the salesman work for the money¬† usually isn’t described that way.

      1. William Mougayar

        A bit of transparency won’t hurt. Contrast open links to ones that are from them and on their websites. Truth is anybody will google anything to find the truth. But if you make it a bit easier, you gain credibility.

  31. Dale Allyn

    Love the simplicity and honesty of this, Fred. I’m a big fan of transparency and constructive criticism, linked with humility (required to act on the criticism).¬†A similar questionnaire asked of employees to rate management is also very meaningful, if the right culture is in place. I just witnessed a huge benefit to management (not my company) by an employee having the guts to go to the top and give brutally honest, yet fair, criticism of conditions (and a new manager) which were causing severe damage among the team. While there was consensus that management was f*$king up badly, no one had the guts to step up to discuss it. This person stepped-up and said “screw it, I don’t work in fear like this. We’ll fix this or I’ll move on”. The team is much better for it now, but these types of surveys would fix a lot of woes, both upstream and down, before things go too far off-track.¬†Great post.

  32. Elie Seidman

    Great idea. I’m going to borrow it – not just for board meetings but for other touch points that our business has with all of its varied constituents. Startups are learning organisms and the faster the learning (without jerking the wheel) the better it gets.¬†

  33. reece

    yup… been doing this for a while nowas it relates to board meetings, i love Brad’s approach to it with cloud docs for prep/follow up etcmakes for better discussion at your actual meeting

  34. Eric Leebow

    This is called Kaizen, you can only get better if you continuously improve. ¬†Sometimes things take a step by step approach, and some entrepreneurs (myself included) have previously made the mistake saying we’re going to do it all at once then pull it all together. You need to make gradual improvements over time. ¬†Feedback is the best thing a company can ask for, and I’ve seen one of your portfolio companies have a forum or site dedicated just for feedback. ¬†It’s interesting to think about this approach. ¬†You need to continue to ask questions about ways to improve, as there’s always room for improvement. ¬†I’ve seen some of your portfolio companies since the very early days, and they’ve done some amazing things.¬†

    1. JLM

      The Kaizen principle is right on the money.

  35. Dennis Buizert

    I always ask for feedback. One it helps me improve my bad things, but also improve my yood things.I always give feedback as well. It is part of how i work. Without it it becomes just work and people will lose their interest in what they do. This is something i noticed at school.If i dont get some sort of feedback on my behavior, work or something related i feel unneeded and just a filler.Contious feedback at a young age. It be a person or a product.

  36. Arshad Chowdhury

    I care deeply about this, so I built a simple ongoing feedback tool called ClearGears. It lets managers track their team’s satisfaction and performance over time in a way that’s super lightweight. We do a just a few things and we try to do those things really well. http://cleargears.com.

    1. Rohan

      Just looked at your website – Interesting. ūüôā What sort of companies are you targeting?

      1. Arshad Chowdhury

        Hi Rohan, companies using ClearGears are across the map. We service anyone working in teams whether those teams are at companies big or small.

    2. Brad Dickason

      I’ve spoken with Arshad a few times about ClearGears as it’s one of those products that I find absurdly interesting but haven’t had the right company to use it in. I love the idea of constant, cheap feedback that employers actually find useful and employees don’t hate.

  37. JLM

    No question that feedback is the breakfast of champions but it seems to me that this is symptomatic of an ineffective Board meeting dynamic.The Board meeting is the province of the Board and should be controlled and led by the Board Chairman acknowledging that almost all of the¬†preparatory¬†work is going to be done by management.The Board agenda should have time allocated for an independent Directors’ chat, brainstorming, an educational topic and a parking lot.The night before the Board meeting the Chairman and CEO should have dinner or a long chat about the impending Board meeting. ¬†This is the time for the Chairman and the CEO to have a forthright chat about all things. ¬†Everything.There is a bit of psychology in this one on one chat for both the CEO and the Chairman as it lends itself to a bit of intimacy and the ability to build a strong relationship and may even provide the framework for a few confidences. ¬†A good chance for the CEO to unburden himself about any counterproductive behavior by any Board members.And an opportunity for the Chairman to give voice to exactly the kind of things that are indicated in the feedback loop described above.Wouldn’t it be more productive to get the “feedback” BEFORE the meeting and use the meeting as a vehicle to address such issues in real time?It would also be essential that the Directors have a 5-minute chat w/ the Chairman the week before the meeting and after they are in receipt of the Board book.Board relationships are very important and Boardmembers have to sweat the details before the meetings to make them as effective as possible.

    1. Dale Allyn

      A questionnaire prior to the meeting, distributed with the meeting’s preparatory materials (“the packet”) makes sense. I tend to prefer meetings with prior planning and preparation to those “wing it” type ending with, or followed by, a postmortem.¬†I do like the simplicity of the form suggested in Fred’s post, especially for small teams and young companies.¬†

      1. JLM

        The thing I don’t like about a questionnaire before every meeting is that it tends to cast things in stone and to erect a barrier to a more clever way of communicating.The questionnaire almost becomes a ballot and thus presents a form of “voting” while a good chat provides the opportunity to develop a bit of context.What the Board really wants is to see things through the eyes of the CEO — for better or worse — so it can take his measure and also so that it can provide support for those fears that are really propelling performance.Don’t get me wrong, I do love a Board blind survey but for coaxing performance, I much prefer the clever hand crafted approach in which a wily gray haired Board member develops the kind of relationship w/ a CEO such that he knows what the CEO is thinking before the thought even really crystallizes.But, hey, that’s just me.Personal relationships are harder to craft but much more effective.

        1. Rohan

          Hmm. I guess we have entered a debate about the process here.But, I guess we are all fairly aligned on the principle. (i.e. continuous honest feedback)And I guess when it comes down to establishing processes, it brings in questions about the style of the folks involved and the relationship shared.¬†I don’t know if there will ever be one right answer because these are going to be different in every case.¬†

          1. JLM

            Big difference “feedback” v “carb loading”.I want the discussions before and at the meeting w/ the lingering stuff put in the “parking lot” rather than leaving something unsaid or undone and potentially lost until the next meeting.Real time.

          2. Rohan

            I see. Understood..

        2. Dale Allyn

          Point taken. I agree with the value of the chat prior to meeting. Personal engagement is valuable.¬†I watched the leader of a board of trustees (a friend) for a well known school attempt to prepare for a meeting using a questionnaire. As I read the survey (being asked to edit for clarification) I couldn’t help wondering if it wouldn’t be easier and more effective to just call each and chat for few moments.¬†The trustees are dispersed (18 in total) and not easy to connect with personally, I was told. I later learned that the survey was not particularly helpful because of how each person did (or did not) respond to the questions and when. (However, the survey was rather involved, lacking the simplicity of what Fred had described.)These conversations here get a bit messy because sometimes we’re picturing a young startup with 3 board members, and sometimes we picture a publicly traded company with a large and experienced board. However, one can’t help but think that if good habits are practiced from the start (and using suggestions you’ve shared on A VC many times), more effective board meetings will be the norm as the company grows. I know that you have experience on a wide range of such boards and I always learn from your comments on the topic.

          1. JLM

            The rules are a bit different for large non-profit type boards.I served for years on a college foundation board and while the rules really were the same, the implementation was very difficult because of how geographically dispersed the membership truly was — so point taken.The committee structure of big boards becomes very important as they wield real power with their recommendations.

    2. Aaron Klein

      I think it’s clearly both.My board has very frank discussions at our meetings. Our last one started off with one director flatly saying “this document is worthless because of X.” I wasn’t offended – I encourage that level of frankness, and we had a great discussion about it. Ultimately, he was both right and wrong but I appreciated knowing how he felt.After you’ve had that frank discussion of the issues, each board member will likely have updated their thoughts about what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong, and this approach is a great way to get them to summarize and feed you those thoughts, just in case it was at all unclear during the meeting.

      1. JLM

        Don’t stop what works for you.When Boardmembers are committed to the success of an enterprise, their each and every utterance should be weighed with an eye toward whether it will advance the cause of the company.What you describe as being “frank” strikes me as being offensive. ¬†But, again, do what works for you.If I were that Boardmember, I would have asked — “Aaron, does this document provide us w/ the best view of xxx?” ¬† “Perhaps it might be more effective if the information were massaged in this manner, what do you think?”To leave a discussion without having a consensus could be evidence of poor communication — if I were the Chairman, I would have polled the Board for its thoughts one by one and have asked the CEO if he understood the new direction.I am very fond of saying — “So, to summarize, it is the consensus of the Board that…” and “Aaron, does it seem like we have provided clear direction and what do you understand that direction to be.”Poll, discuss, summarize, brief back.

        1. Aaron Klein

          His comment was a little rough‚Ķprobably the roughest we’ve had at our meetings. It was in regard to how I was looking at the budget pretty far out, and he felt it didn’t go deep enough. We had a great discussion about budgeting stuff that we have limited to no visibility for, and I brought him around to my point of view on the issue.He probably could have been a little more diplomatic, but my point is – I’d rather he be blunt so I could address it, rather than stew on it. What could have been a festering frustration turned into consensus about how we needed to move forward.You could sell tickets to your board meetings, JLM‚Ķdon’t underestimate that as a revenue source. ūüôā

          1. Donna Brewington White

            “You could sell tickets to your board meetings, JLM”OH YES!

          2. JLM

            Actually they are just like everybody else’s except maybe I have been doing it a bit longer and have the process down.I have a superb Board — 3 Wharton guys, 1 Stanford guy, couple of TX MBAs, public company CFO type, 2 CPAs and a bit of wisdom based upon experience.We have pretty good bones on the politics, structure, process and we are pretty good about being on topic. ¬†We follow the the appropriate disciplines — audit committee meeting, independent directors meeting, compensation committee.I make sure everyone gets polled on every subject so nobody can go silent, go deep on me.Not quite enough brainstorming because I think we are just a bit too comfortable with each other.Always have an education topic and always break bread together. ¬†Religiously get the board book early and follow a strict discipline of outlining every topic even when we do not discuss it — e.g. staffing.I pay them each $20K cash annually plus 20K at the money options annually.I like the discipline of a good Board. ¬†I need it to guard rail my otherwise boundless creativity.

        2. leigh

          My services startup just got our first board member and about to get our second. More content on how to most effectively conduct those meetings would be very useful (beyond the basics).  Maybe you should do a guest post?  

      2. Robert Thuston

        Nail on the head… It’s not about forms, or quota questions, or questionnaires… even though it all helps. It’s about the ability to create an atmosphere where honest dialogue is encouraged to the point of being demanded.

    3. LE

      “Wouldn’t it be more productive to get the “feedback” BEFORE the meeting and use the meeting as a vehicle to address such issues in real time?”Not only more productive but essential. It also gives you a way to identify slackers. People who show up at meetings and don’t spend any time to review the info given to them in advance of a meeting.¬† This goes for any meeting not just a board meeting. I hate unprepared people or people who review things given in advance in real time.

      1. JLM

        The lack of preparation for Board meetings is a crime both from the perspective of an investor looking after his/her own investment but also the waste of everybody else’s time.Trying to read Board materials while at the Board meeting is like trying to play Tx Hold ‘Em while learning the rules.I have gotten to the point of simply asking — has everyone had a chance to review the materials in the Board book?

    4. Robert Thuston

      Agreed… Continuous feedback has to start before the meeting… M Suster would completely agree.

    5. fredwilson

      your points are all solid JLM and I agree with all of thembut this board does have a great dynamicevery founder/CEO has their own way and this is his way

      1. JLM

        Don’t get me wrong, I am the biggest supporter of doing what actually works. ¬†Every situation is different and one must adapt to the reality of the boardmembers and not some mythical proforma practice.Do what works.The more I am around people the more I am inclined to try to draw them out about what they are thinking because it is in those¬†unprocessed¬†thoughts that the seeds of misunderstanding are germinating and taking root.I am always amazed at how different folks’ thoughts evolve even though everybody was on the same page originally.

  38. testtest

    feedback is the chemotaxis of the byte machinist.

  39. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    A simple benefit of continual “short lag” feedback is that it can be managed to be in-phase. ¬†What does this mean ?If you push a child on a Swing at the right time of a cycle technically you “excite an oscillation” – the desired effectIf you push at the wrong time you get a crying child on the dirt and/or a face full of seat.Learning to manage oscillating systems is hard (every “bunny-hopped” the clutch on a stick-shift ? ) – A huge mitigation is if control inputs are steady, continual, gentle and predictable¬†The whole system can get in tune with this with minimum disturbance – Think how an¬†Olympian¬†“guides” a dressage horse almost by thought control.¬†It’s a fine way to achieve a¬†thoroughbred¬†performance.¬†Yet again nice thoughts Fred

    1. fredwilson

      that’s a great way to think about it

    2. JLM

      Next I will expect an anecdote about the famous Washington state bridge which destroyed itself because of a resonant frequency and how the amplitude magnified itself because of the perfect fit of the resonance.

      1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

        http://www.youtube.com/watc…JLM – Galloping Gertie – She was crying out for our attentionBeing trying to figure how to get this into a Fred Wilson blog without looking contrived for a couple of years now !Thanks for the opening

  40. LE

    I’m a big fan of feedback and use to do it at my first startup (which I no longer own but it is still in business I am proud to say..).The attached 3 images, from 1988 show a manual way we used to gather information. I was amazed at how open and helpful customers were and tended to value the negative comments more than the positive. (Note I’ve attached a negative comment.)(The “Azie Morton” customer below is the former secretary of the Treasury Azie Taylor Morton. Her name was still on currency at the time. And yes after that big important government job she worked selling office supplies using her connections and minority status to gain work. Because of minority set asides she would take our work and resell at a higher price. )

    1. fredwilson

      that’s awesome

  41. hypermark

    I love the construct of finding ways to keep the product development process fluid, the corporate culture evolution fluid, and generally finding ways to be “boundary-less” (a Jack Welch-ism) with customers, co-workers, partners and investors.¬†Support can be a front door to sales, sales can be a front door to marketing, product development can be a front door to support, and so on.Obviously, it takes good leadership to not be interrupt-driven with all of this information, but as they say, you can’t improve what you don’t measure, and you can’t measure what you don’t track.

    1. Robert Thuston

      I think you are exactly right… It’s about created fluid dialogues horizontally and vertically in your company. Welch is a great example.

    2. JLM

      I think Jack Welch is one of the best business organizational thinkers.I did a lot of business w/ GE Capital when Gary Wendt was running things. ¬†I mention him because I think Welch had a huge impact on him until his divorce.GE Capital was one of the best run businesses I have ever seen and was brutally pragmatic about solving its own problems.Pyramid organizations do not work in today’s barrier free information society.

      1. hypermark

        Whose divorce? Wendt’s or Welch’s. ūüôā¬†Seriously, though, it does raise a question about organizational structure and the role of CEOs in same. The model that works for a conglomerate like GE, where there are fundamentally different lines of business, but umbrella points of leverage (Culture, IT, HR, training) is very different than in tech, for example, where arguably, a company should have operational and strategic synergy across product lines and business units.I just wonder if the silo’d model of business units (think: Yahoo), or even the loosely coupled model of moats and catalysts (think: Google), leads to less compelling products, user experiences, cultures and operating margins than the more deeply integrated approaches of Amazon and Apple (and Microsoft back in the day).¬†By the same token, it’s not like there are 20 examples of companies similarly integrated that are also operationally excellent, and Jobs has passed away, and Gates has retired, leaving Bezos as the lone wolf.In other words, the answer may come down to the brilliant, omnipotent, charismatic leader that FORCES boundary-less-ness as a necessary precursor more so than the right organizational structure.¬†What’s your take?

        1. JLM

          Wendt’sGE is an excellent company even in the absence of Welch.I think the traditional¬†hierarchical scheme of business organization is a dinosaur.I do think that the CEO is becoming more and more important to successful organizations — the American presidency being exhibit no 1 these days — and that the CEO’s vision, embrace of technology/SM, organizational imperative is critical to excelling in this modern world.¬†

          1. hypermark

            Successful organizations can only be (effectively) boundary-less if their CEOs are deeply connective with the rest of the organizational tissue.Re GE, I remember reading Straight from the Gut (Welch autobiography), and being taken by an excerpt that noted that as celebrated as Welch was as CEO, Reg Jones was probably ever more celebrated during his run, and a number of other GE CEOs being comparably respected before that; the argument being that Welch was more a by-product of GE than GE a by-product of Welch.

  42. Misha

    I’m curious if the companies you invest in share their internal sales/performance dashboards with the investors and if so, is it useful?

    1. fredwilson

      yes, they do. they are helpful. but sometimes it is better to give them feedback at a slightly higher level than the way they measure themselves

  43. Al

    Many enterprises who do a good job listening to their customers have this cycle of continuous feedback built into their operations.¬† I’ve helped companies like Apple, Nike, Jetblue, and many more build such programs.¬† The questionnaire varies from rating questions to verbatims to a mix of both.¬† Then solid analytics & data viz on top of that to find insights that everyone in the organization can review and act on.¬† Social media has added a new dimension of unsolicited feedback, and we’re building tools to incorporate that as well at http://allegiance.com

  44. Joshua A Holtzman

    Cleargears.com is this exact approach on steroids but just as simple/easy. What are your thoughts on their product?

  45. panterosa,

    I love continuous feedback, in business, in design, in life, in love. I am most impressed by those who are artful in their feedback – effective and positive, dedicated to genuine improvement with a kind heart to even go into the hard things gently. They are the greatest teachers here people with such skills.

  46. Jeph maystruck

    Great post as usual Fred, much appreciated!

  47. Youssef Rahoui

    Awesome piece of advice: I’ll do it for our next board meeting! Thanks!

  48. AlexisMarin

    We’re using Thinkfuse (http://www.thinkfuse.com/) for this at the Portland Incubator Experiment and Scott Kveton (CEO of Urban Airship) has been mentioning using it for his board.¬†

  49. mitmads

    Fred, long time reader and first time commenter. Feedback has been helpful throughout my career. Also your observation “larger theme I am noticing in our portfolio and the startup world at large” is very true. Especially in lean product development feedback plays a major role. Here is take on the value of feedback in lean prod. development –¬† http://blog.neemware.com/20

    1. fredwilson

      Welcome!

  50. Claire Axelrad

    This is a great suggestion, and I’d love to see nonprofit organizations adopt this with their boards.¬† I’ve worked in nonprofit development for 30 years, and seldom is there a system in place for continuous, real-time feedback.¬† Yes, sometimes there are annual surveys where folks mark on a scale of 1 to 5 how satisfied they are with stuff like the amount of preparation they receive, the amount of socializing they get to enjoy, the extent to which they feel like more than a rubber stamp, etc.¬† But doing this once a year, without any anecdotal or qualitative information added in, often misses the mark.¬† Love the idea of continuous feedback. And love Donna’s quote:¬† Feedback is the food of champions!

  51. Michael Diamant

    So simple, so fantastic, i am itching to implement this in my next board meeting (and my last one was just two days ago). ¬†It’s so easy for board meetings to devolve into a droning presentation of metrics, especially when you have a somewhat complex organization and are data heavy….it leaves so little energy for brainstorming and finding out the true value you can get from your BOD. ¬†

  52. Anne McCrossan

    Fred, I’ve long since been a fan of yours and totally subscribe to this way of thinking too.¬†And as organisations integrate social technology into their operational systems it’s an approach that can only make more and more sense.¬†In fact, Visceral Business a social organisation I run is all about this shift from mechanical to dynamic human business systems. We’re helping businesses build bio feedback loops through the line to identify and make the most of business strengths and, also, their blind spots. We use a Genetic Code to assess how ‘visceral’ organisations are, and help develop these attributes so they are networked, seamless, open, compelling and beyond profit. There’s lots more information on the website, I won’t be so crass as to put a link in here but you can google us anytime. Suffice to say it’s great to see this is a drum more and more of us are banging.

  53. Chgriffin

    The company should also provide a review to its investors and advisors.  Feedback should go both ways.

    1. fredwilson

      i agree

  54. fltron

    Hi Fred,In the area of continuous feedback‚Ķ I’m a long time follower. You’re continuing to be a leader in the area of politics and social justice, and your postings in that area are dead on. You don’t need my feedback on your portfolio, but things I’m noticing:¬†– Flash is dead-ish. You were wrong. We’d love to read a response.- Android continues to not be profitable for developers even with almost half the marketshare smartphone wise. You seem to be against the one platform that earns money for developers. Do you still agree with your previous statements on Android vs iOS? (I guess the gotcha here might be the Amazon Fire‚Ķ Amazon might just be the right formula to make it work).- Did you really invest in a website that basically categories animated GIFs?¬†– Foursquare is like RIM was some years ago, I’m sure the numbers are still looking good (I have no idea) but this is going to flop soon if there’s no further innovation here beyond the point system.This is your space, so you don’t owe us anything in response but in some way this blog posting opened up the discussion to feedback.¬†

    1. ShanaC

      I’m assuming you’re new, Welcome!As to why Fred and company (aka the rest of USV) – umm, they’d have to answer, and they may not be able to/want to. (shareholder agreements and such)

    2. fredwilson

      flash was killed by apple. how does that make me wrong?android is not unprofitable for developers. in particular, game developers are making great profits on that platform.canvas is a remix platform for the webfoursquare’s numbers are very strong. stronger than ever.but then again people said twitter was dead three years ago.

      1. fltron

        Based on what I’ve read over the years I think Apple may have created an blindspot for you investment wise. Anyway, not my business. I certainly agreed with the issues you brought forward when Apple didn’t disclose their CEO’s health, but it did turn out at the end as a stock owner. I don’t think Apple killed flash, I think flash killed flash. They’re still not able to produce a well functioning solution. They had enough years to try… unless you’re suggesting Adobe put less money into Flash development because Apple wasn’t supporting it.Glad to hear Android is doing well for game developers! As a consumer I want choice and competition. A strong Android platform does us all good.Re: Foursquare, I was thinking of this after I made the post. They have a fantastic (virtual) infrastructure that is being used by so many other applications. I’m curious if Foursquare will eventually becoming the under-the-covers piping instead of the app.Thank you Fred, as always I enjoy reading your postings.

      2. fltron

        Based on what I’ve read over the years I think Apple may have created an blindspot for you investment wise. Anyway, not my business. I certainly agreed with the issues you brought forward when Apple didn’t disclose their CEO’s health, but it did turn out at the end as a stock owner. I don’t think Apple killed flash, I think flash killed flash. They’re still not able to produce a well functioning solution. They had enough years to try… unless you’re suggesting Adobe put less money into Flash development because Apple wasn’t supporting it.Glad to hear Android is doing well for game developers! As a consumer I want choice and competition. A strong Android platform does us all good.Re: Foursquare, I was thinking of this after I made the post. They have a fantastic (virtual) infrastructure that is being used by so many other applications. I’m curious if Foursquare will eventually becoming the under-the-covers piping instead of the app.Thank you Fred, as always I enjoy reading your postings.

  55. ATSiem

    I now sign my emails with a free Wufoo form: ‘What am I doing well? What do I need to do better?’¬†http://atsiempg.wufoo.com/f…Thanks for the inspiration.

  56. fredwilson

    I am so tempted to put chuck there

  57. ShanaC

    where is chuck?

  58. fredwilson

    nice. i was inspired by you to create this last nighthttp://fredwilson.vc/post/1…