If you break rules and do new and utterly different things, then some people are "challenged" and offer their best put-downs. Mostly nicely cloaked as "friendly advice" of course, not always meant to be negative, but still with a whiff of deep-rooted human fear.
And believe me, I've heard a few. I may even be construed as a masochist as I am really fond of the blunt ones, less so with the circumstantial argumentative. Mind you, I do listen - sometimes it sharpens the focus, and sometimes stuff is revisited and comes out better for it!
Here are a few favourites offered at different stages of Thingamy's development:
Theoretical phase, code still spotty: "Bollocks!"
First offered by a British gentleman (not so sure about the gentleman bit though). Of course he was in big-company-marketing, a profession where I seldom meet much understanding. What could I say but break into a wide grin? Let's put it like this: The message did not spur any rewriting of code... :)
Development phase, stuff starting to work: "Not believable!"
Another big-company chap. Another hard-to-counter message. But it's my all-time favourite as it says it all: The idea is too good to be true! Which leaves me with a simple task; do it and prove it's doable. That's a mundane task, hard and interesting, but nevertheless just another task.
Alpha, first working business models: "Too naive, the world is much more complex!"
Last offered by a fast-talking full-to-the-brim with business "truths" big company fellow, from one of my big "competitors". Think I would assign this to the "I do not like what I hear, have no clue how to attack it, let's stick to some cluster bombing out of nowhere" type of arguments.
If you check this out you'll see that with a bit of calculation the current systems architecture can be argued to be a few hundred times more complex than need be. Another good reaction in my view; competition preferring to stick to the old is always excellent!
Demo and test phase: "It's not intuitive enough, and it needs to be prettier!"
But of course. This is only half-a-put down as it is mostly true. The intuition argument is dangerous for software though; I've seen MS users migrating to Mac complaining over lack of intuitive UIs, as well as the Mac guy getting stuck when using MS interfaces. Basically I would argue that "what I'm used to equals intuitive".
And don't start me on pretty. Seen this year's yellow-lime-avocado-green-grey that adorns dresses in all high-end ladies shop windows in Rue d'Antibes in Cannes? Seen kids on Facebook apps trying to establish "who's prettiest"? I love some web sites and all their prettiness just as I love whipped cream. But if I'm to hang around in the same interface all day I'd rather go for anything similar to white paper, with lots of easily digested proteins and carbos as the main theme.
Beta and pre-pilots: "People do not want any changes!"
But of course. Doing a demo one day, one chap (actually being impressed) offered "wow, that workflow is so natural. Almost too natural, it's going to be a problem to implement as the users are used to their messy and quirky ways!". And that is truly reality, no doubt about that.
As another example of that reality I'd suggest you take a look at Adobe's LiveCycle ES product. Not a word on data reuse, data models, knowledge capture, nor anything else than the focus on forms-and-documents goodness and how fantastic it is to shuffle that stuff around electronically!
It's like dismissing the car in the beginning of last century, putting all your R&D funds into developing of a Mechanical Horse - "because people are used to horses, so let's make a real efficient one!"
More to come I'm sure. If the jabs stops I know I'm in trouble!