VVM Core Value: Lovingly Critical Feedback

It all started when...

We’ve all heard of “constructive criticism.”  That’s all well & good, but at VVM we try to go further, to something we call “lovingly critical.”

We assume that if we don’t understand why the mentee is doing something, there is a good reason.  Instead of lecturing, we ask questions.  The tone of our questions reflects the great respect we have for the mentee and all the work they have done.

  • If the startup is making a mistake, the questions we ask will help them realize it for themselves.  It turns out people learn things much better when they figure it out for themselves vs listening to a lecture.
  • If we were mistaken, asking questions lets us learn it without sticking our foots in our mouths!  It also builds the startup's confidence by showing we are ready to learn from them.

A trick we often recommend to get fully into this mindset is to remember all of the extremely gifted & successful people who told the Google founders that the world did not need another search engine.