Talk about a horrible way to start the week! I’ve never experienced so much anger and negative criticisms before so it was a shock to the system. I didn’t know what to do or how to react. I read what I wrote again very carefully and read all the comments again and still didn’t understand how it was all so misunderstood. I did take note of a couple of statistics that weren’t accurate or up to date such as the percentage that the startups give up. I stated that it could be as much as 10% but I was told that the more factual figure was 2 to 10 % so I edited the post and changed that stat.
I did the same for the number of startups they’ve funded from 80 to 100. Again, not a major rewrite or anything like that, just a couple of factual changes to be more accurate. Obviously, I got permission to make the changes from Sarah Lacy herself who agreed that it made sense to do so.
I was feeling down in the dumps from all this until I decided to take a look at the comments on TechCrunch’s site. Why would I do such a thing? Perhaps I’m a glutton for punishment? In any event, I was so happy that I did because I was surprised to see so many positive comments. My favorite comment was this one:
Eventually, I received an email from someone at YCombinator and we had a civil discussion thru a series of cordial emails and I believe we came to a satisfactory conclusion. I learned a valuable lesson thru this experience. I need to remember to double-check every fact and figure and statistic before publishing any article. I also need to make sure that the tone and style of the piece cannot be misunderstood as it was with this one. What was supposed to be a tongue in cheek attempt at being cute and clever with my American Idol analogy backfired big time. Still, in the end, I wouldn’t have it any other way. It truly has taught me a valuable lesson that will help me the rest of my writing career.