Looking for validation in all the wrong places

Which people do you look to for criticism? Which metrics are you relying on to tell you if you're doing a good job? Who tells you if you're on to something?

Alas, most of us usually look in the wrong place.

Here are a few you might want to avoid:

  • easy-to-quantify and common metrics that lack granularity or insight (like pageviews, followers and heaven-forfend, likes)
  • critics who are loud, snarky and/or jealous
  • self-appointed gatekeepers looking for more power
  • the mass market
  • … the media they rely on for their opinion [including sportscasters and news anchors (in any field)]
  • people who never understand or appreciate work that's important and new
  • the cool kids

Change someone who cares.