You don’t need every customer

Marco Arment makes the case for why developers shouldn’t look to try and react to every negative comment or review:

No matter what you make or how much you charge, some people will find things to complain about. If you drop your app’s price all the way down to free, people will still complain — just not about the price. They’ll move on to the features, the implementation, the design, the updates, the way you look, or what kind of dog you have. They’ll complain about every facet of your app, and then they’ll complain about unrelated topics just to pile on.

I previously created a site/service that would allow users to stay up to date about relevant video game information. Out of the hundreds using it, two people wrote to me and complained that they would only use my service if it had email notifications as well.

So what did I do? I implemented the feature. In hindsight, I really wish I hadn’t as it took more time and energy to setup and maintain it than the rest of the project took to create from scratch. It wasn’t a particularly hard service to implement but when you’re dealing with mass emailing, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes that has to be done. Things like mailing list user management and unsubscribe options had to be created, not to mention the fact that the server would be sending out thousands of emails a week. Sure, I could’ve used a service such as Mailchimp but this was a free service and that would have cost – the benefits did not outweigh the drawbacks.

In the end, I pulled the email service completely simply because out of all the people using the site, only 6 people in total were using email notifications.

Negative comments are to be expected whenever you’re providing a product, service or app. Expect harsh and unrealistic criticism and as Marco explains, those people are probably best served elsewhere.