Let me cut to the chase – I am biased toward certain products, brands, people and other nouns. I’m also completely unashamed of that bias, because I understand the process that it took to get me to that point. Recently I was accused of not writing about a specific company (let’s call them Company A) because of my bias toward one of their competitors. My reply was something like this:
“You’re right. I don’t like how you guys operate and I prefer how [redacted] goes about it. If that makes me biased, then so be it. If you really are pushing for me to write about you, I can, but it won’t be positive and that’s not what I like to do.”
Company A’s employee took that as offensive and then went on a tirade against me to another person. Unfortunately for Company A, that other person is part of a company with which I’ve developed a rather keen working relationship. Needless to say, things didn’t go the way that Company A had hoped.
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I do my level best to remain open-minded about products. But I will tell you with no uncertainty that there is a bar that has been set high when it comes to challengers that cross my desk. I’m fiercely loyal to products that have been proven to work well. I won’t pass up the chance to write about something amazing simply because it’s a competitor to a favorite of mine, but I will absolutely compare and contrast the two.
My email client is Sparrow. I love my MacBook Pro and OS X. I carry an iPhone, but I do like Android. I use CloudFlare because it works and the team is amazing. Boomerang for Gmail is like air to me. I love Google products, but I’m also quick to call out the company when it’s being foolish. I think Dwolla has the best chance to upend the payments space, but I’m impressed by the team at Clover as well. People who read what I write on any sort of regular occasion could tell you all of these things.
These are biases. I have them and so do you. To say that you’re completely agnostic toward all services is a fallacy at best. For me to say that would be a genuine disservice to the readers of The Next Web. I have favorites just like everybody else does. It’s because of this that I’m able to show how newcomers stack up against the incumbents.
I’m also bullish on TechStars, Y Combinator and 500 Startups. Why? Because they work and they have a proven track record. If a new accelerator launches and tells me that it’s going to change how the system works, I’m going to be skeptical but I’ll hear them out. This is my job and I like to believe that I do it quite well.
So yes, I am biased and I think that you should be too. If you’re not, then you haven’t yet been amazed by a product and that’s a real shame. There are loads of great people, products and brands out there. So many, in fact, that I choose to not write about the ones that are bad (and trust me that there are loads of those, as well) unless it’s critical that I do so in order to help save people from a bad decision.
You tell me I’m biased like it’s an insult, but all I hear is that I’m doing my job.