Yesterday, in an email thread, the leader of an organization I highly respect (both the leader and the organization) made the following comment about a talk he’s giving at an event this week — as you might guess his talk will be controversial:
“As for what the attendees think of me? I have a hard time imagining anything I could give fewer shits about.”
As much as you have to respect the people around you, love your users from the bottom of your heart — you also need to polarize. If you don’t have an opinion, if you don’t stand for something, if you don’t piss (the right) people off from time to time… you won’t be remembered. You have to stand for something.
When you want to have people love you, you will inevitably have people who hate you. Otherwise you’re just bland mediocrity.
People rally around people with opinions. Sometimes you just have to not give a shit.