The Truth About Haters

Jealous or Better Informed?

Why is it that it’s so easy to find fault with people in your field, to decry them as overrated or phony? Take for example Idriss Sandu, a tech "wunder-kid" touted as the next zuckerberg and a world changer. I find issue with these descriptions. Now don't get me wrong, Sandu is undoubtedly talented and has numerous impressive accomplishments. He has developed software for top tech companies like Google, Twitter and Snapchat, but none of that qualifies him as a revolutionary. Is my issue due to David Hume’s, an 18th century philosopher, propositions on aesthetic and the ability of some, that is those within the circle, top detect nuances that the layman might miss? Take for example a wine aficionado who can detect the dryness of a Cabernet, or a musician who detects when a piece is played just off tempo or hear a flat note? Or is it simply the acknowledgement that you, yes you, possess all the same skills and if the opportunity had presented itself you too surely would have struck metaphorical gold. The idea that we could have done it but we didn’t often leads to jealousy. Why did the muses shine upon him or her when I am just as capable we cry or to take a line from the great playwright, “Where art thou, [My] Muse, that thou forgest’st so long?”.

When you get down to it there is no right answer. We are, or at least I am, often guilty of both and they are not mutually exclusive. While it is possible that you would have achieved the same results, the chances of this hypothetical coming to pass is pretty slim. We have this self-confidence, or more accurately over-confidence, because the scenario has never presented itself so we can fling our fantasies into it. Now avoiding this is simple. To quote the great advertising legend Dan Wieden, "Just Do It". You will likely never hear hate from people that are more successful than you or those that are doing. It’s the idlers that scoff and jeer while they sit reclined. You never see people more successful than you hating on you because you can’t pull someone down from above.

Now this jealousy can be channeled more constructively into what's known in the biz as “Benign Envy”. Benign envy treats the success and accomplishments of others as a learning opportunity. It heightens our awareness of what the individual whose achievements we covet is actually doing. They become a source of inspiration and learning. We try to emulate their process to try and attain the same end result. Because learning from the success of others is undoubtedly more practical then trolling them on Twitter (although it is probably a little less fun).