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On Bad Reviews

I’ve kind of got a reputation for being a little cerebral. I tend to overthink things to the point of exhaustion. It’s made maintaining friendships difficult for pretty much my entire life.

So when I get a negative review on something I’ve created, this process starts, like some giant engine set at the base of a cathedral in a dystopian universe.

I’d like to think that my view of negative reviews is progressive. I try to find the nugget of value inside of the review (the silver lining) like, “Wow someone used my app and tried to actually DO something”, or, “I see what they mean when you press the red button you expect blue to happen.”

This works most of the time because quite frankly I force myself to only focus on the things I can do anything about, like adding printing features to Gridus, or fixing mouse selection bugs for custom buttons that were just too narrow for anyone to effectively hit.

When a reviewer simply states “Shit broke, don’t buy” on the other hand, I end up digging in sand for two days trying to figure out what the hell they are talking about. Unfortunately Apple gives you barely any tools at all toward informing a meaningful discussion with your users so you start from zero every time.

This message goes out to the UK user that mentioned in their review that “Download doesn’t work don’t bother.” I’d really love to talk to you for 3 minutes, I’m sure I could make you a happy customer if we could simply have a single email exchange.

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