Business is mostly about how you think
There are idols in the internet world and one of them is Jason Fried of 37Signals.com. He and his biz partner David Heinemeier Hansson have built a company that many in the startup world idolize and then seek to duplicate. I do use a few 37Signals products but the greatest gift I get from 37Signals is the attitude they carry. They are totally ok with the word “No”. They are happy to lose certain customers. They build and run a business that they love not because of the money it produces but because of the problems it solves.
Not everyone is a fan
I cancelled my subscription to Highrise (affiliate link to 37Signals’ contact management software) last year because I was frustrated that it lacked a few features that I wanted. There was a strong chorus of people requesting the same tweaks to Highrise and we had all been met with the same answer, “Thanks for caring about our product but we’re not going to add that right now.” So I quit.
They didn’t ask me to come back.
Last week I sent out a newsletter to my list of 400 or so subscribers. I got 6 unsubscribe notices in 24 hours. That’s a lot based on my experience with mailing lists. I know exactly who unsubscribed. I didn’t ask them to come back.
Find sojourners and you will grow
The business I’m trying to build is more about a collection of like minded people than a mindless trading of goods for dollars. If someone doesn’t like my thoughts, my newsletter layout or the frequency of the mailings then they quit. I’m glad they do. If you’re creating something bigger than yourself then you need to rely on others to share your beliefs, convictions, goals and vision. If someone doesn’t share those things then they’re going to take more energy than they give. If you get too many of them you’ll die. Your business will die. Your dream will die. If people quit following you, “unfriend” you, unsubscribe from you or just stop returning your correspondance consider it a gift. They quit. You didn’t have to fire them.
Your newsletter subscribers should be your friends
How do you handle it when someone unsubscribes from your newsletter or your friendship? It sucks a little bit but remember that if you want to build something that involves like minded people you do not want to invite dissension into your community. Let them go. Let them quit. Move on. Your community is waiting for you to move on. You might have four, 40, 400 or 40,000 members. Let some quit and build something great with the rest.
By the way, I resubscribed to Highrise a few months ago. They made a few small improvements I wanted.
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