Controversial is Good
On monday evening I made soup for 25 people. It contained broccoli, zucchini and other vegetables. To make the soup more special I added a little Truffle oil just before I served the dish. Truffle smells delicious and makes almost any dish special. Brillat-Savarin called the truffle “the diamond of the kitchen”. Other people describe the pungent scent of truffle as similar to the scent of unwashed underwear. It has a sharp acrid scent to it and you either love or hate it.
Michael Arrington* (Techcrunch editor and serial entrepreneur) has been described as arrogant, a hypocrite or just ‘an asshole’. He can be extremely critical about companies, even the ones he invests in or is friends with, and without ever holding back. Despite, or because, of this Techcrunch is THE technology blog in the world with more than 500.000 feed subscription. Both Wired and Forbes have named Arrington one of the most powerful people on the internet. You either love him or hate him. But you can’t ignore him.
Being controversial is good. It means you are different. It means that you will attract fans and enemies but at least you will garner attention. Being bland is boring and won’t make you the subject of the conversation at any dinner table. It also means that you will have to live with people hating or disliking you.
If you find out someone really hates your stuff (project, company, looks, product, girlfriend, car, song) than that might be a good thing.
In fact, if nobody hates it it will be harder to get people to love it. They can love you or hate you but they won’t be able to ignore you.
* = Just so you know: I love Michael Arrington.