Compliments are free, so give away as many as you can

Compliments are free, so give away as many as you can

A few weeks ago I finished reading “Sex on the Moon” by Ben Mezrich. I enjoyed the book a lot so tweeted something about it. Within a few minutes the author replied with a simple ‘thank you‘.

Later, when I finished reading “in the plex” by Steven Levy I emailed him a short note:

Just read the last page of (the ibooks version of) “in the plex” and wanted to thank you for a great time. I often laughed and became inspired and intrigued at this company I know so well, or thought I did, until I read this book.

As an (serial) entrepreneur myself it is always great to find out other companies and their founders experience some of the same issues as you do. Although the scale at which google experiences stuff obviously dwarfs mine.

Again, thanks for writing this book.

Within a few hours I got a reply:

Thanks, Boris. After working on a project like this for so long, it’s fantastic to hear that it’s connecting with folks like you.

I also emailed Daniel Roth when he wrote an interesting article about Oracle in Wired magazine. He also emailed me back within a few hours.

It doesn’t take more than a minute to email an author or journalist. Their email addresses are almost always right there at the end of the book or article. And everybody loves feedback.

Usually when you read something your first thought is “He or she must be overwhelmed with feedback so I won’t bother”. In most cases it doesn’t work like that. As an author you always hope for 100s of comments and lots of feedback, both positive and negative, the more the better.

But that rarely happens. It seems like most people are too shy or reluctant to write a comment or send a quick email.

So why not be the exception? It is a great way to get connected to writers and journalists and expand your network. The writers are happy with some feedback and it can never hurt to have corresponded with a journalist in the past. I have made a habit out of emailing people when I like something they did. Even when it is just their name mentioned in an article it is great to just say “congratulations on the mention in that article” in a quick text.

Just make sure you are sincere. Don’t email people just because you need a favor in the future. But if you felt goosebumps, had a laugh, felt inspired or just enjoyed an article or book you might as well tell them about it.

Everybody loves a compliment and they are free to hand out. So go ahead, send out a few…

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