How to get honest feedback

October 12 2011.

It's hard to get honest feedback because most people think saying something bad or critical is rude and might hurt the recipient's feelings. My six-step formula will help you extract the true feedback you need:

  1. Offer someone a free lunch in exchange for their feedback on your idea/startup/pitch/concept.
  2. On the arranged date, arrive late.
  3. Don't pay for their lunch.
  4. Once seated, take an extra 10 minutes setting up.
  5. Show your idea/startup/pitch/concept.
  6. Ask for feedback.

This works because it happened to me a few days ago. Hungry, impatient, and ripped off, I gave the most honest feedback imaginable.

Laura says:


Serror says:

I am sorry. I really thought we had a hit in the works with Corn Maize. Alas.

Jeff says:

Are you kidding? Corn Maize has legs. I'm 100% behind it.

jen says:

This is also a good method for a first date.

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