Detaching from the Product: The Power of Active Listening in Start-ups

Sep 25, 2023 by manish

Last week, I had an eye-opening chat with an early Amplifeed user. It was a powerful lesson about effective listening.

I was excited to hear the feedback, I dialed into the call with high expectations.

However, as they began sharing their experiences, my mindset shifted from listening to justifying. Without even realizing, every piece of feedback they provided was met with an internal defense mechanism.

I found myself explaining our product decisions rather than understanding their pain points. Later on, I realized that was not the purpose of the call.

✅ The call was about understanding the user’s experience.
✅ It was about learning why the product didn’t work for them.
✅ It was about active listening, not immediate explanations.
✅ The goal isn’t to defend every choice but to understand where the user is coming from.

While larger companies have UXR (user experience research) teams for this, as a start-up founder, it can be challenging to take feedback as a third person. But it is essential.

I learned that day that as a founder, it’s essential to detach oneself from the product during such feedback sessions.