It Cannot Be Done

“The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.”
- Chinese proverb.

This is one of my favourite quotes which sums up a lot about indie game development. Sure, when you do games you will face people saying you how “you cannot succeed” or how “all your games are (poo)”, and my way of reacting is this:

  • I focus on results, let the results speak rather than words. If my results are bad and guy is telling my results are bad then… he’s right – so why should I care? If my results are good and some guy is telling bad things about me or my results then he’s wrong – and any intelligent person can easily test my game rather than believe gossips, so why should I care? If somebody tells bad things about me, that’s their problem – I want no part of it.
  • Basically I don’t defend myself. I let my results talk: they might be dismal or they might be great – that’s not the point. I rather let the results do the talking, so I can focus on making my game great rather than convincing people that my game is good.
  • I don’t attack. I think there’s more than enough insults in the net and in the world and I believe that saying bad things about someone else is not doing anything good about me. Surely I can point out stuff, discuss and comment someone’s talk, but I still think insulting others is not a good strategy. I previously wrote a brief article on how to deal with angry people, check it out in case you missed it or like to re-read it.

I would also like to remind that many of us have a habit about giving feedback:

  • When things are bad, we say it out loud
  • When things are good, we say nothing.

That’s why sometimes it might feel like people are being harsh at you, but when you think about yourself: isn’t it easy to tell “what’s wrong” about others or their behavior (games, team member work, children, dogs…) rather than “reward the right” things. It’s easy to say “NO!” to your dogs 100 times every day and forget saying “Good doggie!” when they sit nicely or act well… When people say bad things that reflects their own thinking and life, and you should remember that doing something is much better than doing nothing.

The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it. Focus on doing it. Ignore the persons who say that it can’t be done.

12 thoughts on “It Cannot Be Done

  1. SasQ

    Two more proverbs:

    “Everyone thinks that something couldn’t be done. And then there comes the one who doesn’t know about that, and he actually do it” ;) [Albert Einstein]

    “I hadn’t failed 200 times. I’ve invented 200 ways of making not working light-bulb” [Thomas A. Edison about his trying to make a light-bulb ;) ]

    P.S. Sorry for my English…

    Reply
  2. Juuso - Game Producer Post author

    Removed company name and url.

    > “The post isn’t about the truth in a product’s claims, it’s about most people (like yourself) not believing while others are actually doing it.”

    I didn’t say there couldn’t be 99.99% spam free solution. I simply stated why your product sounds fishy. (because of they way you present it and because of lack of customer testimonials – I have seen lots of customer reviews for other spam products).

    > “Basically, you’re asking me to PROVE there is a rainbow in the sky to a person refusing (or unable) to come outside and look – and believes rainbows can’t exist – light is WHITE, not made of a bunch of colors, right? “I” don’t think so.”

    Now… where I said person would refuse to take a look? As far as I remember, I said “why try to convince? Why don’t you let users test the program for 30 days and let them see yourself. I don’t think it’s matter of arguments. It’s matter of very simple MATH.”

    you also missed what I wrote about FAQ file “research”, customer testimonials/sites where *customers* say something, and about the company employer names etc…

    Reply
  3. Anti-spam support

    I’m sorry it’s late, and sometimes I forget some people think spam just can’t be stopped. I’ve been basically spam free for over four years (even though over 100 a day are targeted at me).

    At work, the customers I support take near perfect anti-spam for GRANTED.

    I deal with companies that receive over 250,000 spams a day (not in total, but for each company). When 1 in 10,000 get through, that’s 25 a day, and they let us know – their staff expects zero, and that’s what most have been seeing for years.

    You’re on the pre-sales side of the fence (they try to help people with pre-formed negative opinions, support is post-sale, where anything less than 100% is investigated). I’ve actually received a few complaints over the years when people don’t get spam anymore. Generally they think something is broken, because “some” spam should get through, right? Until they check – and 100% of the spam is in the spam folder, while 100% of the real main is in their inbox. Regardless, you’re not alone.

    Feel free to remove the company name & stuff – the post isn’t about the product, it’s about EXTREME transition.

    MOVING ON…
    It is amazing to see people transform from utter disbelief to taking something completely for granted.

    I’m just trying to expand on an oddity of the proverb, but not sure how to phrase it, so I use real-life examples (as unbelievable as they are to many).

    I get the basic meaning is to learn from those who actually achieve, rather allowing one’s own unawareness/misunderstanding impede another’s success/progress.

    …and that you feel results are enough to speak for themselves.

    My point is that on the rare occasion a real breakthrough occurs, that people quickly raise it from suspicion to taking it for granted. The second thing I notice is that until the “general population” realizes the breakthrough, those few who realize its benefits are heckled by the rest.

    YOU HELPED PROVED MY POINT – you focused on “it can’t be done”, then picked apart the company’s website, and made incorrect assumptions to prove your preconceived disbelief. Rather than learning why it actually works, and who it works for.

    I could go down the list, and address every point, yes, we have undisputable proof for the claims, but to what end? You can call every customer a liar, say they’re all paid off, even after reviewing everyone’s bank account. Until you see it working for yourself….

    I’ll prove my point, without requiring you to work for a large company protected by this product, or me going over to marketing to get all data and contacts (who you’ll most likely feel were just all paid-off anyway), instead—

    If I told you, I could REMOVE the guard on a 3HP, 10” table saw, fire it up, and run my bare hand into the blade at normal speed, and only got a minor scratch, you’d say NO WAY. What if I added that the blade will actually stop turning (from about 3,600 RPM) and drop below the table-top before I could even flinch back from the blade? What if my had was on top of a board, cutting the board, when I did it? What if I said this feature only increased the cost of a saw by about $100, for a normal professional table saw? And that it looks and operates like a NORMAL professional table saw? And, it’s been commercially available for several years. That about $40 will be spent in replacing an expendable component that makes this possible? I’m miss-informed? Someone’s pulling my leg? My brother works for them?

    Unless you know the product, it sounds like just another wild story, right?

    ***I’ll post the answer in a couple days, unless someone beats me to it.***

    The post isn’t about the truth in a product’s claims, it’s about most people (like yourself) not believing while others are actually doing it.

    If your company was evaluating the product right now (as most all freely do – for MORE than 30 days), in a couple months, you’d be telling others “unbelievable stories”, and getting questioned yourself – most all won’t believe you until their company gets it too.

    Basically, you’re asking me to PROVE there is a rainbow in the sky to a person refusing (or unable) to come outside and look – and believes rainbows can’t exist – light is WHITE, not made of a bunch of colors, right? “I” don’t think so.

    Until you’ve seen it for yourself, you won’t believe it, and all data/testimony will be suspect – that’s the perspective of the person saying “It Can’t be Done” – that’s the point of the proverb.

    ***
    I was simply using a real-world example that hundreds of thousands of people are familiar with and know works better than advertised (for most, as nothing is 100% for everyone).

    Has ANYONE ELSE OUT THERE ever seen or experienced going from complete disbelief of an obvious fictional claim to realization that pre-conceived notions, ignorance, misinformation, or other propaganda kept them from utilizing a better way? Better product? Better life?

    I swear, I’m getting me one of those saws! Just for the cool factor, if nothing else.

    Reply
  4. Juuso - Game Producer Post author

    Now there’s a sales speech… and I probably should delete this…(EDIT: removed company name) but I’m letting your comment stay – and actually comment it because it contains much good things to talk about.

    First of all – if you say that your product blocks 99.99% spam then it’s quite easy to test the system: if one gets more than 1 spam email for every 10000 emails then you are lying.

    You said: “Trying to convince someone their pre-conceptions are wrong is like arguing religion.”

    I’m saying: why try to convince? Why don’t you let users test the program for 30 days and let them see yourself. I don’t think it’s matter of arguments. It’s matter of very simple MATH.

    > “when I’m not defending myself from being called a liar”
    As I said, it’s very simple: if you claim only 1 spam out of 10000 gets trough and client receives 2, then you are liar.

    > “How could the common public believe it can’t work, while those currently do it expect perfection?”
    I don’t think that’s really the case.

    Secondly – using numbers like 99.99% and using words like “UNBELIEVABLE” aren’t good without proofs or customer reviews. I tried searching over the net for customer reviews and found none. It makes me think: if this product is the best spam product in the world, why nobody is talking about it?

    You also have in your FAQ file:
    > “Research has shown that approximately 95% of spam can’t even be replied to due to forged “reply to” addresses. ”
    What “research”? These type of comments that faintly address “some research” should NOT be used as argument.

    I think there’s much convincing to be done to get me to buy your product. You don’t list any names of your company, and there was announcement “patent pending” dated back 2002 – did you get the patent? How can I even tell if your product is reading my emails (the fact you mentioned “it doesn’t read emails” made me really suspicious…) and also the fact that I couldn’t find any people talking about your product feels bit odd. Where are customer testimonials (or links to external & independent forums)?

    Now – you can continue this talk about this, but I don’t want to hear any sales speech any more (you got your slot :), and I will be removing any comments that even smell like advertisement for this post.

    Reply
  5. AntiSpam Support

    …and what if the general public misunderstands what you do?

    It’s hard not to be defensive all the time when a process generally done poorly by others is finally done well by an unknown few.

    People’s first impressions are based on the opposing opinions they’ve already formed – from other’s failures.

    Trying to convince someone their pre-conceptions are wrong is like arguing religion.

    Every day I deal with people saying what we have done can’t be true – it’s just too good to be true – it just won’t work (you’re a liar).

    …and that’s balanced by something even MORE unbelieveable – those who use our process, believe the polar opposite – that what we do should be 100% flawless, with no exceptions.

    How could the common public believe it can’t work, while those currently do it expect perfection?

    What am I talking about?
    A business-class (NOT for personal use) anti-spam product that blocks over 99.99% of automated spam, while letting 100% of the real mail through – UNBELIEVABLE.
    …so what’s the bi-polar problem? Current customers saying when just 1 in 20,000 spams gets through – it must be broken! Fix it!

    Yeah, whe I’m not defending myself from being called a liar, I’m chasing down the 1 in 20,000 spams that got through because that’s supposedly a bigger problem than what they had before (90% effective means 2,000 get through a day, not just one!

    Today, I was getting betten up by a non-believer and a perfectionist – I wanted to patch the two in on a conference call!

    Some days I swear I want to run from the office SCREAMING!

    Reply
  6. Pingback: GameProducer.Net » Archive » Don’t Care What Others Think About You

  7. Sharon

    maybe it can’t be done, but then it sure won’t be for lack of trying, and you won’t have that lingering doubt that would be with you if you let them talk you out of it.

    [soapbox] On principle, I refuse to deal with a person who “promotes” himself by knocking their competition – unless he can tell me why the competition’s product is bad and his own is good, then to me it’s nothing more than a case of sour grapes. Salespeople are pretty good at this, but politicians have it down to a fine art (…political rant removed…) [/soapbox]

    Anyway – the more time you spend worrying about what other people are saying and how you’re going to stop it, the less time you have to get on with the job. Hear what they’re saying (just in case there IS some basis to it), but if it’s nonsense then it’s not worth the effort.

    Reply

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