Weeding Out The Noise


One of my favorite classes at CU has been Projects in Entrepreneurial Companies taught by Sharon Matusik. In the class, students are paired with a local startup to complete a small project and understand the entrepreneurial process more fully. I worked with Ubooly doing some research and building a node.js dashboard. It was a ton of fun and I learned a lot. Every week, the MBA students in the class met to talk about everyone’s insights. One that I found particularly salient from a classmate was about knowing when to listen or ignore advice.

In the early stages of a startup, the smart entrepreneurs seek advice from anyone who will listen. They understand the more feedback they get from customers, mentors, and partners, the faster they’ll know if the idea has value. However, this feedback can often leave entrepreneurs confused with conflicting advice from smart people.

The key is to remember that no one else has thought about your business more than you. To force myself to think through the problem of advice overload, I’ve created the following list:

  • Test everything
    • Don’t just blindly take every idea shared by mentors or advisers. Luckily, technology allows us to do metric driven testing easily. Regardless of whether you like a piece of feedback or not, put it to the test. Here is a list of helpful testing resources (please recommend others in the comments below):
  • Ask clarifying questions
    • If a piece of advice doesn’t click in your mind, ask thoughtful clarifying questions to make sure the other party understands any trade-offs that may exist.
  • Listen to common feedback
    • Sometimes you’ll get the same feedback from multiple people, if this is the case, listen up. Recognize the fact that you may be unconsciously ignoring something that is critical to your business.
  • Trust your gut
    • Like I said, you know your business better than anyone. If something doesn’t jive, don’t be afraid to ignore it. Remember that even the smartest person is probably only right 50% of the time.

Sorting through the noise problem only gets worse as your company grows. Soon you’ll have investors, employees, board members, and advisers that all have a different opinion about your company. At the end of the day, you are the captain of the ship and are responsible if it sinks or floats.

About The Author

Ben currently works as a senior developer and technical business consultant outside of Boulder, Colorado.

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About Buink

Buink Web Development is a development shop founded in 2009 by Ben Buie. For years, Ben built and modified web assets for clients in Utah. In 2011, he moved the company to Colorado and in 2015 he started taking on new clients full-time.

Buink’s Core Values:

  • Cost effective technology (with business strategy in mind)
  • Eloquent, maintainable code
  • Responsive and transparent communication

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Dru M.
Dru M.
15:41 25 Mar 21
Ben’s a super responsive, thoughtful, sharp and all around great guy to work with. Excellent with his trade. I’d recommend him to anyone. Thanks Ben!
Seth L.
Seth L.
21:36 29 Jun 19
Ben and team are incredible to work with. They are reliable and proficient. I'd highly recommend hiring them for web development work. SethVOLTAGE
Craig A.
Craig A.
20:50 18 Jun 19
It was a pleasure to work with Ben and his team. It is rare to find such attention to high standards of coding and devops.
Lexi S.
Lexi S.
15:36 18 Jun 19
Grateful to have Ben and his team as such a capable, reliable partner for completing client work!
Tom S.
Tom S.
13:18 14 Jun 19
I reached out to Buink after finding Ben’s name in a local developer/consultant listing in 2017, and I have to say, it has been an absolute pleasure to work with Buink. Ben consistently understands not just the development task laid in front of him but the business application behind the task. I’ve... never felt more comfortable with a development team than I do with Buink. I truly feel Ben and his team are integral partners in the success of my business.read more
Marilyn F.
Marilyn F.
22:47 13 May 19
I could not recommend Buink Web Development more highly. Ben and his team have recently developed a budgeting app for me (both web and IOS). I have had the opportunity of working with them for over a year and I am extremely happy with the results.I would say that the biggest plus for me is that I... trust Ben completely. From the very first, Ben has helped me make decisions that were in the best interest of my company. I have never felt like he is taking advantage of me. Ben does his best to keep the whole process very open and upfront. I have really appreciated that.I tell people all the time that I love my developers. And I do. I'm very happy that I chose to use Buink to develop my apps. It was the best business decision I could have made.If you are looking for someone to develop a website or app, I strongly suggest choosing Buink Web Development. They are fantastic!Marilyn Ference, President, Defend Your Money, LLCread more
James Landon B.
James Landon B.
01:33 28 Aug 18
Great company to help with all your web design needs!
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