Mario Sundar

LinkedIn's 2nd PR hire. These are my thoughts on products, public relations, and startups.

Steve likes sucky companies – Really?

Steve Rubel – senior marketing strategist and one of the most influential bloggers in the world, said on his blog “Micro Persuasions” that he loves companies that accept their suckiness. Who am I to question, Steve? Well, but that’s the beauty of the blogosphere — even I can question Steve.

I kind of understand Steve’s perspective on how important it is for a company to be transparent enough to accept their shortcomings so as to IMPROVE, but I think the focus should be on the IMPROVEMENT, not the SUCKINESS. No wonder, Nick Carr (whose recent posts have been controversial – check out his post on the death of wikipedia) responds as to why he thinks that accepting suckiness is baloney.

On reading Steve’s entire post, I get his point-of-view when he concludes that:

If XYZ company is going to turn me around – and others as well – they are going to have to not only listen to what the community is saying but also apply it…and fast.

I’d have to agree with Steve on that one – especially the fast part, but the goal should always be to prevent rather than cure. The Truth, my friends, is a double-edged sword. On the one hand it wins you respect from your customer for honesty, but on the other hand it also may alienate your prospects and may lead them to believe in your inferiority vis-a-vis your competition.

Either way, with a post that pretty much says Steve loves companies that suck; i think it got the attention it deserves but also a controversy that it didn’t deserve.

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