Wednesday, August 31, 2011

To review or not to review, that is the question

This quote from Mark Brown on twitter struck me as pertinent.

tweet about game reviews

I get asked to review mobile apps pretty frequently and I’ve come to the same conclusion. If I have the time to do a review and include constructive criticism, then I will. Otherwise, I don’t bother. It doesn’t make me feel good to slate an app or mobile service. Unfortunately, to take the time to include constructive criticism is not insignificant, so it means that I don’t get around to it very often. I just don’t have the time.

This quote also reminded me of a time I came to blows with an entrepreneur a few years back – pre-iPhone popularity. We were chatting about location based services. And I have some pretty strong views about them having started dabbling in LBS over 10 years ago. I was asked my view about something, and I gave it straight. It did upset the entrepreneur. He took it really personally. It wasn’t personal. It was just a view I was asked for. He didn’t like it. He almost burst into tears in front of me he was so hurt. He didn’t speak to me again for a very long time indeed. I didn’t know what to make of it, but it’s stuck with me. Should I have been so hard?

I agree with Mark Brown. It’s really not nice to sh*t on a small team of well-intentioned folk. However, when I see smart people turning out average or, worse still, less than average stuff on mobile, and I’m asked what I think, I think it’s my duty to be honest. And if I’m asked for my opinion on something, then I’m going to give it. And in turn, whoever is asking me should be strong enough to take it on the chin and listen or ignore as they see fit. If I criticise, it’s generally because I think they can do something a lot better. I don’t do it for the hell of it.