It’s refreshing to talk to a new company that is willing to not only talk back, but to listen. Often times people are so wrapped up in the “awesomeness” of their product that they are not willing to have any rational discussion about any shortcomings or mis-steps the company may have.
In fact, I often find companies I write to (or about) displaying some hostility because I am questioning “their idea”. It doesn’t happen often, but it happens.
I am glad to say that my experience with HiddenMarket.Net is exactly the opposite. They have been very responsive and engaging. They are very willing to listen to a customer (I don’t work for them, so I am a customer), even though my initial coverage of them was quite negative. Very negative, in fact – I recommended you don’t even look at them. That was perhaps harsh on my part – but perhaps not. If they learn and grow, and build a better product because I was blunt, then they are well served, I think.
But the interesting thing about free advise is that people (companies) generally think it is worth what they pay for it – nothing.
In this case though the CEO replied almost immediately to my initial blog post about this company. And he continued to exchange comments for some time – until finally they (and I) realized the root cause of most of my issues. And then they fixed them. In hours.
It’s relatively easy to throw up a web site. It is very difficult to create a community. After talking more to HiddenMarket I am pretty sure they will build a community – because they listen to the community. Specifically, they have a CEO that interacts with the community, and it doesn’t get more important than that. If the CEO is willing to deal with the negativity I threw at them on a one on one basis with me, and make things right where they needed to be addressed, then you have a company that listens to its customers – learns from them. Adjusts. Succeeds.
Thanks for the conversations, Scott – and best of luck. I’ll keep monitoring your company – I like the idea. I love your passion. I respect your willingness to openly communicate even though you have no clue who I am – that just didn’t matter to you. I was a customer you hadn’t satisfied, and you have worked very hard since then to satisfy me. What else can we ask of any start up?