I’m a software dev, product manager and co-founder of Hotels.ng and HNG Internship. I also dabble in embedded systems and hardware projects.

Rejections without Feedback

Ain’t no stopping us

I’ve noticed something that is not immediately obvious - rejections without explanations can also be very helpful.

Imagine you are applying for a job, or for funding for a project of yours. You are confident going in – everything seems to be in place, and you are sure you will get accepted. But then you get rejected. The first question you will ask is: why? You want to know from the person exactly why you were unsuitable.

If the other party, however, does not give any reasons why you were rejected, this can still be valuable to you. When people get rejected, they tend to re-evaluate their initial concept under their own very critical eyes. What seemed perfect going in now starts to show flaws that could have been responsible for the rejection. They fall out of love, and suddenly the lines on their lovers face are visible, and the once charming idiosyncrasies have become ugly flaws.

Being rejected without explanation allows people re-see their project and potentially abandon it or change it into something better. Being rejected with explanations gives them false hope – they focus then on only that small flaw that was pointed out to them and think fixing it would solve the problem.

But often, the explanation given is diplomatic and designed not to burn bridges, and it’s not actual helpful advice that one can work on. So a rejection with reason can unnecessarily extend a project that should rightfully be dead. Or it could cause an over-focus on this one area, and all of the other flaws that were not listed in the reason (like personality flaws), go completely unworked on.

Getting rejected without reason is still a good gift, because it forces you to improve all aspects of your project. It allows you re-examine all aspects of the product, and that can be the thing that makes a difference

Last Modified: Dec 26, 2020