Skin In The Game Mon, Jan 30, 2017
"The best way to complain is to make things." - James Murphy
I saw this quote in Tim Ferriss' 'Five Bullet Friday' email this morning and at first it didn't really resonate on my first pass reading it. After I read it again, it made way more sense in a personal way and I immediately made a connection to a recurring frustration on social media.
One of the more common Facebook comments I encountered while manning our social media channels is some form of the following: "Of all the things you could invent, *this* is what you came up with?" To which I would respond something like, "We're continuing our work on solving world hunger on the evenings and weekends, but now you've piqued my interest and I'm really interested to hear about your invention? (insert wide eyes emoji here)"
*Note: humor mixed with sincerity and a dash of sarcastic irony is my sweet spot.*
What I took from this quote, as it relates to this example, is that if you haven't put in the sweat equity, the hard work, the countless hours, then you have no foundation to stand on when you question someone who HAS. That's not to say that guests shouldn't offer feedback or constructive criticism - that's always appreciated - but if you don't have any skin in the game, the criticism probably won't be well received by someone who actually does.
The answer is to make things, create, push yourself, get outside the box, do things at which you'll fail, stretch yourself...building that credibility is the best way to relate and question and constructively criticize. But having skin in the game also probably means that you understand the peaks and valleys of creativity and creation infinitely better than you would have otherwise (which, in turn, means you're probably far less likely to criticize someone actually doing it).