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On sharing bad news and the change in technology

The first batch of beer my wife and I made turned out very well. I meant to share a picture of the full glass, but sadly all that was left was a little in the bottom of the glass! It was our first attempt; we will get better!

I am often asked to review and evaluate new technologies. In that review, I always start by talking to the creator about the reality of TAM. TAM is a business term that is the application of realism. TAM or Total Addressable Market evaluate the impact of your product on the market. The TAM is always less than the creator thinks it is (it’s a billion dollar industry). Yes, there is a total market of 1 billion dollars. But you, as a startup have to realize you aren’t going to get 100% of any market in hours. You are not likely to get more than 20% with your first product. That makes your TAM 200 million not the 1 billion dollar mark of the whole market. The other things you have to consider is the other players in the space.

To have that conversation, you have to build trust. No one likes to hear bad news. I know I don’t and I know most of the people that I work with know, do not like bad news either. There are people that like bad news, I am sure, but I have never met one. Approaching the conversation with respect is always difficult things. First off, I’ve had creators lose their tempers when hearing the information I was sharing. I respect everyone’s right to get angry. It’s ok to be frustrated. Sadly the world has rules. How we lose our tempers is something people judge us or evaluate us on. Explosions happen, but how we deal with the aftermath is important. Being disrespectful is risky.

Having a hard conversation with someone that has a dream, isn’t easy.

It is, however, fun to evaluate the new idea. To look at early technology and see if it will fit.  I have been fortunate to be able to see some real technologies long before other people. I truly appreciate that. Its fun to envision what might be. The changes around us, in the world technology, continue to accelerate. What we have today, isn’t what will be there tomorrow. The whole reality of 5g is going to change everything. I think that in 5 years we won’t use computers as much. The tablet and the cellphone will become the devices we use. We will have docking stations that connect wirelessly to our phones. All of this because 5g is truly a game changer.

  • Do you find it hard to tell people bad news?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Has a person ever cursed at you for disagreeing with them?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Do you walk away from conflicts as they escalate?

    • Yes
    • No

What do you think?

10 points

Written by DocAndersen

I am a long time blogger and technology poster.I focus on what is possible, but I also try to see what is coming. In recent years I have been focused on sharing the memories of my family, as part of my Family History Project.


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  1. I worked in the sales and marketing field. Being cursed, abused, threatened by customers are part of the game. The tone of the voice is always an effective tool – – – and the manner of probing to understand the problem. A client usually cooled down before the conversation is over.

    • I was in Chicago one time, there was a massive two-plus hour thunderstorm and O’hare shut down. They had to delay many flights and cancel a few. My flight got canceled. I had to go wait in the line as I was traveling to Narita. Rebooking was going to be painful. I was in line for 30 minutes or so, watching person after person screaming at the ticket rep.

      It was my turn to come to the desk. I saw the poor person cringe. So I stuck my hand out to shake her hand and said: “you are having a bad day.”

      She breathed, relaxed and got me to Narita, only 9 hours later than originally scheduled.

  2. I had to smile though I know it’s not funny that there are people who like bad news. I have never delivered bad news but I don’t know if it happens I will have the courage to deliver it. It’s something I dread.

    As an introvert, when someone shouts at me or the conflict or argument escalates, I usually remain silent.

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