Monday Morning Insight pointed me to a recent entry from Seth Godin's blog. Seth is a pretty sharp thinker. He especially talks to entrepreneurs and marketing people. This nugget on his blog is worth a ton. After explaining why you should ignore perpetual critics he then gives:
...a surprising thought... You should ignore your fans as well.
Your fans don't want you to change, your fans want you to maintain the essence of what you bring them but add a laundry list of features. You fans want lower prices and more contributions, bigger portions and more frequent deliveries.
So, who should you listen to?
You should listen to the people who tell the most people about you. Listen to the people who thrive on sharing your good works with others. If you delight these people, you grow.
I love that word "sneezers". We've always called them "bringers" at New Life over the years. And "bringers"--people who are being changed and want others to encounter the same thing--are the people who should be heeded because they get what people are looking for.
And the idea of ignoring your fans--that is counter-intuitive and at the same time it rings strongly true. Fans want things to stay the same--the way they've grown to like it--and can actually stand in the way of the right kind of change.