About the Author

Chris Shiflett

Hi, I’m Chris: entrepreneur, community leader, husband, and father. I live and work in Boulder, CO.

Brooklyn Beta Opening

Before I introduced the fantastic Viktoria Harrison on Thursday morning, I shared a couple of lessons I've learned over the years. It wasn't really an opening keynote or anything, but I thought I'd share them here for anyone who missed it. I'll try to blog a proper summary of Brooklyn Beta in the next few days.

1. Expectations are a blessing.

When a lot is expected of you, it's very easy to let the pressure of meeting those expectations get to you. In fact, it can be paralyzing, and that's not good.

What is good is that if you succeed and you meet those expectations, the cumulative impact is exponential. That's because expectations are just leftover praise. You've earned them by doing something great.

So, the next time you feel overwhelmed by expectations, just remember that if you weren't capable of meeting them, they wouldn't exist.

2. Ignore haters.

I always take more pleasure in liking something than in disliking something. That's not to say there aren't some things that deserve to be liked and some things that deserved to be disliked, but I'm never fond of disliking something.

The lesson I've learned is to be wary of those who are. The ones who seem to think that being critical is the same as having good taste. Those people almost never have good taste, so their opinions don't matter.

There's no particular sophistication required to be a critic. We know this, because children often dislike foods they learn to love as adults.

So, even if what you've done isn't so great, just remember that those who can't say so with grace, those who seem to take pride in criticizing you, their opinions don't matter. It may very well be that you've created a masterpiece, and they're just children.

If you can learn to be a fair judge of yourself, you won't feel the need to rely on other people's opinions.

About this post

Brooklyn Beta Opening was posted on Mon, 17 Oct 2011. If you liked it, follow me on Twitter or share:


1.Jeff Loiselle said:

Well done, Chris. I'm going to read this with my cereal every morning, truly inspiring.

Mon, 17 Oct 2011 at 14:18:02 GMT Link

2.Ricardo Machado said:

Hi Chris,

I love your blog. It's my first comment though.

Anyway I agree in 50% of you post, yet the "ignore haters" thing is not a good advice...

Haters are, by definition, people that 'love to hate'. So, normally they're ignored because they hate... because they do what they 'love' to do, just because it's not their way of doing it.

... I've learned a lot from haters... Questioned their judgment by listening what they were saying. Ex:

Hater - "Oh, your code sucks man! Those 'switches' and 'iterators' are so old-school"...

Me - "Yeah?! How would you do it then?"

Hater thinks and says - "Well, I could... (*start thinking and realizes that his way would be worst, and says *)... On a second thought, you can do thaaat way."

In this cases I got sooo proud of myself. But yet, other haters teached me some good optimizing stuff.... That's a way too general idea to 'ignore' them... You can *filter* what they say :) That'd be my advice :)

Mon, 17 Oct 2011 at 15:08:14 GMT Link

3.Oerd Cukalla said:

Hi Chris,

I think what you've just written are wise words.

Life has taught me that hating something won't get you anywhere and can be quite damaging to you as a professional. I also like your subtle way of expressing the difference between hating something (where you most probably don't even have alternate ways to do it) and disliking something (because you're used to do it differently).

Having grace and showing it will get you a long way in life!

Thanks again.

Mon, 17 Oct 2011 at 17:02:12 GMT Link

4.Joel Caton said:


Thanks for the inspiration. It's amazing what we put up with when dealing with children but we expect adults to behave like adults all the time. I like the way you've explained the sophistication of "haters". Most of the time their behavior is childish and some day they will probably grow up and see the big picture so you're right - it's usually best to ignore their misplaced criticism.

Mon, 17 Oct 2011 at 22:44:26 GMT Link

5.Vid Luther said:

Thanks for writing this. I will refer to this, and make everyone I know, read this.. the bit you've said about expectations is spot on. You've put into words, what I've felt in my heart for a long time.

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 at 13:35:21 GMT Link

6.Chris Shiflett said:

Thanks, everyone. :-)

I considered offering a simplified version of this:

1. You can do it!

2. Haters gonna hate.

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 at 18:21:55 GMT Link

7.Yannick Komotir said:

Hi Chris, usually i read your blog to learn about technical stuff. But in this last one i learn more.

Fri, 21 Oct 2011 at 14:46:33 GMT Link

Hello! What’s your name?

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